LAHORE - Authorities on Tuesday confirmed at least 4,443 new coronavirus cases over the last twenty four hours, taking the total tally to 148,921.

These include 55,878 in Punjab, 55,581 in Sindh, 18,472 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 8,327 in Balochistan, 8,857 in Islamabad, 1143 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 663 in Azad Kashmir. 

According to officials, the death toll from the virus stands at 2,839 as 111 more patients reportedly expired during the last twenty four hours. At least 25,015 corona tests were also carried out during this period. Some, 56,390 patients have so far recovered from the disease.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Health Services has decided to take strict action against illegal trade of plasma trade and to take strict action against those selling plasma at high rates in the country. The health authorities have issued guidelines about plasma therapy treatment for COVID-19, urging people not to pay donors as the treatment was still “an experimental therapy”, a private news channel reported.

The illegal trade of plasma started after the government allowed it to be used for the treatment of CIVID-19 patients. The television report said the federal government has also warned that strict action would be taken against elements involved in over-charging or black marketing of life-saving drugs used by coronavirus patients.

In a statement, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services, Dr Zafar Mirza said the Drugs Regulatory Authority (DRAP) has been directed to ensure availability of medicines used for management of COVID-19 patients.

He said Tocilizumab (Actemra) and Remedesivir injections used for COVID-19 patients would be distributed to critically ill patients through a robust mechanism to meet the needs of various hospitals.