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April 19, 2021

Sharp increase in corona infections

Top Story

April 19, 2021

By Muhammad Anis

Ag APP

ISLAMABAD: Amid the deteriorating coronavirus situation, Pakistan recorded 149 new deaths on Saturday — the second highest coronavirus fatalities since the pandemic emerged last year.

This also makes it the highest number of coronavirus deaths reported this year, a worrying sign of the third wave of the coronavirus intensifying across the country.

The country's highest death toll from the virus to date was recorded on June 19, 2020 when 153 people died.

As per the official statistics issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), 6,127 new positive cases have been reported during the 24 hours after 71,836 tests were conducted across the country.

The Punjab reported 97 deaths, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 35, Sindh 7, and AJK and Islamabad five each on April 17.

The total deaths reached 16,243, with the Punjab reporting 7,430 deaths, Sindh 4,551, KP 2,867, Islamabad 636, AJK 433, Balochistan 223 and Gilgit-Baltistan 103.

Another 7,127 people were tested positive out of 71,836 tests conducted across the country, showing positivity rate of 8.52 percent on April 17. The NCOC report shows that as of April 18, there were 80,559 active COVID-19 cases in the country. Out of them 528 inflected people were on ventilator in critical condition.

Meanwhile, on-campus 9-12 classes in corona-hit districts of the Punjab will commence from Monday (today), with 50% attendance on separate days, Education Minister Murad Raas announced on Sunday."Classes 9,10,11,12 will open tomorrow April 19th, 2021 with 50% students on Monday and 50% on Thursday," the minister said in a tweet.

The minister said a staggered approach would be implemented in order to mitigate the virus spread.

Raas was referring to an earlier tweet in which he had announced resumption of classes for grades 9-12 in Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Multan, Toba Tek Singh, Sargodha, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan and Dera Ghazi Khan.

The minister had said the remaining districts would follow their regular schedule.

Earlier in the day, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood announced important decisions taken during a meeting of the health and education ministers of all provinces.

He announced decisions taken during a special meeting with consensus.

The minister said classes of grades 9-12 will begin in the affected districts in a staggered manner so that the students could prepare for their upcoming board exams.

"A special meeting of health and education ministers of all provinces and AJK/GB was held today. The following decisions were taken with complete consensus. 1) Classes 9 to 12 would commence in affected districts in a staggered manner to allow the students to prepare for the board exams," he tweeted.

As the minister had announced earlier, exams for classes 9-12 will take place according to the new dates announced by boards.

He said this will not begin before the fourth week of May.

Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi Sunday once again urged the nation to fully implement the SOPs, as the country had witnessed a sharp spike in coronavirus cases in a single day.

On his twitter handle, the president said the country had reported 6,127 new COVID-19 cases during the last 24 hours, which was close to peak figures during the 1st wave of the pandemic on June 13.

He urged people to implement SOPs to contain further spread of the pandemic.

“6,127 new COVID-19 cases reported yesterday, close to the peak in the 1st wave of 6,825 on June 13. So PLEASE implement SOPs.

1- Wear Masks 2- Implement social distancing in bazaars and all activities 3- Ensure 3ft distance in masjid prayers. Wash hands frequently,” he posted.