Pakistan reports 1,991 new cases of coronavirus, the number crosses 29,000

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan reported a record number of 1,991 coronavirus cases in a single day, taking the total number of infections to over 29,000, the Health The ministry said Sunday when the country began easing the month-long blockade imposed to curb the spread of the deadly disease.

Despite a surge in the number of Covid-19 infections, the first phase of the easing of the lockdown began on Saturday. The government announced removing restrictions by allowing more businesses to open and operate from dawn to 5pm.

However, doctors have warned against easing the restrictions. The representative of the Pakistan Medical Association (WFP) have demanded that the government comply with the protocols of the World Health Organization and implement a strict blockade.

The ministry of national Health services said that 21 new deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of fatalities to 639.

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A total of 8,023 people have so far recovered.

Punjab registered 11,093 cases, Sindh 10,771, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 4,509, Baluchistan 1935, Islamabad 641, Gilgit-Baltistan 430 and occupied by Pakistan cashmere 86.

The total number of infections in the country has reached 29,465, it said.

So far, authorities have conducted 283,517 tests, including 13,341 in the past 24 hours.

People flocked to markets on Saturday even before provincial governments issued guidelines on easing the blockade.

While allowing more businesses to open, the Pakistani government asked people to strictly observe social estrangement and to avoid going out unless there is an urgent need.

Meanwhile, Pakistan opened its border with Afghanistan in Shaman in Baluchistan province from 8am to 5pm on Saturday to allow 2,977 Afghan nationals to cross over to their country.

"The border had opened for crossing Afghans and Pakistanis into their respective countries," a senior official of the Shaman administration, Zakaullah Durrani, told the Dawn newspaper.

He said that so far 488 Pakistanis stranded in Afghanistan have also returned.

Last month, Pakistan sent back over 37,000 Afghan families after it opened the Pak-Afghan friendship gate at Shaman on the special request of the Afghanistan government, the report said.

Thousands of Afghan citizens enter Pakistan daily to meet their business needs and meet relatives who have lived here as refugees since the 1980s. But the movement was stopped due to Covid-19 restrictions.

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