Islamabad, Jul 27 (efe-epa).- Pakistan on Monday registered its lowest daily number of deaths by the novel coronavirus in three months, although authorities have urged the population to not lower their guard, especially during the religious celebrations to be held later this week.
“We had a peak of 153 deaths on 20 June and in the last 24 hours we had 20. (…) Yet no place for any complacency!” Health Minister Zafar Mirza tweeted on Monday.
So far at least 274,152 people have been infected by the virus in Pakistan, which has also led to 5,842 deaths.
The Punjab province, which accounts for around half of the country’s population, did not register any deaths within the last 24 hours.
The daily number of Covid-19 tests being carried out by health authorities has also dropped from hovering around 30,000 for many weeks to around 22,000 in recent days.
The government has attributed the improvement in the epidemic situation to its “smart lockdown” strategy, which means imposing shutdown orders only on streets and districts where a virus outbreak has been detected.
The strategy was launched after in May the government lifted a six-week nationwide lockdown.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had justified lifting restrictions by citing the difficult economic situation in the country and the fact that a large part of its workers were poor, an argument he has reiterated many times since the beginning of the crisis.
Despite the improvement in the health situation, the government has appealed t the citizens to continue being on alert, especially during Friday’s Eid al-Adha festival – one of the most important in the Muslim lunar calendar – during which families gather to sacrifice an animal and offer a feast.
Islamabad is set to close a number of parks and public spaces ahead of the festival in order to prevent large gatherings, while Punjab would restrict business hours and impose security measures in livestock markets. EFE-EPA