ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Minister for Planning Asad Umar said on Tuesday Pakistanis were ‘recklessly’ ignoring coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs), warning that there would be an increased loss of lives and livelihoods if they didn’t change their attitude.
On Sunday, 16 deaths were reported in Pakistan from the coronavirus, the highest single-day deaths since September.
“Last week daily covid mortality was 12,” Umar wrote on Twitter. “This is a 140% increase vs few weeks back.
“We are collectively committing a blunder by recklessly ignoring all sop’s & the results have started to show. If we do not change our current path we will lose both lives and livelihoods.”
Last week daily covid mortality was 12. This is a 140% increase vs few weeks back. We are collectively committing a blunder by recklessly ignoring all sop's & the results have started to show. If we do not change our current path we will lose both lives and livelihoods
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) October 20, 2020
The minister’s comments come as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special adviser on poverty alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar, tested positive for the coronavirus and announced she was self-isolating at home.
I have tested positive for COVID 19 and am isolating myself. I have mild symptoms and will, therefore, continue to work from home
— Sania Nishtar (@SaniaNishtar) October 19, 2020
While addressing a ceremony in Islamabad on Monday evening, PM Khan warned that a second wave of the coronavirus could hit Pakistani cities with high levels of pollution.
In October and November, cities like Faisalabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Gujranwala could see a spike in coronavirus cases, the PM was quoted as saying in local media.
According to the Ministry of Health, 340 new infections were registered in the last 24 hours in Pakistan, taking the total number of cases to 323,452, with 6,659 deaths.
Pakistan has seen a significant drop in the COVID-19 infection rate since July, compared to an average of 5,000 cases reported daily in May and June. Earlier this month, the government reimposed “smart lockdowns” in hotspot cities across the country to curb the spread of the disease.