55 more die of Covid-19; 13,053 health workers infected so far

ISLAMABAD: The coronavirus pandemic claimed 55 more lives during the last twenty-four hours in the country, said the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday.

According to the NCOC, as many as 2,123 new cases of the coronavirus were reported over the previous 24 hours after 39,450 samples were tested. The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country has soared to 508,824 with addition of the fresh infections while the countrywide death toll jumped to 10,772.

There are a total of 33,102 active cases, out of which 2,366 have been termed critical. The number of patients recovered from the disease stands at 464,950.

Punjab recorded the maximum number of deaths on Tuesday. According to Punjab’s healthcare department, the province recorded 509 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday and 24 more fatalities. The fresh cases have taken the province’s tally for confirmed cases to 146,525, whereas the death toll now stands at 4,323. As many as 130,912 people have recovered from the virus in Punjab.

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Since the Covid-19 outbreak began last year in February, Sindh has reported a total of 228,949 infections, Punjab 146,525, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 62,018, Balochistan 18,467, Islamabad 39,462, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) 8,521, and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) 4,882.

The NCOC said that 13,053 healthcare workers have so far been infected with Covid-19 and 113 of them died since the first case of the disease was reported in the country in late February 2019.

“32 new cases have been reported in HCWs [health care workers], increasing the total to 13,053 while 12,300 have recovered (640 active cases),” the NCOC said in a report this week. “113 deaths have been reported among HCWs.”

The NCOC said the highest number of coronavirus cases, 4,631, among health care workers was reported in Sindh province.

Pakistan said last month it would purchase 1.2 million Covid-19 vaccine doses from China’s Sinopharm in the first official confirmation of a vaccine purchase by the South Asian country as it battles a second wave.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on National Health Services Dr. Faisal Sultan has said that Pakistan is hopeful to receive the first batch of Chinese Covid-19 vaccine early next month.

In an interview with Arab News, he said the government intends to begin the process of vaccination within the first quarter of this year.

Dr Faisal Sultan stated the government is looking at multiple options and is in touch with all companies whose vaccines have been approved internationally. He added the NCOC has started registering frontline healthcare workers who will be vaccinated in the first phase.

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