dpa/GNA – Pakistani authorities on Thursday put more coronavirus hotspots under lockdown and warned people to take caution as the country witnessed the highest number of new daily infections this year amid a poor response to the vaccination drive.
At least 3,495 people were infected with Covid-19 on Wednesday, the highest number this year, with 61 deaths, official statistics released on Thursday showed.
Pakistan last week announced the spread of the more contagious British strain had triggered a third wave of the pandemic, closed schools and reintroduced some restrictions in the densely populated cities.
“We now think the situation is heading to worse,” said Asad Umar, a federal minister who is leading the country’s response to the pandemic.
Officials have put many more virus hotspots in cities under a micro-lockdown with the movement of people restricted, Umar said.
The new surge was recorded amid a poor response by health workers and elderly people to an ongoing vaccination drive open for them.
Pakistan has received 1 million doses of vaccines from its neighbour and political ally China as a donation and was expecting more under an international cooperation plan.
But a survey conducted at the start of the year had revealed around half of the citizens were sceptical of the vaccines and would not go for a jab.
More than 600,000 infections have been reported in Pakistan in total so far, with deaths approaching 14,000.