Islamabad, Mar 11 (PTI) Pakistan has registered 2,258 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the highest single day spike since January, taking the national COVID-19 tally to 597,497, according to official data on Thursday.
The rise in the number of cases came a day after the government decided to close down education institutions in several cities which are lately the worst-hit by the pandemic.
Last time Pakistan recorded over 2,000 cases in a day on January 29 when 2,179 infections were detected, according to the data of the ministry of National Health Services (NHS).
The ministry also reported that 53 people have died in the last 24 hours, taking the COVID-19 toll to 13,377. Some 1,688 patients are in critical condition.
Another 566,493 people have recovered so far. The number of active patients in the country is 17,627. However, the positivity rate went up 5.3 per cent, proving the concerns of the officials as right that another wave might by hitting the country.
Sensing the danger, the government announced to close down schools in several cities and delayed lifting of restrictions on some businesses, including marriage halls and allowing dining inside restaurants.
The government had earlier relaxed a number of restrictions on commercial activities and official work on February 24. Permission to hold indoor wedding ceremonies and opening of cinemas and shrines had also been granted with effect from March 15.
However, the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) had expressed concern over the government's decision and on March 4 warned that the coronavirus situation may worsen in the country as the vaccination campaign was moving at a slow pace.
As cases began rising drastically since then, the NCOC on Wednesday re-imposed a number of restrictions that had been in force in the country prior to February 24. PTI SH ZH ZH ZH ZH