LAHORE: The chief minister has warned of stricter measures on Sunday as the coronavirus claimed the lives of eight more critical patients, while 369 more people were found positive for it in Punjab during the last 24 hours.

It is the highest number of the new confirmed cases of the virus surfacing in a day during the last four months or so, showing the second wave of the covid-19 is intensifying with every passing day.

According to the official update released by the primary & secondary healthcare department, the total number of the positive cases in Punjab has reached 106,577, while 2,407 people have so far died of Covid-19 in the province.

A spokesperson for the health department said that of the new cases, 154 were reported in Lahore, 54 in Multan, 42 in Bahawalpur, and 24 in Rawalpindi. Others were reported in Attock, DG Khan, Layya, Multan, Gujrat, Sargodha, Sheikhupura, Pakpattan, Mianwali, Muzaffargarh, Faisalabad, Jhang, Lodhran, Nankana, Rahim Yar Khan, Toba Tek Singh, etc.

He said most of the deaths were also reported in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Multan.

The department conducted a total 10,802 tests during the last 24 hours to diagnose the disease, the spokesperson said, adding that one of the main reasons for rapid transmission of the virus was violation of Covid guidelines at public places, government offices and education institutions.

Meanwhile, in a handout, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar expressed his concern at people not taking the second wave of coronavirus seriously, stressing the need for taking precautionary measures.

He regretted that the disease bulge as well as its death toll was increasing gradually amidst violations of SOPs, saying the government would now be compelled to take “stricter decisions” if the situation persisted.

The chief minister said the Punjab government had conducted 1.671 million corona tests since the pandemic hit the province, identifying some 1.066 million patients, out of whom 97,614 had so far recovered.

Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2020