Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Saturday that the Covid-19 positivity rate had decreased due to compliance with SOPs during the Eid holidays.
In a video message, the minister said that the Pakistan Army, the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC), the police and other institutions had done a commendable job in this regard. He also recognised the efforts of the public.
"In comparison, the Indian variant of the virus has spread to the United Kingdom, and is infecting 0.4 million and claiming 4,000 lives [in India] on a daily basis. In such a situation, I applaud all the country's institutions for a job well done," he said.
Earlier today, Pakistan reported 1,531 new coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours. This is the first time the country has reported less than 2,000 infections since March 9, when 1,786 cases were reported.
According to the NCOC, 30,248 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours while 83 fatalities were reported. The total number of cases has risen to 874,751 and the death toll is 19,467.
The positivity rate is 5.06 per cent.
Breakdown of deaths and cases reported:
- Sindh: 714 cases, 13 deaths
- Punjab: 483 cases, 40 deaths
- Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 211 cases, 20 deaths
- Islamabad: 58 cases, 3 deaths
- Balochistan: 36 cases, 5 deaths
- AJK: 26 cases, 2 deaths
- GB: 3 cases
'Shehbaz's name not on ECL'
In the video message, the minister also said that the name of PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif had not yet been placed on the no-fly list.
"There has been a lot of noise in the media regarding Shehbaz. So far his name has not been placed on the exit control list (ECL) because the summary has not yet been received from the cabinet division," he said, adding that it could come either on Monday or Tuesday.
"This is a case where the names of 14 suspects are already on the list and five people from their family are absconders in the case," he said, adding that Shehbaz was the guarantor for his brother Nawaz Sharif, who is currently in the UK.
"He was not going to London directly [...] he was going to go and quarantine in Qatar for 15 days and then proceed to the UK." The minister added that Shehbaz's medical reports had also not been received.
"Once the cabinet summary is received, the law ministry and the interior ministry will move forward in accordance with the law. It is expected that the decision will come by Monday or Tuesday," he said.
Earlier this month, the Lahore High Court granted Shehbaz permission to travel abroad once for medical treatment.
After obtaining bail, Shehbaz was about to fly to London on May 8 when an FIA team at the airport stopped him from travelling on the grounds that his name had been on the list of persons barred from leaving the country.
On May 12, the interior minister announced that a sub-committee of the federal cabinet had recommended that the name of Shehbaz be placed on the ECL, adding that the recommendation was being sent to the cabinet for a final decision.