KARACHI / ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan on Friday reported 70 more deaths caused by Covid-19, the Sindh government decided to keep educational institutes closed for another week in the province.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that schools, colleges and universities would remain closed for another week to enable the teaching and non-teaching staff to get themselves vaccinated.

Replying to a question at a press conference at CM House in Karachi, he said that the school would now reopen on Aug 30.

He told the parents that their children would have to show their (parents) vaccination cards for their entry into schools. “Therefore, it has become mandatory for the parents to get themselves vaccinated within a week,” he said.

Meanwhile with the country reporting 70 more fatalities, the Covid-19 death toll is nearing 25,000 mark while the number of recoveries has crossed 1 million mark.

Pakistan witnesses fall in number of Covid-19 cases

On the other hand, the Ministry of Planning and Special Initiatives has announced that it will soon launch a mobile application ‘Mycare+’ to protect emotional health of frontline responders as part of Covid-19 response in Pakistan.

On its official Twitter account, the ministry said: “As part of #MentalHealth for Psychosocial Support (#MHPSS) initiative, Ministry of Planning would soon launch a mobile application “MyCare+” which has been developed to protect the #EmotionalHealth of the frontline responders as part of the #COVID19 response in Pakistan.”

The ministry said that the App would help in accessing stress condition, monitoring and managing stress and seeking help from mental health professionals.

Meanwhile, the Covid-19 death toll has reached 24,783 in the country while total number of recoveries has reached 1,002,430, according to the government’s Covid-19 portal. The recovery rate stands at 89.8 per cent.

During the past 24 hours, 3,239 more people contracted the virus. According to the latest figures appearing on the National Coronavirus Dashboard of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the number of total positive cases reported across the country has risen to 17,115,272.

The NCOC figures show that Pakistan has conducted 17,115,272 coronavirus tests while during the last 24 hours, 51,982 tests were conducted and out of them 3,239 people were tested positive, taking the positivity rate to 6.82pc. The number of active cases is 89,673, which is the highest since May 2 when the country recorded 89,661 active cases.

The daily positivity rate, or rate of infected patients among those tested, is 6.23pc out of 51,982 tests as of August 20. The average number of new infections reported each day in Pakistan has risen by more than 940 over the last three weeks, 16pc of its previous peak, according to the officials.

Covid-19 infections are now decreasing in Pakistan, with 4,050 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 69pc of the peak — the highest daily average reported on June 17.

Pakistan has administered at least 44,736,977 doses of Covid-19 vaccines so far. During the last week, the country on average administered about 716,137 doses each day. At that rate, it will take 61 days to administer enough doses to another 10pc of the population, according to the officials.

According to the latest report of the NCOC, Punjab remains the worst-hit province in terms of deaths followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The overall tally of fatalities has been reported at 24,783 out of which 11,479 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Punjab, 6,556 in Sindh, 4,730 in KP, 842 in Islamabad, 672 in Azad Kashmir, 335 in Balochistan, and 169 in Gilgit Baltistan.

The tally of positive cases has jumped to 1,113,866 out of which 417,439 cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 377,208 in Punjab, 155,153 in KP, 95,491 in Islamabad, 31,755 in Balochistan, 30,314 in Azad Kashmir and 9,526 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2021

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