23 deaths in 24 hours in Pakistan

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ISLAMABAD: A record number of 23 deaths and staggering 627 cases of the novel coronavirus have been reported during the last 24 hours, taking the tally of confirmed cases to 7,010, with 134 deaths on Thursday.

Experts fear that the number of cases will further increase due to lockdown relaxation, especially during the month of Ramazan as Taraweeh, Aitkaf and roadside arrangements for Iftar and Sehri will become a breeding ground for the deadly virus.

An official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) said that for the first time 5,300 tests, as compared to normal practice of around 3,000, were conducted during the last 24 hours.

He revealed that half of the cases confirmed during this period were found among the people who had participated in the Tableeghi congregation at Raiwind.

However, Special Assis­tant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, said the number of cases should not be linked to the easing of lockdown. “Actually, there were a lot of people in quarantine and sometimes it happens when the testing is done in lots. A similar spike was observed on April 7 when around 700 cases were reported within 24 hours,” he added. “Second thing is that we have tested 5,300 persons, as compared to 3,000, in 24 hours due to which the number of cases also doubled.”

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