Infections peak as coronavirus rears head again Government's 'undue' claim of victory against Covid-19 made people, authorities careless, says health expert
PESHAWAR: Pakistan on Friday recorded over 2,300 coronavirus cases for the first time since July 15, as health experts fear the recent spike in infections may hit another peak over the winter months. Another 37 people lost their lives to the virus, the highest single-day toll since July 30, official data showed. The country has recorded over 17,000 cases this month, following health experts' warning about a second wave of Covid-19 along with the looming flu season. Pakistan was one of the countries where coronavirus cases started to significantly drop in mid-July. The single-day tally that once hit nearly 7,000 plunged to only 264 on Aug. 30, prompting the government to completely ease the months-long lockdown. The daily death toll also fell to a single digit. Cases and fatalities have started to rise following the reopening of schools, cinemas, and other entertainment venues, in addition to the lifting of a ban on wedding halls in September. Authorities, in an attempt to contain the fresh wave of infections, reimposed “smart” lockdown restrictions, including closure of cinemas and theatres, and a ban on indoor weddings and public gatherings. The government is also considering announcing winter vacations in educational institutes before the schedule. Prime Minister Imran Khan, though, has rejected the possibility of retuning to a complete lockdown, insisting it would ruin Pakistan’s already tottering economy. Meanwhile, a defiant opposition alliance, which recently launched a movement to oust Imran Khan from office, has refused to postpone its planned rallies despite the government’s request. ‘2nd wave is here’ Dr Qaisar Sajjad, secretary general of the Pakistan Medical Association, said the second coronavirus wave is “very much here.” “Things are getting worse as the number of cases is rapidly increasing with every passing day,” he told Anadolu Agency. Warning that the country is likely to hit another virus peak, he said the month of November and the first two weeks of December are “crucial.” Sajjad said the government’s “too early” and “undue” claim of victory against Covid-19 made people careless and led to authorities’ failing to enforce safety rules, ultimately causing the nationwide resurgence. “The government completely ignored warnings from health professionals and declared victory against the disease. The virus did not go anywhere,” he said. - Anadolu Agency