Pakistan passes 15K Covid deaths

 Pakistan on Wednesday passed the grim milestone of 15,000 Covid-19-related deaths as the country struggles to contain the spread of the virus amid a third wave of the pandemic.

The death toll now stands at 15,026, with 102 fatalities reported during the last 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry.

The total number of cases reached 700,188 with the addition of 4,004 new infections, reports dpa news agency.

Authorities have put virus hotspots under lockdown, arrested dozens of people for not wearing face masks, and sealed restaurants and shops for violating restrictions.

On Tuesday, authorities decided to keep most schools closed for another three weeks.

The decision was taken after the positivity rate of those tested for the coronavirus reached 10 per cent.

Earlier in February, Pakistan started vaccination using the Sinopharm vaccine, a gift from China.

A survey at the start of the year had revealed around half of the citizens were sceptical of the vaccines and would not go for a jab.

But thousands rushed to get inoculated after a private firm rolled out Russia’s Sputnik V on April 2.

The first shipment of 50,000 doses have already been booked and private medical facilities are waiting for next shipment.

On Monday, pandemic response authorities said a total of 936,383 doses of vaccine have been administered in the country so far.