On anniversary of first confirmed case, Pakistan marks 12,772 COVID-19 deaths

08:32 AM | 26 Feb, 2021
On anniversary of first confirmed case, Pakistan marks 12,772 COVID-19 deaths
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ISLAMABAD – Pakistan marked one year since its first confirmed case of the coronavirus on Friday –the same day 22-year-old Yahya Jaffery arrived from Iran and ended up being the first carrier of the Covid-19 virus in the South Asian country.

According to data available on the National Command and Operation Centre's (NCOC) Covid-19 dashboard, the country recorded a total of 575,941 cases and 12,772 deaths since the onset of the pandemic.

Sindh topped the chart with the highest number of positive cases. A total of 257,089 people tested positive in the province, followed by Punjab with 169,474, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) with 71,490, and Balochistan with 19,010 cases. As the cases increased, the government imposed lockdowns and then successfully experimented with smarter restrictions in hotspot areas.

Over the past 24 hours, thirty-two more people died of COVID-19 and 1,541 new cases reported across the country. According to the latest statistics, there are now 22285 active cases in the country while 542,393 patients have so far recovered from this disease.

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After a yearlong struggle against the novel coronavirus, Pakistan received its first shot of vaccine on February 1, 2021. 

However, the country has yet to secure substantive volumes of vaccines from any company and this month launched a vaccination drive with 500,000 doses of Sinopharm’s vaccine donated by China. Those shots are first being given out to frontline health workers on a priority basis.

Last month, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said the federal government would not hold a monopoly on the import of vaccines. “The provinces and the private sector are free to import vaccines subject to approval of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap),” he had said.

The Drap has so far approved three vaccines for use in Pakistan — China’s Sinopharm, Russia’s Sputnik V and the Oxford University-AstraZeneca.

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