KARACHI:

The country’s coronavirus recovery rate on Sunday surpassed 91% with official data showing that 260,248 patients have recovered from the disease so far against the total number of 284,121 cases confirmed since the outbreak.

According to the government's Covid-19 portal, 634 more people recovered in the last 24 hours while 791 patients are in critical condition.

An official of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Covid-19 said 115,415 coronavirus patients had recovered in Sindh, 86,266 in Punjab, 31,612 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 12,914 in Islamabad, 10,326 in Balochistan, 1,902 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 1,883 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

He added 23,390 tests were conducted in the country in the last 24 hours.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said 303 coronavirus cases and 10 deaths were reported in the province during the past 24 hours.

He added that 8,288 tests were carried out. The provincial total has increased to 123,849 with the new cases and the death toll has hit 2,272. Currently, there are 5,836 patients under treatment in the province.

In Punjab, 137 new cases have been confirmed, taking the provincial tally to 94,360. Three more deaths from the disease were reported in the province, taking the total number to 2,169.

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government reported 57 new cases in the province, taking the tally to 34,692. A death was confirmed in Abbottabad taking the total to 1,231. The province also reported that 70 more patients had recovered, taking the total to 31,612. The active cases in the province stand at 1,849.

The federal government has decided to allow the reopening of restaurants, cinemas, beauty parlours, gyms and other businesses from Monday – almost five months after they were closed to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic -- in the wake of the decline in Covid-19 cases and fatalities.

Restrictions on the tourism sector, which includes hotels, have already been lifted on Saturday.

The ban on pillion riding and public transport has also been lifted.

Wedding halls and educational institutions will be allowed to operate from September 15.

The world is widely acknowledging Prime Minister Imran Khan’s smart lockdown strategy, mainly focusing balance between lives and livelihood, as the country has witnessed a steep decline in Covid-19 cases.

“The world has discovered the only solution [of coronavirus] a smart lockdown which allows for economic activity with standard operating procedure. We are amongst the pioneers of this approach,” the prime minister said in a message on Twitter last month.

In a study, the Imperial College of London has ranked Pakistan at fourth for coronavirus reproduction in the country based on July 20 data. Pakistan has achieved 0.73 rate, keeping in view the countries getting below 1 rating are considered the best for their anti-Covid efforts.

Interestingly, countries including Germany and Portugal which rank above Pakistan are also advocating the concept of smart lockdown to prevent a new surge in coronavirus infections.

The rationale behind the smart lockdown was to protect the country, particularly the daily wagers, from the worst economic scenario in a country where millions already live below poverty line. With the passage of time, not merely the countries but the international organisations, joined the prime minister's call for balancing between lives and livelihood to avert the massive layoffs and consequent deaths due to hunger.

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