Accessibility links

Breaking News

Virus Violations Blamed For Pakistan Death Rise

A man wears a face mask on a road during a renewed lockdown after new cases of COVID-19 were reported, in Karachi, earlier this month.

ISLAMABAD -- A Cabinet minister says Pakistan has witnessed a 140 percent increase in fatalities from COVID-19 in recent weeks due to widespread violations of social-distancing rules.

Asad Umar, the planning and development minister who oversees Pakistan’s response to the coronavirus, warned on Twitter that “We will lose both lives and livelihoods” if people did not adhere to social-distancing rules.

His comments on October 20 came shortly after the military-backed Command and Operations Center reported 14 deaths and 625 new cases in the past 24 hours.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had warned on October 19 that Pakistan's big cities could face a second wave of COVID-19 in the coming weeks because of increasing pollution in winter. Pakistan has reported 324,084 cases, including 6,673 COVID-19 deaths.