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Pakistan Seals Off Hot Spots Amid Virus Surge


A boy sells protective face masks on a road in Karachi on June 12.

Pakistani authorities have identified and sealed off nearly 1,300 hot spots to contain the rising trajectory of new coronavirus infections.

The sealing of high-risk areas comes as Pakistan reported 6,472 news cases on June 13, the country's highest single-day total. Pakistan has confirmed a total of 132,405 cases, including 2,551 deaths.

Pakistan put its entire population of 220 million under lockdown in March. The government has since eased restrictions, saying it was necessary to save the country’s economy, but it has caused a surge in infections.

Prime minister Imran Khan has resisted demands from experts to reinforce the lockdown.

Authorities, however, are now using the term “smart lockdown” to close shops and markets and force people to stay home in areas where confirmed cases have increased in recent weeks. Some residential areas were also sealed in the capital, Islamabad, to contain the spread of the virus.

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