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Imran Khan discusses situation with Cabinet as coronavirus tally surges to 32,081


Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called a meeting of the federal cabinet to review steps taken by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus, as the nationwide tally rose to 32,081 on Tuesday, with 1,140 new cases registered in the past 24 hours.

At least 39 new deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, raising the country’s death toll to 706, while a total of 8,555 patients have recovered so far, Express Tribune reported citing official figures.

As many as 11,869 cases were reported in Punjab, 12,017 in Sindh, 4,875 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 2,061 in Balochistan, 457 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 716 in Islamabad and 87 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), which decides for the COVID-19 situation in the country, is chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar.

The meeting will discuss the safety of healthcare workers, the opening of shops and markets with adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and timing, and the categorisation of labs in terms of performance, the prime minister’s office said.

The meeting will also discuss the impact of the virus on the economy, it added.

Khan’s government has extended the partial lockdown in the country till May 31 but opened a few businesses at the same time, including all retail shops, community markets and small shops excluding large shopping malls and all parks, trails, golf clubs, tennis courts and similar facilities with no public gathering.

People across Pakistan have started crowding markets after a nationwide coronavirus lockdown was eased on Saturday, despite doctors and medical practitioners warning the daily infection toll.

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