By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD (AA) - Pakistan reported over 3,000 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, the highest single-day total in the past four months, as the fifth wave of the coronavirus intensified, according to official data.
The country registered 3,019 infections in the past 24 hours, bringing the caseload to 1.13 million, Health Ministry data showed. Five fatalities were also reported, taking the death toll to 28,992.
On Sept. 11 last year, Pakistan registered 3,153 cases, which gradually decreased to 291 on Dec. 29.
However, infections again spiked since earlier this month after the country reported cases of the new omicron variant in some cities.
Asad Umar, the minister who is heading Pakistan's COVID-19 response, warned earlier this month that authorities have “clear evidence” of a new virus wave.
He said a surge “has been expected for the last few weeks” and that genome sequencing shows a “rising proportion of omicron cases,” particularly in Karachi, the country's largest city and a commercial hub of nearly 17 million people.
Pakistan, a country of over 227 million people, has administered the first dose of a COVID-19 jab to over 100 million to date, while over 75.68 million people have been fully vaccinated, according to official data.
"Achieved another major milestone in the vaccination campaign yesterday, crossing 100 million people who have received at least one dose...Work not complete yet. Need to keep the momentum going," Umar tweeted Tuesday.