Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed fears over a second Covid-19 wave in the country in the coming months due to a resurgence of new cases in some parts of the country.
“I fear there might be another spike of coronavirus in cities where the rate of pollution increases in October and November,” Dawn news quoted the premier as saying on Monday at an event.
Fears of a second wave have surfaced after health officials warned of cases rising in Punjab province, especially Lahore, while there was also an increase in Karachi’s Covid-19 positivity rate.
Although measures taken by the government during the pandemic were acknowledged internationally, Khan said that there was still a need to observe precautions to combat an expected second wave.
“I fear that in these two months, October and November, cities like Faisalabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Gujranwala where there is more pollution, there might be a second spike in coronavirus cases.
“The cases are rising gradually and we hope that they don’t increase quickly; we are monitoring it,” he said, adding that “pollution becomes stagnant in the atmosphere”, leading to the spread of diseases.
Khan’s remarks come a week after Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar had announced that the country’s Covid-19 positivity rate was 2.37 per cent, the highest in over 50 days, due to a recent spike in the number of fresh cases, Dawn news reported.
According to Umar, the rate was “extremely high” in Muzaffarabad, “remained high” in Karachi, and is “rising” in Lahore and Islamabad.
Pakistan has so reported a total of 323,452 confirmed coronavirus cases and 6,659 deaths.