Minister: Coronavirus Cases Are Rapidly Increasing in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s interior minister said Wednesday that coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing in the capital, Islamabad and elsewhere in the country.

The warning came hours after authorities said the COVID-19 positivity rate had jumped to 8.4% in about a week.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad asked people to strictly adhere to social distancing rules to avoid infection as health workers braced to handle the situation at hospitals in high-risk cities.

The third wave of virus infections in Pakistan intensified earlier this month after authorities opened schools for regular classes across the country. The country on Wednesday reported 2.351 new confirmed cases and 61 more deaths in 24 hours.

Pakistani authorities said another half-million COVID-19 vaccine doses donated by neighboring China have arrived in the country.

China gave another 500,000 doses to Islamabad in February.


NEW YORK (AP) — President Joe Biden promised to distribute hundreds of millions of free COVID-19 tests and to open more testing sites to fight surging infections, but the stepped-up efforts will not come in time for people who want to find out if they are infected before the holidays.

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