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Coronavirus

Pakistani PM Defends Policy as Infections Surge

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s prime minister is defending his policy of avoiding a complete lockdown that experts say caused a surge in COVID-19 infections and deaths across the country.

Imran Khan’s comments came hours after Pakistan for the second time recorded more than 100 COVID-19 deaths in a single day since May when his government eased lockdown.

On Thursday, Pakistan recorded 5,834 new confirmed cases, the highest single-day number of infections.

It increased overall cases to 119,536 and COVID-19 deaths climbed to 2,356 with 101 new fatalities in the previous 24 hours.

In a televised speech, Khan said Pakistan’s economy would have collapsed if he had not eased lockdown last month.

However, he urged people to adhere to social distancing regulations, warning that a further rise in coronavirus-related fatalities could be expected in coming days.

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