ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has identified 20 major cities with potential COVID-19 hotspots which need restrictive measures for containment of the pandemic, Pakistan's National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) said on Monday.
The NCOC, nerve-center for the national decision-making in the fight against COVID-19, undertook a comprehensive review of potential COVID-19 clusters and hotspots across the country.
"A total of 20 cities across Pakistan have been identified as having likely increase in ratio or speed of infection which needs restrictive measures for containment of COVID-19. The same is being shared with provinces by the NCOC," the NCOC said in a statement.
The cities which have increased infection cases and have been identified by the NCOC for necessary restrictive measures, include Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Faisalabad and Multan, according to the statement.
The NCOC identified the cities through the "Test, Track and Quarantine Strategy" which is aimed at identifying disease spread, clusters or hotspots to enable targeted lockdowns and need-driven resource optimization at all levels, the statement said.
The strategy has been formulated to keep the spread of the disease in check while different sectors open up. The strategy involves ramping up testing, rapidly tracing the contacts of confirmed positive cases, and effective quarantining of positive and suspected cases, according to the statement.
In the capital Islamabad, several areas including parts of G-9 sector, where confirmed cases were reported have already been sealed by the authorities as part of the smart lockdown strategy.
Meanwhile, according to data updated by the country's health ministry Monday morning, a total of 5,248 new COVID-19 cases have surfaced in Pakistan over the last 24 hours, taking the total tally to 144,478. The death toll of COVID-19 has risen to 2,729.
Pakistan has 88,028 active cases, while 53,721 patients have recovered from the disease, which is 37.2 percent of the total confirmed cases. Pakistan has conducted 897,650 tests officially so far.