Coronavirus Cases Skyrocket In Pakistan

The country had refused to go into a complete lockdown over fears of an economic collapse.

Coronavirus Cases Skyrocket In Pakistan
B.K. Bangash / AP

Coronavirus cases in Pakistan have soared 257% in the last month as the country has begun reopening its economy.

Deaths from the virus have surpassed 3,500 in the country so far. New cases have jumped from an average of 2,000-3,000 a day at the end of May to nearly 7,000 a day in mid-June. The Pakistani government says the number of coronavirus cases could reach 1.2 million by mid-August. The country has a population of around 200 million.

The World Health Organization had warned Pakistan that it was among the top 10 countries reporting new cases and urged the government to enforce a stronger lockdown.

But Prime Minister Imran Khan says the decision to not completely lock down the country has saved it from economic collapse — Pakistan has already faced a slow economic growth over the last two years. Instead Khan warned his people to wear masks and take the virus seriously.

But as the Associated Press reports, misinformation about the coronavirus has spread and millions of people have crowded markets and mosques without wearing masks or following social distancing guidelines.