ISLAMABAD: The COVID-19 situation in Pakistan's major cities, including national capital Islamabad and financial hub Karachi, was worsening, a senior official has said, as the authorities warned to shut down the services sector if people continued to flout the government guidelines.
Pakistan reported 736 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking the national tally to 325,480 on Thursday.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Faisal Sultan on Wednesday said that the situation was worsening in big cities like Karachi, Hyderabad, Multan, Islamabad, Muzaffarabad and Mirpur.
"If the masses continue to violate health protocols, we can face a similar situation as seen in June this year. It is our collective responsibility to avoid such a situation from arising," he said, adding that the next two weeks were crucial.
The pandemic in Pakistan peaked on June 14 when as many as 6,825 cases were reported.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the country's coronavirus control body, on Wednesday warned that if people continued to flout health guidelines, it would have no choice but to shut down the services sector again.
The NCOC said that the transport sector, markets, marriage halls, restaurants and public gatherings were high-risk areas for the spread of the virus.
It asked the people to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs), warning that "strict punitive actions on SOPs' violations will be initiated."
The Ministry of National Health Services said that 10 people died due to the coronavirus, taking the number of fatalities to 6,702.
Another 591 people were in critical condition, while 309,136 patients have recovered.
Sindh reported 142,641 cases, Punjab 102,107, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 38,810, Islamabad 18,438, Balochistan 15,738, Gilgit-Baltistan 4,107 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 3,639 cases.