ISLAMABAD: About 79 per cent of the total coronavirus cases in Pakistan are now locally transmitted, health authorities said on Friday as the number of people affected by the deadly virus rose to over 11,000.

According to the Ministry of National Health Services, 13 more patients died due to the novel coronavirus, taking the toll to 237 and another 2,527 recovered.

In the last 24 hours, 642 new cases were reported, taking the tally to 11,155 in the country, health officials said on Friday.

Punjab reported 4,767 patients, Sindh 3,671, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 1,541, Balochistan 607, Gilgit-Baltistan 300, Islamabad 214 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 55 patients.

So far, 13,365 tests have been done in the country, including 6,839, during the last 24 hours.

The confirmed cases are steadily increasing and the officials have warned that the peak would reach by the end of May or beginning of June.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Friday said that 79 per cent of these cases have been caused by local transmission of the novel coronavirus. The government has decided to introduce a track and trace system under which random testing of people will start in a few days.

The whole situation has changed due to local transmission, it had been decided to change the policy to tackle the issue, Executive Director of the National Institute of Health Professor Aamer Ikram was quoted as saying by the Dawn.

“Earlier most of the cases were being reported in those people who were coming from abroad and even cases of local transmission were being reported among those who had come into contact with foreign travellers. However now a majority of cases are being attributed to local transmission of the virus,” he said.

Meanwhile, authorities also urged people to offer prayers at home on Friday when big congregations are held in mosques.

Pakistan has allowed conditional congregational prayers in mosques during Ramzan, endangering the drive to curb the spread of coronavirus.

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