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‘Clear signs’ 4th Covid wave starting in Pakistan: Minister

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Islamabad [Pakistan], July 9 (ANI): The Pakistani government on Friday said there are “clear signs” that a fourth Covid-19 wave is starting in the country.

“Two weeks ago, I had tweeted that our artificial intelligence models are showing the possible emergence of a fourth wave. Now there are clear early signs of a fourth wave starting,” Pakistan’s federal Minister of Planning Asad Umar tweeted.

Despite a rise in cases, Umar has said the government will not impose a complete lockdown during the fourth wave of the pandemic.

Umar blamed poor compliance with coronavirus-related standard operating procedures (SOPs) and spread of virus variants, particularly Delta variant for the looming fourth wave, Dawn reported.

In another tweet, the minister said field reports were showing a complete disregard of the condition of vaccination for those attending indoor weddings, and going to indoor restaurants and gyms.

“If the owners of these facilities do not show responsibility and ensure compliance, there will be no choice but to shut them down,” he said.

Umar’s warning has come just a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed concerns in a video message over the looming fourth wave of Covid-19 and termed the Delta variant the “biggest concern”.

In his message to the nation, Khan had referred to Afghanistan, Indonesia and other countries hit by the Delta variant and expressed concern over the upward trajectory of Covid-19 cases in Pakistan, just days after they were on the decline.

On Friday, Pakistan reported over 1,000 Covid-19 cases for the third straight day. The country recorded 1,737 coronavirus cases and 27 deaths during the last 24 hours.

Pakistan has so far reported 9.69 lakh COVID-19 cases and 22,520 deaths due to the infection. (ANI)

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