Due to a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases across the province, the Sindh government has once against warned the public to take precautionary measures against the disease and cooperate with the authorities. On Tuesday, 521 new cases were reported in the province, taking the positivity ratio of the virus to 6.6% within a day. According to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, the province’s virus death toll now stands at 2,639, translating into a 1.8% death rate. Reiterating the importance of following the coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs), Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab said that the authorities took some crucial decisions in March this year to contain the spread of the virus. “At that time, citizens fully cooperated with the government regarding the implementation of the SOPs,” Wahab said. “As a result, Sindh successfully controlled the pandemic, confining the number of cases to one percent.” Wahab added that the decline in the number of cases led to the widespread belief that the virus had disappeared from Pakistan, which is far from true. “Coronavirus is still present all over the country and is still attacking people. The worrisome part is that the virus is rapidly spreading in Sindh, increasing to 6.5% the past day.” He stressed people must wear masks and practice social distancing when leaving their houses. “With winter just around the corner, cough and cold is becoming more common, therefore, everyone should wear a mask at all times to cooperate with the government,” he appealed to the people of Sindh. Pakistan on Tuesday recorded a 4.94% COVID-19 positivity rate – the highest in three months. Data from the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) show that 1,313 new cases were identified across the country, bringing the total tally to 337,573. The country’s death toll stands at 6,867 as 18 people succumbed to the virus in the past 24 hours. The total active COVID-19 cases in Pakistan on Wednesday were recorded at 14,646. Of the 18 people who died, 16 were under treatment at hospitals, according to the latest update issued by the NCOC. On the other hand, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said on Wednesday the majority of the coronavirus cases in Punjab are being reported from Lahore. “Lahore has always been Punjab’s coronavirus hotspot ever since the pandemic hit Pakistan and even now, most [people] testing positive are from Lahore,” she said. Over 200 neighbourhoods in Lahore are under smart lockdowns. Dr Rashid said that the virus hot spots are continuously changing in Lahore. She added that a total of 1.6 million tests have been conducted so far. The federal government said it is closely monitoring Lahore “as every second case is being reported there”. Also, the government on Wednesday sealed the Parliament House after at least 30 employees tested positive for coronavirus last week. The building is expected to remain closed until November 9, while Capital Development Authority (CDA) has assumed responsibility for disinfecting the building. The Senate and National Assembly have also cancelled scheduled meetings and announced a new date. Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaisar and several other officials have self- isolated themselves due to possible exposure. Owing to the coronavirus emergency, the Senate and National Assembly also cancelled scheduled meetings and announced a new date. According to the reports, even after reopening the Parliament House complex, all staffers would not be allowed to resume work. Instead, only a select few will turn up for duty.