Pakistan’s coronavirus tally surged to 435,056 as 2,729 people tested positive for the virus in the past 24 hours. According to data issued by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), a total of 71 Covid-19 deaths were reported across the country in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 8,724. The national positivity rate stands at 6.58% on Saturday. The highest coronavirus prevalence has been observed in Karachi at a Covid-19 positivity rate of 20.88%, followed by Peshawar at 15.05% and Muzaffarabad at 11.20%. With 1,489 people testing positive for COVID-19, Sindh continues to report the highest positivity rate of 12.91%. Punjab reported 629 new infections with a positivity rate of 3.87%, while Balochistan’s rate stands at 10.48% with 46 new cases. At least 42 people tested positive for the virus in AJK as the region’s positivity rate remains above 8%. With 252 new infections, KP’s positivity rate stands at 4.12% and GB’s at 1.23%. The country has one of the highest recovery rates in the world with over 87% of the coronavirus patients surviving the virus. The highest recovery rate has been observed in Balochistan as 96% of the coronavirus patients have beaten the virus, followed by GB at 95.15% and Punjab 91.06%. KP has reported a recovery rate of 88% and Sindh at 86% while Islamabad and AJK recorded 79.8% and 79.2% respectively. The highest fatality rates of 2.8% and 2.6% have been observed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab respectively. The two provinces are closely followed by Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) with a fatality rate of 2.4% while Gilgit Baltistan reported 2.0% and Sindh 1.6%. Balochistan has the lowest fatality rate of 0.98$. With 32 people dying of the novel coronavirus, Punjab recorded the most deaths across the country in the past 24 hours. Sindh reported 22, KP and Islamabad recorded five and two died in AJK. Since the beginning of December, Pakistan is losing about 57 lives on average per day as 634 people have died of COVID-19 in the past 11 days. During the early months of the pandemic, the country was reporting as many as 139 deaths every day with a mortality rate of over 2.14%. The current rate stands at 2.0%. The Punjab health secretary announced the imposition of smart lockdown in 13 more areas of the provincial capital Lahore in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic during its second wave on Saturday. The provincial government approved the imposition of smart lockdown in the 13 more areas becoming hotspots of the virus. Shopping malls, restaurants and offices in those areas declared under lockdown will be closed, whereas movement of local residents will also be restricted by the authorities, said secretary health. The secretary added that the local authorities will allow only one person and a vehicle to move at a time, whereas, a complete ban will be observed on all gatherings and events. Medical services will remain open for 24 hours a day while grocery, meat shops, bakeries, flour mills, tandoor and petrol pumps will be permitted to continue businesses from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Earlier on December 8, as many as 55 areas of Lahore had been placed under smart lockdown owing to the rising COVID-19 cases in the provincial capital of the Punjab province. Meanwhile, Sindh’s Minister for Health Azra Fazal Pechuho has said that the present wave of the novel coronavirus could become four times bigger than the first wave of pandemic. Pechuho said that Covid-19 cases spread in thousands adding that daily 16,000 to 18,000 diagnostic tests are being conducted in the province. Existing winter waves of the disease could become manifold bigger than the spike in summer, the minister warned. Overall 237 ventilators are available in Karachi hospitals for coronavirus patients, while the number of high dependency Unit (HDU) beds has been 828, health minister further said. Moreover, 1536 beds are available at isolation wards, Pechuho stated.