The coronavirus pandemic has claimed another 16 lives in the past 24 hours in the country, surging the overall death toll to 12,617, said the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Monday. According to the latest data, 1,160 fresh infections were reported and the national tally of cases has reached 572,334. A total of 32,313 tests were conducted across the country during the aforementioned period, while 8,718,555 samples have been tested so far. In the past 24 hours, as many as 1,384 patients recovered from the virus, while 535,491 people have recovered from the deadly disease so far. The total count of active cases is 24,226, while 1,605 patients were stated to be in critical condition. Sindh reported 225 new coronavirus cases during the past 24 hours, taking the tally to 256,444. According to Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, only one more patient succumbed to the deadly virus overnight as the death toll reached 4,293. As many as 175 patients recovered overnight, taking the total to 239,286, he added. At least 474 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Punjab during the past 24 hours, taking the provincial tally to 167,819. According to the Punjab Primary and Secondary Health Care Department, at least four more patients succumbed to the pandemic as the total reached 5,208. The department added that at least 155,632 patients had recovered from the deadly virus as of yet. Meanwhile, Government Primary Chandia School in Thatta was closed for a week on Monday after nine students were diagnosed with coronavirus. The samples of the students and the teachers were taken last week, out of which nine students have been declared COVID-19 positive. The school has been closed for a week as a precautionary measure for disinfection, said the District Health Officer (DHO). On the other hand, the United States faces a dark milestone despite a recent decline in Covid-19 cases as it prepares to mark a staggering half million deaths this week, nearly a year after the novel coronavirus pandemic upended the country with duelling public health and economic crises. While the number of Covid-19 cases fell for the fifth straight week and officials scrambled to inoculate the population, the nation prepared to soon reach 500,000 deaths from the highly infectious respiratory disease.