LAHORE: Even though there was a slight drop in COVID-19 positive cases on Tuesday in Pakistan, the number of deaths from coronavirus-related casualties soared to 135 from 74 on Monday, according to the official data on coronavirus released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Government of Pakistan. The total number of people tested for coronavirus was 29,801, and of them, 2,566 tested positive. This put the positivity rate at 8.61 percent, which is deemed dangerous. On Monday, the positivity rate was 8.81 percent, while the number of people dying from the virus was 74. Viewing the persistence in the number of coronavirus positive cases, the Punjab government has also decided to boost the province’s vaccination process. Sindh has already expedited the process. In Punjab, Lahore and Faisalabad have exhausted their bed occupancy due to a surge in coronavirus critical patients. Punjab saw 44 Covid deaths and 1,700 new infections, with Lahore topping among 16 cities of the country with the largest number of critical patients, followed by Multan and Karachi. According to the data, 221 coronavirus critical patients struggled for life on ventilators in Lahore, 85 in Multan, and 55 in Karachi. Similarly, Lahore is also the second among these 16 cities of the country, where the largest number (329) patients of the virus were on high flow oxygen, followed by Faisalabad with 232 cases. The bed occupancy rate in intensive care units of public and private hospitals in Lahore was 64.4 percent, while in high dependency units 29.5 percent. The Punjab government reviewed the Covid situation after the lockdown, says a press release. Law Minister Basharat Raja, health minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid, the chief secretary, ACS (home), administrative secretaries of both the health departments and officers concerned attended the meeting. The law minister said the government took all possible steps to contain the spread of coronavirus and was fully aware of the financial loss to businessmen due to the lockdown. He said the business community should support the government efforts to curb the spread of the virus by taking precautionary measures in markets. Dr. Rashid said the measures taken during the lockdown were showing positive results. As per the NCOC instructions, she said, the process of vaccination in the province was in full swing. The capacity to administer vaccines daily was being gradually increased.