Pakistan reported less than 1,000 daily COVID-19 cases on Saturday for the second consecutive day, data from the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) showed. A day earlier, the country had recorded a daily case count under 1,000 for the first time in over three months (830 cases on July 6). At least 955 fresh coronavirus cases were detected on Saturday after 44,557 tests were taken, pushing the total confirmed case count since the pandemic began last year to 1,257,188. The deadly virus claimed the lives of 29 people, pushing the death tally to 28,087. The positivity rate currently stands at 2.14%. A day earlier, it dipped below 2% for the first time since June 29, which is more than three months ago. In addition to this, 1,222 patients have recovered from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours across the country, bringing the total number of recoveries to 1,185,749, while the number of active cases has further fallen to 43,352. COVID-19 infections are decreasing in Pakistan, with 1,385 new infections reported on average each day. That’s 24% of the peak – the highest daily average reported on June 17. Pakistan has administered at least 89,719,686 doses of COVID vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, that’s enough to have vaccinated about 20.7% of the country’s population. During the last week reported, Pakistan averaged about 978,412 doses administered each day. At that rate, it will take a further 45 days to administer enough doses for another 10% of the population. Meanwhile, Brazil became the world’s second country, behind only the United States, to exceed 600,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus, a tragic mark that experts called a “true catastrophe”. The country surpassed the number 110 days after 500,000 deaths in June, when it was just emerging from a virulent and deadly second wave of the pandemic and predicting an imminent third. According to health authorities’ data, the coronavirus killed 615 people in the last 24 hours, a total of 600,425 deaths from the pandemic. Since the beginning of the health emergency, on Feb. 26, 2020, the country has already accumulated 21.6 million cases, making it the third nation in the world with the most infections, behind the US and India. However, infections and deaths have been decreasing, although figures “remain at worrying levels,” experts said. That drop, they said, was driven above all by the advance of vaccinations, which began slowly and belatedly in mid-January but are currently at an accelerated rate. “If it weren’t for vaccination, we would have already beaten this sad mark of 600,000 deaths a long time ago,” Paulo Lotufo, epidemiologist and professor at the Medicine Faculty at Sao Paulo University, told EFE. According to official data, about 70 percent of the Brazilian population, about 213 million people, has already received the first shot against Covid-19, while 45.2 percent have the complete course. The daily death average from the disease in Brazil now revolves around 500, quite far from the daily average of 3,124 deaths last April – at the peak of the second wave – but which is still considered high. “We are still at a very bad level, there is still little to celebrate. We are not as bad as before, but we remain bad,” said Ethel Maciel, epidemiologist and researcher at the Federal University of the Holy Spirit. The doctor added that “the ideal” scenario is for the disease to become endemic and the country to register about “500 deaths a year, and not every day, as it happens now.” “And there is still a long way to go,” she said.