Pakistani doctors have warned the government of the possibly catastrophic consequences of easing a countrywide lockdown, asking that restrictions be enforced for several more weeks to avoid a collapse of the country's healthcare system.
The appeal comes as Pakistan registered its highest single-day rise in cases for the second time in three days, with 765 new cases taking the country's tally to 10,513. The pace of the spread of the virus has increased in the last five days, with more than 500 new cases registered each day, according to government data.
Addressing a press conference in the southern city of Karachi, senior doctors called for a continuing ban on all public gatherings, including those at shopping malls and at mosques.
In a letter addressed to the government, a number of prominent epidemiologists and other doctors made special mention of the government's decision to reopen mosques this week, saying those gatherings could prove a significant vector for the spread of the virus.