Pakistan reopens economy despite surge in #Covid19 cases. PHOTO: REUTERS

100-day nightmare: Covid-19 in Pakistan

Niha Dagia
3 min readJun 5, 2020


Pakistan has seen an exponential growth in Covid-19 cases in the 100 days since the first case was confirmed.

Here are some key markers of the global pandemic causing havoc in the country as the federal government bets on herd immunity as survival strategy.


Initially, Pakistan’s testing capacity was restricted to less than 100 tests a day. The number gradually improved after Japan and China provided test kits to the cash-starved government.

The data for testing varied over time as the government mulled on adding test results by private labs. Eventually, the data provided by National Institute of Health included both private and government test results.

In 50 days since the emergence of the first confirmed case, a total of 78,979 individuals were tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus — a mere 0.04% of the over 220 million population.

In the next 50 days, over 530,000 Covid-19 tests were conducted across the country.

On the 100th day, Pakistan tested 0.28% of its population.


Pakistan reported its first on February 26. The 100th case was confirmed 20 days later. By March 24, the country saw a 900% increase with the tally soaring past 1,000.

The rising number of cases prompted provinces to seek military in aid of civil power and imposing lockdown. With partial lockdown in place, Pakistan reported 600 cases on average for almost two months.

By April 11, the tally had crossed 5,000 — it was doubled in another 10 days. On May 3, the country’s confirmed case tally reached 25,000.

On May 7, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced lifting of the lockdown to contain the economic impact. On Supreme Court’s May 18 directives, the provinces further eased restrictions to allow Ramazan and Eid celebrations.

In the 29 days since the federal government’s decision to lift lockdown in phases, an average of 2,200 new cases have been reported every day.

It took 81 days for the #Covid19 tally to reach 40,000 — the number doubled in just 17 days.

On the 100th day, Pakistan’s #Covid19 tally crossed 90,000.


Pakistan saw its first #Covid19 recovery 15 days after the first case was reported. In 36 days, at least 120 people had recovered. The number saw a 900% increase in another 10 days with over a thousand patients recovering from the deadly virus.

By May 14, at least 10,000 people had recovered. Pakistan has reported at least 1,000 recoveries on average every day in the last 20 days.


Twenty days after the virus outbreak was confirmed in the country, authorities recorded first two #Covid19 fatalities. The number crossed 50 on Day 41 (April 6). The death toll doubled in another eight days. By May 5 (Day 70), Pakistan had recorded over 5,00 deaths.

In the last 30 days, authorities have confirmed 44 deaths on average every day, pushing the total death toll past 1,800.



Niha Dagia

Multimedia Journalist covering politics, health and social issues for Foreign Policy, TRT, The Diplomat. Prior: Senior Editor @ The Express Tribune, Geo News