The coronavirus cases in Pakistan have surged to 543 as 267 patients have been tested positive for the epidemic in Sindh, 104 in Balochistan, 104 in Punjab, 27 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 30 in Gilgit-Baltistan, ten in Islamabad and one Azad Kashmir.
Pakistan has so far confirmed three fatalities from the pandemic, with latest casualty being a 77-year-old man in Karachi on Friday (yesterday). The first two deaths were reported in Mardan and Hangu of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The death in Karachi was verified by Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho. The victim had no travel history and was admitted to a private hospital on Thursday in critical condition.
Number of coronavirus cases in Sindh rose to 267. The Sindh government has advised people to stay at home for three days and has set up an isolation facility at Expo Centre Karachi. The facility can cater to 1,100 patients who test positive for COVID-19.
Balochistan chief secretary confirmed 11 new coronavirus patients in the province as the total cases have increased to 104.
Balochistan government has decided to impose partial lockdown across the province in a bid to minimize the spread of the deadly coronavirus. With most of the country’s cases originating from Pak-Iran border along Balochistan, the government has decided to limit public activity and movement to slow down the virus.
The notification says that in pursuance of decisions made in the first meeting of the core committee for COVID-19, the government has decided that all shopping malls and crowded markets shall remain closed. Inter-provincial transport and public transport buses will also remain closed, the notification read. These orders have been imposed for a period of three weeks.
Moreover, restaurants have been barred from letting customers dine-in and only take-away or home delivery services would be allowed.
Punjab has reported 104 COVID-19 patients. 71 are pilgrims who have returned from Iran. 15 sufferers belong to Lahore, three to Muzaffargarh, three to Gujrat, two to Multan, one each to Jhelum and Rawalpindi.
Ten affected patients are under treatment at Lahore’s Mayo Hospital. The individual who has been tested positive in Rawalpindi had returned from Dubai a few days ago.
Pilgrims Reach Multan
A convoy of pilgrims, comprising 33 buses and 1,270 passengers, has reached the quarantine center in Multan from Taftan. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Health Dr Munawar Abbas told that screening of all pilgrims is completed and no suspected case has been reported. An elderly woman, suffering from cholera, with cough and normal body temperature has been shifted to the Nishtar Hospital, he told.
No new coronavirus were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday. However, four persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 today, taking the tally to 27 in the province.
In a preventive measure to stop the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has decided to suspend operation of 24 more trains in the country.
In a video message on Twitter, Sheikh Rasheed said that up till now, a total of 34 trains have been suspended in a bid to limit the spread of the virus. He also said that out of 134 total trains, 100 are still operational and the decision has cut down the number of daily train passengers from 200,000 to 165,000.
He also highlighted that Pakistan Railways has refunded train tickets worth Rs80 million to affected passengers which could be used to travel through alternate trains.