With 90 new coronavirus cases confirmed in the last 24 hours, the number of COVID-19 patients in Pakistan reached 184, officials said today. According to the health ministry, the new cases were reported in the northeastern Punjab, southern Sindh and northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces.
“[The] total number of ppl affected by corona virus in Sindh has reached 146. Out of this, 119 are Zaireen [pilgrims] who are being kept in Sukkur, 26 are in Khi [Karachi] & 1 is in Hyd [Hyderabad],” Murtaza Wahab, a provincial government spokesman in Sindh, said in a tweet.
This increase is largely due to the recent inflow of people from Taaftaan after a purported quarantine.
Taaftaan, a border town in southwestern Balochistan province, is where Pakistan quarantined hundreds who returned from Iran.
According to health officials most of the new patients had recently returned from neighboring Iran, which has the highest number of cases and deaths after China and Italy.
“[Fifteen] of 19 individuals received in KP from Taftan have tested positive for Corona Virus,” said KP’s provincial health minister Taimur Khan Jhagra.
Islamabad closed its borders with Iran and Afghanistan for two weeks Monday in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. All education institutions across the country have been closed for three weeks.
Several hostels across the country have been designated to be quarantined because of suspected COVID-19 patients.
The government has also closed the Kartarpur Corridor in Punjab to Pakistani visitors, but the restriction does not apply to Indian Sikh pilgrims.
Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, located in Punjab’s Narowal district, is one of the most revered sites for the Sikh community as the faith’s founder Baba Guru Nanak spent 18 years of his life there.
The virus emerged in Wuhan, China last December, and has spread to at least 146 countries and territories. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a pandemic.
Out of 173,000 confirmed cases, the death toll now exceeds 6,600, while more than 77,500 patients have recovered, according to Worldometer, a website that compiles new case numbers.