Pakistan has seen spike in number of coronavirus cases during the last two days as five more people were infected bringing the total tally jumped from 34 on Saturday to 52 on Sunday. About 13 people from Sukkur in Sindh province have tested positive for the novel coronavirus after returning from Iran, spokesperson for the Sindh government Barrister Murtaza Wahab said. “These people were purportedly kept in quarantine at the border,” he tweeted.
This is the highest number of cases reported in Pakistan in one day. Total tally in country has now gone up to 52, out of which 34 are from Sindh. Meanwhile, first case of coronavirus was also reported in Lahore. Lahore Health Secretary Captain (retired) Mohammad Usman has confirmed the first case of coronavirus.
Early Sunday, the Pakistan reported five other new cases bringing the total number of cases reported in one day to 18. Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) confirmed one case in Islamabad while the Sindh Health Department reported four more cases in Karachi. At least five cases were also reported on Saturday across the country.
The latest patient reported in Islamabad is the husband of an infected woman who recently traveled to Pakistan from the United States and tested positive on Saturday. She is also in critical condition, receiving treatment at the isolation ward in the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).
According to reports, one out of the four cases reported n Sunday is locally transmitted while the remaining three returned from Saudi Arabia a few days ago. Sindh province has been the worst hit with 21 out of total 38 cases until Sunday afternoon. At least two patients have been discharged from the hospital after full recovery.
Out of the five cases reported on Saturday, two are in Balochistan, two in Sindh and one in Islamabad.
As of mid-March, the contagion respiratory illness has infected more than 156,00 people globally while more than 5,800 have been killed.
As the coronavirus cases continue to increase across the country, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has decided to supervise the campaign personally and chaired the National Security Committee (NSC) to contain the outbreak.
The meeting was attended by Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed provincial chief ministers, top advisers and cabinet members.
During the meeting, it was decided to close borders with Iran and Afghanistan. The committee decided to shut international flight operations on all airports except Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad which are equipped with scanners to detect coronavirus suspects
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has been tasked to coordinate with provincial governments and lead the fight against to contain the virus.
All educational institutions have been closed across the country until April 5.
The Punjab government has taken a step further on Sunday and decided to impose Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, banning public gatherings in wake of a surge in novel coronavirus cases across the country.
Banned by law
Under Section 144, the provincial government banned public gatherings by law including weddings, religious congregations, festivals, and sports festivals. The government has also shut down all educational institutions including Madaris and postponed examinations. It also prohibited hoarding and profiteering of hand sanitizers.
The Sindh government has banned public gatherings, shut down educational institutions, postponed religious celebrations and closed shrines, marriage halls, cinemas, gyms, social clubs etc.
Army spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar also confirmed that the annual National Day military parade scheduled for March 23, where thousands of guests are invited, has also been cancelled.