Punjab reports first patient, as Sindh tally climbs to 76, with two people having recovered
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan climbed to 95 over the weekend, as Punjab reported its first patient and Sindh’s provincial tally reached 76 on Monday morning.
“There are now 52 confirmed cases, of which effective contact tracing is being carried out. We’ve increased our diagnostic capacity, and are now able to carry out coronavirus test in 13 labs across the country,” Special Assistant to the P.M. on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza posted on Twitter on Sunday night. The National Institute of Health’s sporadically updated COVID-19 dashboard verified this claim, but did not include in its tally a confirmed case reported from Punjab, or a 35th case from Sindh, which had lifted the overall tally to 54 by Sunday night.
“The total number of patients in Sindh has now reached 35 out of which 2 have recovered,” Senator Murtaza Wahab, Sindh lawmaker and adviser to the chief minister, posted on Twitter on Sunday night, confirming the total patients in the province. He said the latest case originally belonged to Balochistan but had been tested for COVID-19 after he reached Karachi on Saturday night.
On Monday morning, Senator Wahab updated the tally. “More results have come in. So far 50 people who had arrived in Sukkur from Taftan have tested positive, 25 at Karachi and 1 at Hyderabad. So the total patients have reached 76 in Sindh. Out of these 76 patients, 2 have recovered and the remaining 74 are being kept in isolation,” he posted on Twitter.
• Sindh – 76
• Punjab – 1
• Balochistan – 5
• Gilgit-Baltistan – 5
• Islamabad – 2
• Taftan – 6
• Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa – 0
Meanwhile, Punjab province confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus—not included in the NIH’s most recently updated data—with provincial spokesman Musarrat Cheema saying the patient was a 54-year-old who had returned from the U.K. on March 10 and had tested positive at Lahore’s Mayo Hospital. “All of his close contacts are tested negative but they will be kept in isolation for 15 days as per SOPs,” she added on Twitter.
Of the remaining cases, six were reported from mobile quarantine labs in Taftan, Balochistan, where pilgrims returning from Iran had been kept under quarantine; five were from Gilgit-Baltistan; five were from Balochistan; and two were from Islamabad.
The overall tally for the cases in Pakistan comes to 95 with two having recovered.
Globally, over 5,000 people have died and more than 140,000 infected by COVID-19, with the disease spreading into new territories. The World Health Organization has declared Europe the new epicenter of the infection, with Italy and Spain in particular reporting a dramatic rise in cases.
Pakistan on Friday implemented a series of measures designed to halt the spread of coronavirus, including banning large public gatherings, closing schools and shutting down the country’s borders with Iran and Afghanistan. Provincial governments have also imposed restrictions on public gatherings, including bans on weddings, closure of shrines, and calls for better hygiene practices.