Authorities report nine deaths as the number of patients continues to climb nationwide
Pakistan on Friday reported that the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country had reached 1,235—as a ninth person died of the deadly disease in Lahore.
On Thursday, the Punjab Health Department announced that a third person from the province had died of the disease while receiving treatment in Lahore. The death came less than 24 hours after a woman in Rawalpindi had become the eighth casualty of the virus.
Confirmed Cases, Total – 1,235
Punjab – 408
Sindh – 429
Balochistan – 131
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa – 147
Islamabad – 27
Gilgit-Baltistan – 91
Pakistan-administered Kashmir – 2
Deaths – 9
Recoveries – 23
A spokesperson for the Sindh Health Department has said that the provincial authorities have expanded their testing capacity to 1,200/day and have thus far conducted 4,512 tests. The provincial government hopes to increase this further to 3,600 tests per day in order to aggressively root out clusters of the virus and prevent its spread.
Also on Thursday, Sindh announced that 102 of the 153 cases reported from provincial capital Karachi were of local transmission, underscoring the need for greater testing as the disease has now starting spreading via communities.
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, meanwhile, revealed the breakdown of cases in the province, with the majority occurring among pilgrims returning from Iran who were released from quarantine at Taftan. The second highest incidence, however, was provincial capital Lahore, with 103 of the 408 cases confirmed thus far.
As the number of infections continues to rise, authorities have urged residents to avoid going outside, exercise great caution, wash their hands thoroughly and regularly, and follow all guidelines issued by the government.
Most parts of Pakistan continue to be under lockdown despite reservations by Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Sindh government has implemented the most rigid restrictions, barring all nonessential movement. Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have all followed, however, closing public and private offices and banning all public and private gatherings to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Globally, the virus has now infected more than 531,000 people, with 24,073 reported deaths. Per some reports, nearly a third of the global population is now living under coronavirus-related movement restrictions. The U.S., on Thursday, emerged as the country with the most cases in the world, overtaking China, where the disease originated late last year.