Pakistan confirmed its first two cases of coronavirus on February 26. Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Health, tweeted: “I can confirm the first two cases of coronavirus in Pakistan. Both cases are being taken care of according to clinical standard protocols & both of them are stable.”
The first patient was a student at Karachi University, Karachi, Sindh Province, and the second patient was a citizen of the federal territory country. Both patients were recently returned from Iran.
A week after the first two cases, Pakistan confirmed three more cases, including the case in the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad and Rawalpindi in Punjab.
Corona Virus Cases In Pakistan
The number of coronavirus cases identified in Pakistan has increased to 892 after new cases were reported nationwide on March 24.
With a total of 399 cases, Sindh is still worst affected. According to the State Health Administration, part of the surge was due to the detection of Coronavirus Cases in pilgrims quarantined in Sukkur. In Karachi alone, the count was 123 (including one death and four recoveries) two days ago, of which 77 were said to be cases of “local transmission.”
In Punjab, there have been 249 coronavirus cases to date, according to Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar. On Monday, 24 new cases were reported, and the count increased from 225 to 249.
According to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department, the number of cases in the province has reached 38 after seven new cases were reported.
In Gilgit-Baltistan, the total number of patients has increased from 71 to 80, after nine new cases were reported.
According to the Prime Minister of Gilgit Baltistan, the appointment of the information secretary Fida Hussein will be made specifically, and he will be the only source of verified information on coronavirus patients.
In Balochistan, the number of Coronavirus-infected patients has reached 110 following the emergence of two more cases on March 23.
Right now there are 892 COVID-19 cases in the Country. There are 249 cases in Punjab, 399 in Sindh, 110 in Balochistan, 28 in KP, 80 in Gilgit Baltistan, 15 in Islamabad, and 1 in Azad Kashmir.
Corona Virus Deaths in Pakistan
Besides, the death toll of Coronavirus in Pakistan has reached six after three more deaths were reported across the Country on March 23.
Earlier on March 20, the Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho had confirmed the death of a 77-year-old coronavirus (COVID-19) patient in Sindh.
The minister informed that the patient was a survivor of cancer and had diabetes and high blood pressure when he became infected with the virus. She also said that patients had no travel or contact history, which means that they contracted the virus from the public.
Official resources informed that two coronavirus-positive KP patients had died. However, both had travel history in the countries of the epidemic. Sindh’s patient, who died on Friday, was the first to die of local infection with the virus.
Overall, 195 countries worldwide have been affected by the pandemic, killing more than 16,500 people and affecting more than 382,000 people, and are rapidly spreading to new areas. The epicentre of the outbreak is now shifting to Europe, especially Italy, where new cases and deaths are proliferating daily.
Government’s Response to Corona Virus
Security measures have been introduced by Pakistan Government, Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) screens all Chinese passengers at four major airports in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar, after confirmed reports of hundreds of cases in neighbouring China. Domestic traveller screening also began at Karachi Airport on March 21.
President Pakistan Mr Arif Alvi tweeted on March 13, he advised the public to avoid attending public meetings, shaking hands, hugging, and taking other precautionary measures if have flu or symptoms of Coronavirus infection. Also, Pakistan has suspended all international flights except Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore airports.
All international flights were suspended for two weeks. The Civil Aviation Authority stated, “[The] government of Pakistan has decided to suspend the operation of all international passenger, chartered and private flights to Pakistan, effective from March 21 till April 4”
Pakistan closed its borders with Afghan tourists at the Chaman border from March 2 to 21, and closed the Durand Line border for at least two weeks from March 16. The same period was applied to the Iranian border after it was reopened on March 7 from a previous closure. All land borders, including the China-Pakistan border, were closed from March 16.
At the National Security Council on March 13 with PM Imran Khan, it was decided that all schools and universities would be closed by April 5. However, faculty and staff will continue to operate normally. Lectures and classes will be conducted online at several institutes, Rifa International University, NUCES FAST University, and the Institute of Space Engineering.
Dr. Zafar Mirza Advises “Who should be tested for the virus?”
The Prime Minister’s aide has revealed that 14 laboratories across the country are testing for coronavirus. “Obtaining the coronavirus test kit was one of the first countries in the world, which helped us a lot,” he said.
He said people suffering from the common cold should not be tested on their own. “This test is not for clear the doubts of a corona virus,” he said. “If you test everyone who sneezes and coughs, the kits will be exhausted.”
“If you do not have a travel history or the person you came into contact with does not have a travel history, then please don’t go for testing,” he said. “These tests are not to clear doubts. They are for genuine cases only.”
Dr. Mirza said that those who recently came from abroad should be tested for viruses. He stated “if you have come back from abroad and suffering from fever, cough, or dyspnea, you need to be tested,” he said. Besides, he stated that anyone whose parent relative went abroad and showed symptoms of cough, fever, and dyspnea should be tested.