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Coronavirus cases in Pakistan rise to 250

Posted in S. Asia

Published on March 22, 2020 with No Comments

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan have risen to  250 as fresh cases emerged in Sindh, Islamabad and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa provinces with majority of them linked to pilgrims coming from Iran. Four new cases emerged in Islamabad, nine new cases in Sindh while the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government reported three new cases.

The Sindh province is the worst-hit with 181 cases, followed by 26 in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa reported 19 cases, Islamabad eight, Gilgit-Baltistan three, the Express Tribune reported. The Balochistan government’s tally of total cases stands at 16 as opposed to federal government’s 15. Majority of Pakistan’s COVID-19 cases are linked to those who went on pilgrimage to Iran, one of the countries hardest-hit by the disease, while less than half a dozen are locally transmitted. Pakistan shares a 960-kilometre border with Iran, with the main crossing point at Taftan in Balochistan province. The Taftan border has been closed since March 16, but thousands of Pakistan Shi’ite pilgrims who were visiting religious sites in Iran have been allowed to return subject to two weeks’ quarantine. Authorities in Pakistan have screened over 1,015,900 travellers since the virus was first detected in the country. At least 20,088 travellers have been screened in the last 24 hours.

Sindh government has come out criticising Centre for lack of foresight in quarantine arrangements in Taftan where over 9,000 pilgrims returning from Iran had been quarantined by the Balochistan government in a ‘tent city’.

 

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