Confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 453

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ISLAMABAD: The nationwide tally of confirmed coronavirus cases rose to 453 on Thursday as both Sindh and Balochistan reported sharp spikes in total number of patients affected by the deadly virus.

Of 453 cases reported so far, 245 belong to Sindh, 81 have been confirmed in Balochistan, 78 in Punjab, 24 in AJK and GB, 23 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two in Islamabad.

At least 36 new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Balochistan on Thursday, taking the provincial total to 81. Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal said the actual number could be higher but that he can confirm a total of 81 cases at present. The samples of 353 patients were sent for lab tests and 81 of them came out positive, he said.

Another 28 coronavirus cases were confirmed in Karachi, taking the provincial tally to 245. Of the total numbers, at least 40 have been identified as ‘social contact’ cases. According to Sindh Health Department spokesperson Meeran Yousuf, the total number of cases in Karachi now stands at 93, while one case has been reported in Hyderabad.

Punjab government spokesperson Musarrat Cheema Thursday confirmed the fresh positive cases of the COVID-19 in a tweet. As of Thursday 14 people have been tested positive of the virus in Lahore, four in Gujrat and 60 Zaireen (DG Khan 55, Multan 5).

According to Gilgit Commissioner Usman Ahmad, eight more cases of coronavirus tested positive in Gilgit-Baltistan on Thursday, taking the toll to 21.

Five new COVID-19 cases were confirmed in Balochistan on Thursday, taking the provincial total to 81. The patients are being shifted into isolation rooms for treatment, Balochistan government spokesman Liaquat Ali Shahwani said.

Another Pakistani who has successfully undergone treatment was declared fit and healthy to walk free on Thursday. Reports said a patient who was admitted to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) after contracting the deadly coronavirus has successfully recovered. The patient’s tests taken at different junctures during the treatment came out as negative in the first test, second came out positive while third and fourth tests came out negative again. A total of four tests were conducted within a span of two weeks. The patient is a 61-year-old male who had recently travelled from Saudi Arabia to Iran-Iraq. He was admitted to the healthcare facility on February 25.

The Sindh police chief on Thursday warned of legal action against gatherings of four or more people, starting Friday (today), to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the province. In a message to the public, IG Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar said that clear instructions have been issued to police to ensure that four or more people don’t travel in vehicles or gather outside unnecessarily and without any convincing reason.

Legal proceedings will be initiated against people who fail to satisfy police on why they are travelling in a group.

The United States has 10,755 cases of people infected with the novel coronavirus while 154 people have died from the pathogen, AFP reported, citing data from a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University. This makes the US sixth on the overall list behind China, Italy, Iran, Spain and Germany, and ahead of France and South Korea. US health authorities have indicated they expect the number of cases to increase steeply in the coming days because of increased levels of testing after initial delays.

More African countries closed their borders Thursday as the coronavirus local spread threatened to turn the continent of 1.3 billion people into an alarming new front for the pandemic. “About 10 days ago, we had about five countries with the virus,” WHOs Africa chief Dr Matshidiso Moeti told reporters. “Now 34 of Africa’s 54 countries have cases, with the total close to 650. Its an extremely rapid evolution,” she said.

On the international front, Italy on Thursday overtook China’s coronavirus death total and braced for an extended lockdown that could see the economy suffer its biggest shock since World War II. The Mediterranean country’s toll reached 3,405 after it recorded 427 new deaths. China has officially reported 3,245 deaths since registering the first case at the end of last year. The number of new COVID-19 cases is yet to plateau despite the Italian government’s best efforts.

Italy ordered the army to move bodies from a northern town at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak where funeral services have been overwhelmed as the government prepared to prolong emergency lockdown measures across the country. An army spokesman confirmed on Thursday that 15 trucks and 50 soldiers had been deployed to move bodies to neighbouring provinces. Earlier local authorities in Bergamo had appealed for help with cremations after they had overwhelmed its crematorium.

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