Coronavirus cases hit 253 in Sindh, 496 in Pakistan

18 more infections confirmed in Punjab, three in federal capital

By: News Desk      Published: 09:44 PM, 20 Mar, 2020
Coronavirus cases hit 253 in Sindh, 496 in Pakistan
A healthcare worker screens a woman in Pakistan.–File photo

With confirmation of coronavirus in another 15 people in the province, the number of patients in Sindh increased to 253 and nationwide 496 by 2:00 am Saturday.

In Punjab, confirmation of coronavirus in another 18 people on Friday evening took the tally to 96. Also, confirmation of virus in three more people in the federal capital took the tally from 7 to 10 on Friday evening. In Balochistan, the number of confirmed cases rose to 92 by 2:00 am Saturday. However, no new virus case was confirmed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (23 cases), Gilgit-Baltistan (21 cases) and Azad Kashmir (one case) on Friday.

Also, coronavirus caused the first death in Karachi on Friday, taking the tally to three across Pakistan so far, before the Sindh government announced a three-day lockdown in the province, telling people to live in isolation at their homes. Explaining the lockdown order, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said it wasn’t a lockdown; it was just an appeal to people to stay indoors voluntarily to stop the spread of the virus.

In a related development, the Sindh chief minister chaired a meeting of the provincial taskforce on Friday where civil and military officials were in attendance. They discussed measures to control the deteriorating situation in the wake of increasing viral infections in the province. At the meeting, the chief minister appealed to people of Sindh to stay indoors and go into isolation for the next three days to contain the spread of coronavirus. He said the government had not declared a lockdown in the province; he just advised people to take preventive measures. People were advised to be careful for the sake of their families and friends.

On the other hand, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has decided to convert the 250-bed Landhi Hospital and the airport hotel into quarantine centres keeping in view the possibility of an increase in patients in the coming days.