Two new cases of novel coronavirus were confirmed in Balochistan on Saturday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in the province to 10 and Pakistan to 33, the provincial government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said.
Earlier in the day, three more cases of novel coronavirus surfaced in the country, including Islamabad’s first and second locally transmitted case in Karachi.
Karachi has been the worst affected city so far, with 17 of the total confirmed cases. Of the remaining, five cases have been reported in Gilgit-Baltistan and one case has been reported each in Hyderabad and Quetta. Seven other cases were reported at the Taftan border on Friday.
The first coronavirus case in Islamabad has been confirmed in a woman, according to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences spokesperson Dr Waseem Khawaja. The woman, who arrived in Islamabad from the United States, was brought to Pims two days ago. She is in critical condition and has been put on a ventilator, Khawaja said.
In Sindh, two new cases of novel coronavirus were diagnosed on Saturday, pushing the provincial tally to 17 and Pakistan’s to 33. One patient recently returned from Saudi Arabia while the other patient’s father has a travel history of Europe and transmitted the virus to his young child, Secretary Health Zahid Abbasi told Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah during the meeting of coronavirus task force.
The provincial health department has also taken the samples of second patient’s father. Both cases are from Karachi.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Saturday said novel coronavirus tests are being conducted free of cost. “Throughout the country, diagnostic tests of the coronavirus are being carried out free,” he said, pointing out that eight government laboratories had been provided coronavirus kits.
Dr Mirza said that the kits were provided to the labs free of cost and no fees were charged for conducting coronavirus tests. “Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that can produce its coronavirus kits,” he said. The prime minister’s special assistant said that 25 hospitals across the country had been designated to treat patients suffering from the virus.
His statement comes shortly after Pakistan reported two new cases of the infection, taking the tally of infected persons throughout the country to 30. A woman in Islamabad, who had recently arrived from the US, was diagnosed with the virus. The second case of the virus has emerged in Karachi, taking the tally of infected persons to 16 in the province.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency as the World Health Organisation named Europe the new epicenter of the coronavirus, with countries sealing borders, shutting schools and cancelling events in a frenzied attempt to slow the ballooning pandemic.
Wall Street stocks rallied on Friday as financial markets endured a roller coaster ride after a week of Continued on Page 3spectacular losses triggered by fears that the deadly outbreak will lead to a global recession.
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