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Pakistan's coronavirus cases reach 179, with 146 patients reported in Sindh

The majority of cases are being reported from pilgrims who have recently returned from Iran

By Web Desk
March 16, 2020
Photo: File

Pakistan on Monday reported 179 coronavirus cases after a sharp increase was reported among pilgrims who had recently returned to the country from Iran via the Taftan border and were quarantined in Sukkur.

The total number of confirmed cases in Sindh surged from 103 to 146 after 43 new cases were reported in Sukkur, Sindh chief minister's adviser Murtaza Wahab confirmed.

"Total number of ppl affected by coronavirus in Sindh has reached 146. Out of this, 119 are Zaireen who are being kept in Sukkur, 26 are in Khi & 1 is in Hyd," he said. 

"This exponential increase is largely due to the recent inflow of ppl brought in from Taaftaan after a purported quarantine," he added.

Earlier in the day, the Sindh health department had said that a total of 76 people from Taftan have tested positive for the virus in Sukkur, where they have been quarantined, while there are 27 cases in Karachi and one in Hyderabad.

Fifteen new cases have also been reported by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, all of whom were pilgrims who had returned to Pakistan via Taftan.

Ten cases have been reported by Balochistan, four by Islamabad, three by Gilgit Baltistan and one by Punjab.

The national tally, subsequently, has risen to 137.

Sindh sees sharp increase

Earlier, 41 cases were confirmed by Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab in a tweet.

“More results have come in. So far 50 people who had arrived in Sukkur from Taftaan have tested positive, 25 at Karachi and 1 at Hyderabad. So the total patients have reached 76 in Sindh. Out of these 76 patients, 2 have recovered and the remaining 74 are being kept in isolation,” he said.

Talking to Geo News, Barrister Murtaza Wahab said since day one, the Sindh government is emphasising on strict screening measures at the Taftan border and airports but the federal authorities did not pay any heed.

Wahab said Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah would again sensitise the Centre in a meeting today with Prime Minister Imran Khan to step up their efforts.

Globally, more than 6,000 people have died and more than 156,000 have been infected by COVID-19 as the disease spreads rapidly to new territories.