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March 25, 2020

78% confirmed cases have travel history of Iran: Dr Zafar

Top Story

March 25, 2020

Islamabad: Seventy-eight percent of the 892 officially confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease (COVD-19) in Pakistan have a history of travel to Iran, the PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza stated in a televised media briefing on Tuesday. Gender-disaggregated data indicates that 63% of the confirmed patients in the country are men and 33% are women. The SAPM said, there has been a marked increase in confirmed cases, with 89 new cases adding to the national count during the last 24 hours. As many as 635 confirmed patients are currently hospitalized, he maintained. Of these, 5 are stated to be in a critical condition, while 6 have achieved complete recovery. The SAPM confirmed 6 deaths; however, with Punjab reporting another death later in day, the number has risen to 7.

Of the 892 confirmed cases, Sindh remains worst affected with 399 cases, followed by Punjab (249), Balochistan (110), Gilgit-Baltistan (80), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (38), Islamabad (15), and AJK (1).

A sharp increase is also evident in the number of suspected cases, with 1,262 suspected patients being reported in the last 24 hours. The total number of suspected cases across the country now stands at 7,736.

Globally, 195 countries are now fighting COVID-19 with 382,000 confirmed cases. As many as 100,000 people have recovered from the illness.

Urging the public to act responsibly by practicing social distancing, Dr. Zafar said, the federal and provincial governments, assisted by the Pakistan Army, are taking strict measures to restrict unnecessary movement of people in the hope of interrupting further spread of the disease and achieving a progressive decline in cases. He said, new strategies are being employed as the situation evolves. He repeated that there is no complete lockdown in Islamabad and that all essential necessities including medicines, groceries, and food items are freely available.

Dr. Zafar said, NDMA is the lead operational agency in the Covid-19 emergency and is also responsible for procurements while the Ministry of Health ascertains requirements for equipment and allied paraphernalia. He thanked all Pakistanis at home and abroad for offering donations such as masks, gowns, goggles, medicines, and equipment. “Anyone wanting to donate to help the government with the response, please contact Maj. Sajjad Kiani +92 334 5888555 or +92 343 2851914 or +92 51 9201056).” He said, the focal person at NDMA will receive all donations, which will be distributed where needed.

Dr. Zafar said, in addition a capacity building training for health professionals engaged in the management of Coronavirus patients, a national voluntary program will also be launched soon. “The government is employing all its energies and resources to mount a coordinated response for control of this epidemic,” he concluded.