Pakistan says coronavirus outbreak under control as cases rise to 1,526
Islamabad: Pakistan’s top health official claimed on Sunday that the situation was under control as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country was still limited to 1,526, even as authorities stepped up efforts to contain the fast spreading deadly viral infection.
Prime Minister’s Adviser on Health Dr Zafar Mirza told the media at the daily press briefing that due to the effective measures by the government, the virus outbreak was under control in Pakistan.
However, he said that 1,106 suspected cases were added during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of such cases to 13,324.
“Only 121 cases were tested positive during the last 24 hours, and now the total confirmed cases are 1,526, he said.
He said 558 cases were reported in Punjab, 481 in Sindh, 188 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 138 in Balochistan, 116 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), 43 in Islamabad and 2 in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
Mirza said that 857 out of 1,526 COVID-19 patients were the pilgrims who came from virus-hit Iran, while 191 patients came back from other countries and the rest were local transmissions.
He said that so far 13 people have died, 28 recovered and 11 were in critical conditions. Two more patients died in the last 24 hours, he added.
Mirza said that 8,066 people were living in quarantine centres and already 4,365 had undergone mandatory test. Out of them, 869 have been tested positive, he said.
He said that out of confirmed patients, only 756 were in hospitals and the rest of them were recuperating at home. He said that out of those hospital, overwhelming 745 were stable and recovering, while 11 were critical and some on them on ventilators.
As the confirmed cases remained low, experts fear that the actual infected number might be higher than those so far tested positive.
I think the actual number should be higher, said Dr Att ur Rehman, a renowned Pakistan scientist.
Earlier, Mirza said that there is not a single case [in Pakistan] with a travel history of China. This is remarkable if you think about it.
“This could happen only because of the coordination between Pakistan and China’s government and as a result of which it was decided not to let Chinese citizens travel before a 14-day period,” he said in a statement.
He said the decision to keep Pakistani students in Wuhan despite domestic pressure proved right.