Govt suspends all international flights as nationwide coronavirus tally crosses 600

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Shafaqna Pakistan:The novel coronavirus – which originated in the central China city of Wuhan towards the end of December 2019 – has spread to all continents excluding Antarctica.

The COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the mysterious contagion has so far killed thousands of people and sickened tens of thousands of others across the globe.

Though the deadly infestation has been contained by the Chinese government in Wuhan, the virus has now spread elsewhere, especially in Europe and the United States, with the World Health Organisation declaring Europe as the new epicentre of the viral disease.

Pakistan, despite its close proximity with China, remained unscathed by the virus until February 26 when a young man from Karachi tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The man, in his twenties, had returned from Iran, which is also one of the worst-hit countries.

After a brief pause following the first case, COVID-19 cases witnessed a sharp surge as more pilgrims returning from Iran tested positive despite the fact that they were quarantined for 14 days at the Pak-Iran border crossing of Taftan in Balochistan.

Pakistan confirmed the third casualty from the virus on Friday, two days after two men – both pilgrims returning from Iran and Saudi Arabia – died of the coronavirus in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The third casualty – a septuagenarian cancer survivor – was confirmed in Karachi.

The nationwide tally of COVID-19 patients has crossed 600 with 357 cases in Sindh; 104 in Balochistan; 96 in Punjab; 23 in K-P; 25 in Gilgit-Baltistan; five in Islamabad; and one in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Since the situation remains fluid, the stats are changing fast and we’re updating them accordingly.