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Pakistan deploys army to assist in COVID-19 measures

Country to remain under lockdown, people allowed to step out for food, health check ups

Islamuddin Sajid   | 23.03.2020
Pakistan deploys army to assist in COVID-19 measures

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan

Pakistan on Monday okayed the deployment of army troops nationwide to reinforce measures against coronavirus. 

According to a notification by the Interior Ministry, the troops will work with provincial governments to ensure a lockdown in the country as the tally of confirmed coronavirus cases reaches 873, with six deaths reported.

During the lockdown, citizens will be allowed to step out of their homes for buying grocery and hospital visits.

The Pakistan-administered Jammu and Kashmir, also known as Azad Kashmir, will also be under lockdown until April 13.

The virus first emerged in Wuhan, China last December and has spread to at least 167 countries and territories.

The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak a pandemic.

The global death toll from the virus has exceeded 15,000, with 349,000 cases confirmed worldwide, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

Despite the rising number of cases, most people who get infected suffer mild symptoms and recover.

China, Italy, Iran and Spain continue to be the worst-affected countries.

* Kiran Butt contributed to this story from Lahor

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