World, Asia - Pacific

Pakistan's coronavirus tally soars past 1,800

Some 148 new COVID-19 cases reported in last 24 hours across country

Aamir Latif   | 31.03.2020
Pakistan's coronavirus tally soars past 1,800

KARACHI, Pakistan 

Pakistan diagnosed 148 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the national tally to 1,865, authorities said Tuesday.

The bulk of the new cases was reported from the most populous northeastern Punjab, and southern Sindh provinces, putting the latest figures at 651, and 627 respectively, according to the official command and control cell set up to monitor the virus situation.

Meanwhile, at least seven more patients passed away after contracting the virus, also known as COVID-19, in different parts of the country, taking the death toll to 25.

Infections are rising despite a countrywide lockdown meant to contain the spread of the new disease that surfaced in China last December.

Millions are staying off the streets as schools, malls, markets and restaurants remain closed in the South Asian country already struggling from an economic meltdown.

Infuriated and out-of-work citizens in many regions have defied the restrictions, demanding rations and concessions in utility bills.

Last week, Imran Khan, the country's prime minister, unveiled a multi-billion rupee financial stimulus package for different segments of society vulnerable to the adverse impact of the pandemic.

He has also set up a force of youth volunteers, and a fund to help deal with the relief efforts.

The virus has spread to at least 178 countries and territories within three months.

The number of confirmed cases worldwide has surpassed 787,000 while the death toll is over 37,000 and more than 166,000 have recovered, according to data collated by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.

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