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Pak's coronavirus tally at 882, 6 dead; Sindh remains worst-hit

ANI  |  Asia 

The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Pakistan has risen to 882, including 394 in the southeastern province of Sindh, while six people, including a doctor, have died from the infection in the country.

In an effort to build a "national narrative" on the coronavirus, main opposition parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) are planning to call an all political parties meeting via video link, where the significance of locking down the whole country would be underlined.

The head of the Department for Infectious Diseases at Indus Hospital in Karachi, Dr Naseem Salahuddin, has painted a grim picture that the few hospitals equipped to handle COVID-19 cases in Karachi are either close to capacity or have shut their doors because they can't handle the influx of suspected cases.

Stating that better border controls and quarantine measures should have been instituted a lot earlier, she had warned, "we're likely to have a very big outbreak no matter what we do now."

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a federal cabinet meeting to be held via video-conferencing on Tuesday, is expected to approve an economic relief package to help fight coronavirus in the country.

The multi-pronged package will be applicable across the country without discrimination to help industries and businesses stand on their feet and support families of those people whose income and livelihood may have been affected. The package, likely to be valued at PKR 1.16 trillion, will include interest rate cuts, subsidies, and diversion of BISP funds to businesses.

In telephonic conversations with his counterparts in Germany, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Iran on Monday, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, apprising them of the current coronavirus situation in Pakistan, inquired into the situation in their countries.

The federal government has green-lighted the deployment of Army in aid of civilian administration across the country with Interior Ministry on Monday issuing several notifications approving the requests of all four provinces, federal territories and PoJK for the deployment of armed forces.

The Civil Aviation Authority closed Karachi's Jinnah International Airport and Sukkur's airport for all domestic flights from March 24 till April 4, to contain the spread of coronavirus.

PoJK PM Raja Farooq Haider announced on Monday a three-week lockdown in the territory to contain corona spread.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 24 2020. 10:14 IST
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