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Pakistan reports third coronavirus death as confirmed cases jump to 481

Press Trust of India  |  Islamabad 

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday asked people to self-quarantine for at least another 45 days as the country reported its third coronavirus death and the total number of confirmed cases rose to 481.

The third death was reported in Pakistan's biggest city Karachi, the capital of the Southern Sindh province which has reported the highest number of coronavirus cases in the country.

Sindh Health Minister Azra Fazal Pechuho confirmed the death of a 77-year-old man and said the patient was a cancer survivor and had other medical problems like hypertension and diabetes but didn't have any travel or contact history.

The number of confirmed cases in Sindh province rose to 249 on Friday, provincial spokesman Murtaza Wahab said.

Earlier two patients died in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where the number of positive cases has increased to 23, provincial health minister Taimur Jhagra said.

At least 16 more cases were reported in Punjab where the tally touched 96, according to a notification issued by the provincial health department spokesperson Qaiser Asif.

More cases surfaced in Balochistan where the number of infected persons is 81. Another 21 were in Gilgit-Baltistan, 10 in Islamabad and one in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Prime Minister Khan while addressing the media in Islamabad on Friday said people should self-quarantine for at least another 45 days to help tackle the coronavirus crisis.

Commenting on future course of action to contain the outbreak, Khan said, Our strategy is a little different from a complete lockdown, considering Pakistan's socio-economic realities.

Pakistan isn't a rich country like Italy, where people can get through a sustained period without economic activity," he was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.

He announced partial opening of border with Afghanistan to let trucks pass carrying different supplies.

Despite global pandemic of COVID 19, we remain committed to supporting our Afghan brothers & sisters. I have given instructions to open the Chaman-Spinboldak border & let trucks crossover into Afghanistan. In time of crisis, we remain steadfast with Afghanistan, Khan tweeted.

Pakistan also sent 17 tonnes of cooked food to its stranded student in Chinese city of Wuhan, according to Special Assistant on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan.

"We thank the Chinese government for taking care of the Pakistanis in Wuhan, just like their own citizens," Awan said.

As the financial problems of common people increased due to virus, the Council of Islamic Ideology asked people to start doing charity even before the holy month of Ramadan, which is due to start next month and when people are often more generous in giving alms.

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

First Published: Sat, March 21 2020. 00:14 IST