KARACHI / ISLAMABAD / LAHORE / PESHAWAR / QUETTA: 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 infected 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 epicenter of the viral disease.
Pakistan, despite its close proximity to China, remained unscathed until February 26 when a young man from Karachi tested positive for the novel coronavirus. He had returned from Iran – 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.
The nationwide tally of COVID-19 patients topped 875 with 394 cases in Sindh; 110 in Balochistan; 249 in Punjab; 38 in K-P; 71 in Gilgit-Baltistan; 15 in Islamabad; and one in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan confirmed three casualties from the virus on March 22 – one each in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Gilgit-Baltistan. The first two casualties were reported on March 18 in K-P and the third was a cancer survivor in Karachi.
Since the situation remains fluid, the stats are changing fast and we’re updating them accordingly.