Sindh reports 47 new coronavirus cases, ballooning Pak tally to 183

ISLAMABAD: Provincial authorities in Sindh and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Monday confirmed 115 and 15 new cases of novel coronavirus respectively, pushing the total number of confirmed cases in Pakistan to 183.
This is the single largest increase in novel coronavirus cases in the country as of today.
“This exponential increase is largely due to the recent inflow of pilgrims brought in from Taftan border after a purported quarantine,” Adviser to Sindh CM on Information Murtaza Wahab said in a tweet.
Earlier, Sindh Health Minister Azra Fazal Pechuho said there are 76 confirmed cases in Sukkur (all patients arrive from Taftan border), 26 in Karachi and one in Hyderabad, she confirmed.
Murtaza Wahab, earlier in the day, had said another 11 people who have reached the province from Taftan have tested positive.
However, confusion remains as there is no provincial focal person to give a tally of confirmed cases in Sindh. The number of total cases may be revised as facts become clearer.
Meanwhile, northwestern K-P province also reported its first 15 cases of novel coronavirus on Monday.
“Just received news that 15 out of 19 individuals received in K-P from Taftan have tested positive for coronavirus. These are the first positive cases in K-P,” provincial health minister Taimur Khan Jhagra said in a tweet from his official handle.
“They are being well looked after in quarantine in an isolated facility in DI Khan. More details soon,” he added.
By March 11, the number of quarantined pilgrims in Taftan rose to 4,000 – out of which 2,000 belonged to Sindh. The quarantined individuals were placed in a tent city set up by the Balochistan government for Pakistani nationals entering the country from Iran.
After the 14-day incubation period ended, around 300 pilgrims left for Sindh. They were then quarantined in Sukkur where the Sindh government ran tests on the pilgrims before allowing them to travel further.
On Sunday, 20 cases were confirmed by the authorities with Punjab reporting its first confirmed patient. Sindh confirmed 18 new cases while Islamabad reported one.
As of now, there are 103 confirmed cases in Sindh, 15 in K-P, 10 in Balochistan, three in Gilgit-Baltistan, four in Islamabad and one in Punjab.
Out of the 18 cases reported in Sindh on Saturday, 13 were of those quarantined in Sukkur. Three out of the remaining five had recently returned from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, one travelled from Balochistan and the fifth patient had no travel history.
The Sindh government has banned public gatherings, shut down educational institutions, postponed religious celebrations and closed shrines, marriage halls, cinemas, gyms, social clubs etc. Punjab government is said to have made a similar decision.
In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, the education institutions have been closed till April 5 and suspended wedding activities around the province.
Balochistan has also limited activities and closed educational institutions till the end of March.

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