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Wednesday Mar 25 2020
Web Desk

Most coronavirus cases in Pakistan have Iran travel history: Dr Mirza

Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: Nearly 80% of the 892 officially confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Pakistan have earlier travelled to Iran, Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said in a briefing on Tuesday.

Dr Mirza stated that gender-disaggregated data indicates that 63% of the confirmed patients in the country are men and 33% are women.

The SAPM noted that there has been a marked increase in confirmed cases in the country over the past few days.

Read also: Islamabad goes under virtual lockdown

The SAPM confirmed six deaths; however, with Punjab reporting another death later in the day, the number has risen to seven.

The federal authorities and Balochistan government have been blamed for insufficient measures at Taftan quarantine centres where pilgrims were kept in unhealthy conditions and were not screened properly before being allowed to leave.

Read also: Number of confirmed cases in Pakistan surges to 1,000

Read also: US could become next coronavirus epicentre, WHO says

Urging the public to act responsibly by practising social distancing, Dr Mirza said the federal and provincial governments, assisted by the Pakistan Army, are taking strict measures to restrict the unnecessary movement of people in the hope of interrupting the further spread of the disease and achieving a progressive decline in cases.

He said new strategies are being employed as the situation evolves.

How to donate

NDMA is the lead operational agency in the Covid-19 emergency and is also responsible for procurements while the Ministry of Health ascertains requirements for equipment and allied paraphernalia, Dr Mirza stressed. He thanked all Pakistanis at home and abroad for offering donations such as masks, gowns, goggles, medicines, and equipment.

“Anyone wanting to donate to help the government with the response, please contact Maj Sajjad Kiani +92 334 5888555 or +92 343 2851914 or +92 51 9201056),” he tweeted.

He said the focal person at NDMA will receive all donations, which will be distributed where needed.

Training programme for health practitioners

A capacity building training for health professionals engaged in the management of coronavirus patients is being started across the country, Dr Mirza said.

The government is also mulling over a national voluntary program which  is expected to be launched soon.

“The government is employing all its energies and resources to mount a coordinated response to control this epidemic,” he concluded.