Pakistan’s coronavirus cases rose to 2,708 on Saturday with the number of patients in the Punjab province, which accounts for more than half of the country’s total population, crossing the 1,000-mark.
According to the National Health Services, COVID-19 has so far claimed 40 lives, while 130 patients have recovered.
Punjab — the hotspot of the viral infection in Pakistan — reported a total of 1,072 cases, followed by Sindh at 839, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 343, Balochistan 175, Gilgit-Baltistan 193, Islamabad 75 and 11 cases in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The viral infection in the country is rapidly spreading, despite hectic efforts by the government to curtail it, officials said. On Friday, the World Bank has approved USD 200 million in aid to Pakistan to help deal with the impact of the novel coronavirus. According to Radio Pakistan, the project titled “Pandemic Response Effectiveness in Pakistan”, will support the government to prepare and respond to the disease and strengthen national systems for public health preparedness. Asserting that no one was sure how long the COVID-19 pandemic would last, Pakistan Prime minister Imran Khan on Friday announced a massive package to the construction sector to restart economy.