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COVID19: Pakistan leads South Asia with the highest number of coronavirus cases – 456

Pakistan now leads the region with the highest number of coronavirus cases in South Asia, a total of 456 confirmed till Thursday night, according to government data.
On March 18 (Wednesday), authorities confirmed the country's first two fatalities from COVID-19, as the illness is officially known.
t Punjab had more than 500 rooms ready for isolation purposes. The Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC), she added, had a Level-3 laboratory and had been given half of the total COVID-19 testing kits.
Meanwhile, the total number of cases in Karachi rose to 66. The number of cases in Sindh now stands at 217.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported four new cases of coronavirus in the province.
Today's update from KP. 4 new cases confirmed taking total tally to 23. 47 cases tested negative. Results awaited for the rest.
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According to the health department, the two patients have no foreign travel history, one is a relative of a previously confirmed case and one has no travel history or known contact with a confirmed case. 
The provincal tally of KP now stands at 23. Yesterday, the northwestern province reported two deaths, two men aged 36 and 50, in different cities.
Late on Thursday night, Deputy Commissioner Gilgit Baltistan confirmed eight more cases of the coronavirus in the mountainous region, lifting the tally to 21. The commissioner confirmed that the new patients had reached GB via Taftan border. Four of the patients hail from district Gilgit, while the remaining are from Nagar district.
So far, Islamabad Capital Territory has reported 7 cases of COVID-19 infection and and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) only one.
The Government of Pakistan has launched an official website to keep masses updated about statistics of coronavirus in real time.
The website can be accessed here
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar says fully equipped isolation wards have been established at thirty-five hospitals across the country to combat the coronavirus.
Speaking in a special program of Radio Pakistan in Islamabad on Thursday, she said the process of research is in progress to find out the vaccine of the coronavirus. However, basic medicines are being used for its treatment at the moment.
If anyone suspects symptoms including dry cough, difficulty in breathing and fever then he or she must contact the hospital.
Pakistan, a nation of over 220 million people, is not under lockdown officially but a general ban on public gatherings - including weddings, social gatherings and other types of congregations, remains in place. Schools and other educational institutions have been ordered to remain shut until at least April 3; in addition to an enforced closure of all shopping centres, cinemas, public parks, non-essential government offices and other locations where people may congregate. Grocery stores and pharmacies, however, remain open.
In addition, the country has closed its land borders with Iran and Afghanistan and is screening all air travel passengers.
Latest on Coronavirus from around the world
A total of 176 countries have been affected, nearly 10,000 people have died and over 241,000 infected by the disease as it spreads rapidly to new territories. The epicentre of the outbreak has now shifted from China to Europe, which is recording a rapid rise in new cases every day. A total of 86,690 people have also recovered from the illness.
In India, there are a total of 197 coronavirus cases, as 28 news ones were reported, while four people have died so far. The country, home to more than a billion people, has so far tested about 11,500 people, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Sri Lanka, where 51 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed, has delayed scheduled parliamentary elections and banned all incoming flights for two weeks in an attempt to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Afghanistan has so far officially reported 22 cases of coronavirus in the country amid an influx of people returning home from Iran, one of the world's worst hotspots for coronavirus infection, hoarding and supply shortages.
Bangladesh on Wednesday confirmed its first death due to COVID-19, with a total of at least 14 people infected, according to government officials.
Maldives has confirmed 13 cases of COVID-19. Bhutan and Nepal have reported 1 case each, so far.

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