With 50 new coronavirus cases confirmed over the past 24 hours, the number of COVID-19 patients across Pakistan has reached 94, an official said on Monday.

All new cases were reported in the southern Sindh province, raising the total number in the province to 76, Murtaza Wahab, a provincial government spokesman, said in a tweet.

He said all the new patients had recently returned from Taftan in neighboring Iran, which has the highest number of cases and deaths after China and Italy.

Most COVID-19 patients in Pakistan had recently traveled to either Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Syria.

The country’s other cases have been reported from the capital Islamabad, the southwestern Balochistan and northeastern Punjab provinces, and the northern Gilgit-Baltistan region.

Four of the total 94 patients have recovered so far.

On Monday, Islamabad closed its borders with Iran and Afghanistan for two weeks in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.

All education institutions across the country have already been closed for three weeks.

Several hostels across the country have been designated to quarantine suspected COVID-19 patients.

The government has also closed the Kartarpur Corridor in Punjab to Pakistani visitors, but the restriction does not apply to Indian Sikh pilgrims.

Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, located in Punjab’s Narowal district, is one of the most revered sites for the Sikh community as the faith’s founder Baba Guru Nanak spent 18 years of his life there.

After emerging in Wuhan, China last December, the coronavirus has now spread to at least 146 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The global death toll now numbers around 6,500, with around 170,000 confirmed cases, according to WHO.

While WHO recently declared the global outbreak a pandemic, its head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the situation was controllable.

In his remarks at a March 3 briefing on COVID-19, the WHO director-general also pointed out that the mortality rate from the virus was around 3.4%.



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