Tag Archives: Pakistan

COVID-19: 1st death in Pakistan leaves trail behind.

A Pakistani village where the country’s first death from the coronavirus was reported last week has seen an alarming rise in cases, officials said on Wednesday, indicating how quickly the community spread of the disease is taking place in the country.

Health officials said at least 39 of 46 tests conducted in the village of Manga in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, have come back positive, even as the total number of positive cases in Pakistan topped 1,000 on Wednesday.

Reuters on Monday reported about the case of Sadaat Khan, who upon returning from a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia had hosted a large banquet attended by 2,000 people. He had not disclosed being ill upon his return and also refused quarantine when his symptoms intensified. Khan, who died on March 18, was the first fatality in Pakistan from the fast-spreading virus.

His case alarmed authorities, who declared the entire village of 7,000 people a mass quarantine zone.

“We tested close relatives as well as some random tests,” the province’s health minister, Taimur Khan Jhagra, said in a video, adding these were just the first batch of results from the village.

“There are significant lessons for all from this case,” said Jhagra.

Meanwhile, residents of Manga, which has now been cordoned off for a week, told Reuters the situation was critical.

“The army has been deployed in and outside Manga. We aren’t allowed to go out of our homes,” said, Imtiaz Ali, a resident of the village.

“The government has taken 98 people to quarantine centers,” he said, adding food supplies were running low.

Another local, Liaqat Ali Shah, said people of the village feared starvation as they had not been able to work for a week, and most were daily wage earners.


COVID-19: Pakistan close border as cases rise to 4

Pakistan is closing one of its two border crossings with Afghanistan for a week to prevent the spread of coronavirus, officials said Sunday.

The announcement comes a day after Pakistan detected two new cases of the virus bringing the total number of infected patients to four.

Officials said the Chaman/Spinboldak crossing point would close from Monday, but the second point at Torkhum in the northwest would remain open.

Pakistan is sandwiched between China and Iran — which are both fighting major outbreaks — sparking fears about the country’s ability to cope with an epidemic of its own.

The country has suspended all flights to Iran and closed land borders.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are divided by the “Durand Line”, a 2,400-kilometre (1,500-mile) frontier with Villages straddling the border and mosques and houses having one door in Pakistan and another in Afghanistan.

The virus has now killed more than 2,900 people and infected over 83,000 worldwide, with an increasing number of new cases being reported each day.