Pak’s coronavirus tally nears 6,000

Islamabad: The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan approached 6,000 after 272 new infections were reported, the health ministry said on Wednesday as Prime Minister Imran Khan extended the ongoing lockdown until the end of this month to fight the pandemic.

The number of coronavirus patients in the country rose to 5,988, with 272 new cases and 11 deaths during the last 24 hours.

The Ministry of National Health Services said that Punjab reported 2,945 cases, Sindh 1,518, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 865, Balochistan 240, Gilgit-Baltistan 236, Islamabad 140 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 46.

So far, 1,446 people have recovered from the disease and 107 deaths have been reported in the country.

The authorities has so far conducted 73,439 tests, including 3,380 in the last 24 hours.

Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister of Punjab province, tweeted that 89 more cases of the novel coronavirus were reported, taking the provincial tally to 2,945.

He also said the death toll in the province has now reached 28 and 43,565 coronavirus tests have been conducted so far.

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa health department tweeted 65 new coronavirus cases, taking the number of infections in the province to 865.

Prime Minister Khan on Tuesday extended the lockdown till April 30, saying that the the ongoing restrictions have helped contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

He, however, said that some key industries would be opened in order to start business activities.

Minister of Industries Hammad Azhar said several sectors and industries including construction, agriculture, chemical manufacturing, e-commerce, software, paper and paper packaging, fertilisers, mines, glass industry and plant nurseries were being allowed to open.

He said exporters can also become operational.

Khan, while allowing relaxation in the lockdown to allow these industries to work, warned of action if set procedures were flouted.

He also announced to bring ordinance to curb smuggling and hoarding to give strict punishment to culprits

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