Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa reported two deaths from the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, while the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan have registered 208 and 23 cases of the infection respectively, prompting fears of an exponential surge in cases in the country bordering Iran.
A lack of necessary medical equipment such as masks, test kits, and ventilators, is limiting the scope of prevention, testing and treatment of the disease in the country.
Reports of the lack of adequate screening procedures and squalid living conditions at the quarantine camps at the Taftan border crossing with Iran have further raised concerns of the surge in the number of infections. Already, of the 301 cases tested positive, more than 140 are those who were quarantined at the Taftan camps.
Several residents of Lahore have complained that some hospitals were charging over PRK 9,000 for the coronavirus test, against the government’s claims that the tests were being carried out for free. Young doctors have nurses have threatened to stop work in view of the shortage of equipment and facilities and the inadequate measures to shield the population.
Dozens of families living in the Leepa Valley have left for other parts amid coronavirus concerns, despite assurances that the Army was capable of handling the situation.
Analysts have suggested a complete lockdown of Pakistan, including suspension of flights in view of the increase in the number of infections.
Pakistan has reported 301 cases of novel coronavirus, including 208 in Sindh, 23 in Balochistan, 33 in Punjab, 19 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 2 in capital Islamabad.
Across the world, the virus has infected more than 207,000 people in 166 countries and killed 8,657, as per the latest data available on the World Health Organisation website.