LAHORE/ PESHAWAR - The Punjab government on Tuesday confirmed the death of first coronavirus patient in the province as the number of infections jumped to 961 in the country with dozens of news cases.

Afrasayab, 57, a resident of Sheikhupura, breathed his last at Isolation Ward of Mayo Hospital in the wee hours on Tuesday. However, three patients were discharged from Lahore’s hospital after recovery.

Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid announced the first death through a tweet on Tuesday. She also said that as many as 21 new cases were reported from across the province, taking the number of confirmed patients to 265.

Though the ill-fated man not travelled abroad, he had recently visited Azad Kashmir. Spokesman of health department said that the details of all those who interacted with the patient during the past 14 days were being collected so that they could also be tested.

According to officials, 176 patients are pilgrims who recently returned from Iran. As many as 59 patients are under treatment in Lahore, 12 in Gujrat, seven in Gujranwala, three in Jhelum, two each in Multan and Rawalpindi and one each in Sargodha, Faisalabad, Mandi Bahauddin and Rahim Yar Khan.

The number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the country had risen to 908 earlier in the day after Punjab and Sindh reported new cases. The Punjab Health department tweeted that the number of confirmed cases in the province stood at 267 after 16 new cases were reported in the province.

 

According to the breakdown, 176 of those are the pilgrims that returned from Iran. While Lahore with 59 new cases remains the worst hit city in the province. The department reported that Gujrat has 12 cases, 7 in Gujranwala, 3 in Jhelum and 2 in Rawalpindi and Multan respectively.

 

Sargodha, Faisalabad, Mandi Bahuddin and Rahim Yar Khan have reported only one case in their cities.

Sindh remains the worst affected province by the coronavirus in the country so far, with a total of 410 coronavirus cases. In Karachi alone, the numbers of cases of the virus are 144, with the majority said to be cases of “local transmission”.

 

On the other hand, 40 people were tested positive for COVID19 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwaon Tuesday, raising the total tally to 78 in the province.

So far in the province, three people have died of the virus: one in Manga union council of Mardan district, another victim in Hangu district and one elderly patient having returned from Iran died in Kurram tribal district. In addition, 98 suspected patients of coronavirus have been admitted in hospitals of KP. On Tuesday, the province reported the highest number of positive cases in a single day.

KP Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra did not respond to a call, but a government official confirmed while speaking to The Nation that 40 new cases have emerged in a single day. About 37 new positive cases hail from Dera Ismail Khan, two from Peshawar and one from South Waziristan tribal district. Among the tribal districts, Khyber has already reported one case; the second has now emerged in South Waziristan.

Swabs of 241 patients quarantined in the Gomal Medical College had been sent to the Khyber Medical University in Peshawar where 37 tested positive for the coronavirus. All of them had returned from Iran via Taftan in Balochistan where the quarantine arrangements were reportedly weak.

The KP government later received them and quarantined them in DI Khan. Also, the government had also received another 241 people, having returned from Iran via Taftan a day earlier and they have been quarantined in Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Postgraduate Paramedical Institute in Peshawar suburbs.

Officials fear more positive cases because the results of 304 patients are likely to be released today (Wednesday).