The novel coronavirus – which originated in the central China city of Wuhan towards the end of December 2019 – has spread to all continents excluding Antarctica. The COVID-19 respiratory illness caused by the mysterious contagion has so far killed thousands of people and infected tens of thousands of others across the globe.
Though the deadly infestation has been contained by the Chinese government in Wuhan, the virus has now spread elsewhere, especially in Europe and the United States, with the World Health Organisation declaring Europe as the new epicentre of the viral disease.
Pakistan, despite its close proximity with China, remained unscathed until February 26 when a young man from Karachi tested positive for the novel coronavirus. He had returned from Iran – one of the worst-hit countries.
After a brief pause following the first case, COVID-19 cases witnessed a sharp surge as more pilgrims returning from Iran tested positive.
The nationwide tally of COVID-19 patients has crossed 1000 with 410 cases in Sindh; 115 in Balochistan; 296 in Punjab; 117 in K-P; 80 in Gilgit-Baltistan; 15 in Islamabad; and one in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.