Pakistan's tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases crosses 18,800

Pakistan's tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases crosses 18,800

Lahore/Quetta/Karachi/Peshawar (Staff Report/Agencies): The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan on Saturday rose to 18,822.

At least 6,854 cases were reported in Punjab, 7,102 in Sindh, 2,907 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 1,172 in Balochistan, 356 in Gilgit Baltistan, 365 in Islamabad, and 66 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the National Command and Control Centre, the death toll related to COVID-19 has reached 432, while at least 4,753 patients have fully recovered.

The number of coronavirus cases has continued to soar despite the country being under a lockdown from the last month.

The government has extended the nation-wide lockdown till May 9 while cautioning the nation that the anti-virus fight had entered a decisive phase that would set the future course of action regarding the restrictions.

Earlier on Saturday, Prime Minister Imran Khan launched relief programme for those who lost their jobs due to coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at a ceremony of launching of a web portal for the second phase of the Ehsaas cash programme, the premier assured that the donations in PM's Relief Fund for Covid-19 will be transparently disbursed amongst the deserving families affected by the breakout of coronavirus.

Imran Khan said he will personally monitoring the relief fund and its details will be shared with the public after audit.

"Our aim is to reach out the maximum number of people during these testing times," the PM said.

Giving details of the web portal, PM Imran said those who have lost jobs due to lockdown can get themselves registered on the to get the assistance of Rs 12,000.

He said the registered people will be scrutinised and the cash assistance will be given to the qualifying ones.

The premier said the cash assistance will be given totally on merit irrespective of the political affiliations of the recipients.

"Rs 81 billion have been disbursed under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program to 6.8 million poor and deserving families over a period of three weeks,"the PM said.

He said it is first time in the country's history that such a hefty amount has been disbursed in a short span of time. He added that the program would be taken forward.

It is pertinent to mention here that the officials have recorded more than 3.34 million cases and more than 238,000 deaths since the virus emerged in China in December 2019.