A family members pray to get rid of coronavirus outbreak after a Friday prayers at the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore. AP
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
The government of Sindh has directed all citizens to completely isolate themselves for the next three days to help control the spread of the coronavirus as number of confirmed case rose to 238 in the province on Friday.
A health official checks the body temperature of a police woman at the Lahore Railway station. AFP
“Please stay in your homes to protect yourself and your loved ones,” Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah was quoted as saying while presiding over the coronavirus task force meeting at the CM House in Karachi.
"The real worry is the rising number of local cases," Shah was quoted as saying.
A combination picture shows a general view of Clifton beach in Karachi and after Pakistan shut all its schools and discouraged large gatherings amid an outbreak of coronavirus. Reuters
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan has told journalists the government will not censor anything from the public about the spread of COVID-19 in Pakistan and will provide them regular updates.
Imran has ordered opening of the Pak-Afghan border in Chaman, Balochistan, to support Afghan “brothers and sisters.”
In a tweet on Friday, Imran said: “Despite global pandemic of COVID 19, we remain committed to supporting our Afghan brothers & sisters.”
The premier added that he had given instructions to open the border between Chaman and Spin Boldak, Kandahar. He also told authorities to “let trucks crossover into Afghanistan.” “In time of crisis, we remain steadfast with Afghanistan,” he asserted.
Majority of Pakistan’s confirmed cases are pilgrims who returned from Iran through the Taftan crossing while others are with travel history. In Sindh, over 40 patients contracted the diseases locally.
Citizens urged to distribute zakat, not wait for Ramadan
The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) has urged those eligible to pay zakat, as well as those wishing to give sadqa (alms), to do so as soon as possible and not wait for the Holy Month of Ramadan due to the impact of coronavirus on people's incomes and the economy.
In a notification issued, the CII has called on people to give alms to daily wage workers and labourers, adding that it is better to distribute alms as soon as possible.
"We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference on Wednesday.
The Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) nationals wishing to enter the UAE should undergo COVID-19 medical test and place themselves under house quarantine for 14 days, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Friday.
Wuhan was where the outbreak first took hold and thousands once lay sick or dying in hurriedly constructed hospitals. But Chinese authorities said on Thursday that all 34 new cases recorded over the previous day had been imported from abroad.
The media said that the lioness was fleeing from its owner in a street in Mosul, running amok in broad daylight among the vehicles.
Since the conflict began on Friday, 31 Palestinians — including six children — have been killed, while 275 people have been wounded, said health authorities.
Speaking during a visit to Bangladesh, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said his country's actions were "legitimate, reasonable, in accordance with the law," and aimed at protecting China's "sacred sovereignty."