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The novel coronavirus appeared at the end of last year in central China city of Wuhan and proliferated in a few months to almost the entire world. It’s not the virulence or fatality that has set off a worldwide uproar, but the ineffectiveness of the new virus – also known as SARS-CoV-2.
In 202 countries and regions across the world, the Covid-19 infectious illness caused by this mysterious contagion has affected more than 9.6 million people – and more than 490,000 of them have died and counting.
Pakistan remained coronavirus-free despite its close proximity to China until 26 February when a young man from Karachi tested positive after returning from Iran – one of the worst-hit countries. Covid-19 cases spiked after a short hiatus after the first outbreak, when more pilgrims returning from Iran tested positive for the virus.
Nearly one-and-a-half months after imposing the lockdown across the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced to ease the lockdown in phases.
The nationwide tally of Covid-19 patients stands at 198,883 with 72,880 cases in Punjab, 76,318 in Sindh, 24,943 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 10,116 in Balochistan, 1,4176 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 12,206 in Islamabad and 1,003 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The virus has claimed at least 4,035 lives while around 86,906 coronavirus patients have recovered.
However, the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Pakistan is preparing to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for all Sikh pilgrims on June 29, 2020 – the occasion of the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh.
As places of worship open up across the world, Pakistan prepares to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for all Sikh pilgrims, conveying to the Indian side our readiness to reopen the corridor on 29 June 2020, the occasion of the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh.
— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) June 27, 2020