Coronavirus spread timeline in Pakistan

Coronavirus spread timeline starts from 26 February, when first two cases revealed, one in Karachi the other in Islamabad. Since then, within just a short period of 40 days the infection is on increase.

Coronavirus spread timeline in Pakistan

Zoonotic diseases like flu and many coronaviruses start in animals but their biological system allows them to jump between humans and other animals. Before talking about coronavirus spread timeline, its better to understand this novel coronavirus which is technically called SARS-Cov-2.

Coronaviruses are known to cause disease in humans, other animals, and birds. They cause high mortality, in neonates of some domestic species (e.g., chicken, pigs). In humans, they are responsible for respiratory and enteric diseases.

Coronaviruses are not limited to target tissues include the nervous system, immune system, kidney, and reproductive tract in addition to many parts of the respiratory and enteric systems.

In November 2002, a new coronavirus emerged in China. It was identified as the causative agent of pneumonia, later termed as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), occurred in the Guangzhou city in China. Where 300 people became ill and 5 died.

WHO reported total 744 deaths including 8,098 persons resulted in the outbreak of SARS, all across the World. During international travel, seven of eight cases were due to exposure and eight case was due to exposure to one of the other seven. 

Taxonomy and Classification of Coronavirus

The genus Coronavirus together with the genus Torovirus from the family Coronaviridae; members of these two genera are similar morphologically. The Coronaviridae, Arteriviridae, and Roniviridae are within the order Nidovirales.

The Coronaviridae family includes viral species that can infect pigs, cattle, cats, dogs, poultry and rodents. COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a virus known as coronavirus. The World Health Organization stated that the virus is a pandemic

What does mean COVID-19?

CO: Corona
VI: Virus
D: Disease
19: 2019

What is the origin of the virus in the world?

The origin of SARS-Cov-2 is yet not identified, scientists all over the world area in search of actual origination. But, the Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported in a broadcast on 9 January 2020 that the “new viral outbreak was first detected in the city of Wuhan, China,” on 12 December 2019

Officials from Public health department of China informed WHO that they had a problem: the new virus was causing pneumonia-like illness in the city of Wuhan. They rapidly determined that it was a coronavirus that was quickly spreading inside and outside of Wuhan. According to the Chinese National Health Commission (NHC), 80 per cent of people died were over the age of 60 and 75 years old. 

Coronaviruses are commonly present in animals of all kinds that can infect humans. Two other coronaviruses have jumped towards humans, causing the SARS-CoV (severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus) outbreak in 2003 and the MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus) outbreak in 2012 since at the start of the 21st century.

Previously in year 2002, SARS coronavirus originated from Beijing, China and spread to 29 countries. SARS killed 774 people out of the 8,096 infected but 2,494 infected people with 858 deaths in case of MERS. Although one analysis found that the genetic sequence of the virus is 96 per cent identical to that coronavirus found in bats. Both SARS and MERS originated in bats.

According to reports from the CCDC (China Center for Disease Control and Prevention), the first case of COVID-19 was testified in late December. There are 34 new cases of coronavirus reported outside of China than inside. There are huge epidemics of this new virus in several countries, including Iran, Italy, Spain, and the United States. 

What are its symptoms?

These universal symptoms may appear from  1 to 14 days after exposure of this novel coronavirus.

  • High Fever (100.4°F or higher)
  • Dry Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If anyone develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Inability to arose
  • Bluish lips or face

How it spread from person to person?

The virus is mainly spread from person to person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another.
  • Respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
  • By touching the infected surface.

 How we protect ourselves?

  • Wash hands with water and soap or sanitizer at least 20 seconds that contains 60 per cent alcohol after blowing the nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Use mask to cover nose and mouth.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid person to person close contact (within about 6 feet) who are sick.
  • Avoid any type of gatherings, like Jumma prayer, wedding ceremony, hoteling, travelling etc. A thorough self-quarantine.
  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
  • Avoid contact with live wild or farm animals.
  • Stay home, stay safe, stay strong Pakistan from COVID-19 except to get medical care.

Can we treat this new virus?

There is no vaccine available for the recovery of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). As well as there is no patent medical treatment of this disease. Scientists across the globe working hard to invent vaccine.

Coronavirus spread timeline in Pakistan 

Coronavirus spread timeline starts from 26 February, when first two cases revealed, one in Karachi the other in Islamabad. Since then, within just a short period of 40 days the infection is on increase.

On 26 February 2020, two cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Pakistan by Prime Minister Special Assistant on Health, Dr. Zafar Mirza. The first case from Karachi, while the second case from the Federal territory of the Country.

On 2 March, another case of 45-years old woman reported from Gilgit Baltistan. On 9 March, there were 16 more cases reported in Sindh having the highest number of cases, 13 altogether. On 10 March, three new cases were confirmed from Hyderabad, Quetta and Balochistan.

Subsequently, in several districts of Punjab Province, including Lodhran, Hafizabad, Sargodha, Lahore and Gujranwala 76 suspected cases were reported. At the same day, the second case was confirmed in Skardu departure the tally at 20.

On 13 March, the third case was confirmed in Shigar district of Gilgit-Baltistan. The same day, 52-years old patient identified as positive by the Sindh Health Department, which had traveled from Islamabad. 

Same day on 13 March, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) offered international players to leave PSL-V and go to their home due to outbreak of coronavirus. One international staff member and ten international players decided to leave the tournament. On 17 March, both semifinal and final of PSL-V were postponed due to rise of coronavirus cases in Pakistan. 

In another event on 13 March, all international flights stopped in Pakistan except those at Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore airports.  

On 15 March, five more cases were announced in Karachi, one new case in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). The first case of the virus was confirmed in Lahore by Lahore Health Secretary.

On 16 March, 134 new positive cases were registered, 116 from Sindh, 15 from KPK, and 3 from Balochistan. On 17 March, 237 new cases had shot up by tally, 12 new cases in Sindh, 4 in Islamabad and 25 in Punjab.

On 18 March, the first case of coronavirus was reported from Azad Kashmir. On 23 March, Punjab enforced lockdown for 14 days. Earlier, Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan government had imposed a lockdown throughout the provinces for the next 15 days. 

In another announcement on 18 March, all international flights were suspended form 21 March till 4 April. The Railways Minister declared the suspension of 42 trains.

On March 19, China provided aid worth of $4 million along with 300,000 medical face masks, 10 ventilators and other types of equipment to Pakistan.

On 20 March, the United States provided $1 million funds to Pakistan under the USAID programme against coronavirus. And, Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided $350 million to Pakistan and $900 million will be provided later in June.

On 22 March, 26 years old young Dr Usama Riaz suffered from coronavirus in Gilgit Baltistan. The same day, Balochistan government confirmed the first death who was 65 years old corona patient died at Fatima Jinnah Chest Hospital in Quetta. 

Again on 22 March, the provincial government of Sindh has shut down all restaurants, markets and shopping malls from 9 am to 24 March due to an increase in the number of cases.

On 23 March, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government also suspended inter-district public transport for seven days. Pakistan railways announced to stop train service on several routes which reduced the number of passengers by 30 per cent.

On 25 March, Jack Ma Foundation, the Chinese billionaire founder of online retailer Ali Baba, provided 500,000 face masks and 50,000 N-95 masks as the first part of emergency supplies.

Lockdown at a glance

  • On 21 March, The Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan announced an indefinite lockdown from 22 March.
  • On 22 March, the Federal Government decided to close markets, parks, gathering places, and shopping malls for two days till 24 March.
  • On 23 March, the Chief Minister of Sindh and Balochistan announced a 14 days lockdown from 24 March till 7 April.
  • The Chief Minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir announced a 20 days lockdown from 24 March till 13 April.
  • The Chief Minister of Punjab announced a 13 days lockdown from 24 March till 6 April on the same day.

Coronavirus spread timeline is important at one end, but it is more important to opt safety measures, since the pandemic is on rise.

As on 8 April, the total number of Covid-19 cases in Pakistan are 4,112; breakdown as 1,036 in Sindh, 2,108 in Punjab, 210 in Balochistan, 527 in KPK, 83 in Islamabad, 211 in Gilgit-Baltistan, and 19 in AJK, with 467 recoveries and 60 are reported.