KARACHI: Health authorities on Tuesday said that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases had more than doubled for a second consecutive day, reaching 237.
Officials said the jump was largely due to errors in testing and quarantine of travellers who recently returned from Iran through a border crossing in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
“If the arrangements were better we could have saved these people from the virus,” Saeed Ghani, a minister in the provincial Sindh government where many of the cases were detected, told a television channel on Monday night.
The provincial executive on Tuesday night announced that all shopping centres, malls and restaurants would be shut for 15 days in the province, including in Pakistan’s largest city and financial hub, Karachi. It also announced the closure of government offices.
Meanwhile, the country’s stock market slid again a day after recording one of its biggest ever one-day declines. Its central bank cut its policy rate by 75 basis points on Tuesday ahead of an expected decline in inflation due to the virus.