Over a dozen Balochistan districts have not registered a single coronavirus case
Data suggests that 34% of Balochistan witnessed no COVID-19 infection
ISLAMABAD: Being a remote region is of little advantage in normal circumstances except when a pandemic strikes. Over a dozen far-flung districts in Balochistan have not reported even a single COVID-19 infection as the rest of the country witnesses record spikes in fresh cases.
These districts, having a population of around 6 million, are underdeveloped. Natural social distancing and ban on inter-provincial transport are the main reason that the virus did not spread in these areas, according to provincial authorities.
The authorities, however, fear that these areas may witness the virus infection after virus-testing facilities are extended to these districts. Fifteen districts in Pakistan are being considered as the epicenter of the outbreak, with more reported infections and deaths.
A total of 141 districts have so far recorded more than 21, 600 cases and over 480 deaths, according to official data and figures exclusively obtained by Geo News. Virus-free districts include Awaran, Barkhan, Dera Bugti, Gwadar, Kach, Khuzdar, Killa Saifullah, Kohlu, Lehri, and Nasirabad in Balochistan.
Two districts of Azad Jamu and Kashmir, namely Hattian and Haveli, are also virus free so far as per official data exclusively shared by Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar, who also chairs the National Command and Operation Centre.
Infection free districts and cities include Nasirabad, Dera Murad Jamali, Chhatter, Tamboo, Baba Kot and Azizabad, and have a collective population of 0.6 million people. Towns of Lehri and Bhag with population of 0.15 million, Kohlu with 0.214 million, and Killa Saifullah and Muslim Bagh with 0.3 million.
Khuzdar with one million, Kech (Turbat) with 0.9 million, Gwadar with 0.3 million, Awaran, Jhal Jhao and Mashakai with 0.2 million, Dera Bugti, Pirkoh, Sui and Phelawagh with 0.4 million, Barkhan, Hattian Bala, Chikkar and Leepa with 0.3 million and Hevelie with 0.2 million population, are considered to be virus free.
"We will take some random samples from these virus free districts too in an effort to check the outbreak in these areas. Our decision would be based on the spread, the number of cases and the deaths related to coronavirus," said Liaqat Shahwani, the spokesperson for the Balochistan government.
Worst affected districts in Pakistan
Nearly 5, 000 cases have tested positive in four districts of Karachi, 426 in Sukkur, 319 in Hyderabad and 207 cases registered in Khairpur, according to official figures. Nearly 3, 604 plus cases are tested COVID-19 positive in Lahore, 800 in Rawalpindi, 370 in Multan, 344 in Gujrat, Gujranwala 277 and 217 cases in DG Khan.
Official figures reveal that around 1, 000 cases are registered in Peshawar, 283 in Swat, 200 in Mardan and 136 in Malakand. Nearly 882 cases tested positive in Quetta, 25 cases in Mastung, 24 in Jaffarabad and 12 cases in Killa Abdullah. 330 positive cases have been registered in Islamabad, according to official figures.
Some 100 patients tested positive in Nagar, 46 in Skardu and 77 cases in Gilgit and 16 positive cases in Mirpur and 15 in Bhimber and 12 cases have been found to be positive in Sudnuti of AJK. Pakistan witnessed 480 plus corona related deaths in 60 districts, data shows.
The KPK province recorded 185 deaths in its 23 districts. Out of those over 80 deaths were recorded in Peshawar, 14 in Swat, 8 in Mardan, 7 in Charsada and 6 deaths were witnessed in Kurram.
Five patients died of the virus pandemic in Dir Lower and Mansehra, four in Malakand, three each in Swabi, Nowshera, Mohamand, Kohat and Abbotabad, 2 each in Buner, Shangla, Bajour, Khyber and one virus patient each died in Dir Upper, Battagram, Hangu, Bannu and DI Khan.
Sindh witnessed 137 deaths due to the virus in eight districts. Over 110 corona patients died in Karachi, 4 in Sukkur and 2 in Hyderabad and one patient died of corona in Shaheed Benazirabad, Matiari, Larkana, Ghotki and Tando Muhammad Khan each.
Over 136 corona patients lost their lives in Punjab. Lahore witnessed 57 deaths, 18 patients lost their lives in Rawalpindi, nine in Multan, four in Faisalabad, 3 in Rahim Yar Khan, Gujrat and Sheikhupra each, 2 each in Bahawalpur, Jhelum, Khanewal and Gujranwala and one each in Muzaffargarh, Layyah, Lodhran, Attock, Rajanpur, Okara, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Jhang, Sialkot and Toba Tek Sindh.
Balochistan recorded 38 corona related deaths. Twenty deaths happened in Quetta, 3 in Pashin and one patient died of corona in Sibi. Gilgit-Baltistan recorded 3 deaths due to corona, one each in Astore, Gilgit and Nagar. Four patients died in federal capital and AJK did not witness any death of corona patients, reveals official data.