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Coronavirus Cases In Pakistan Reach 1,000 As Domestic Flights Suspended

A volunteer sprays disinfectant in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus outbreak in Peshawar on March 23.

ISLAMABAD -- The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan has reached 1,000, the country’s Health Ministry announced on March 25. Around 100 new cases were identified in the past 12 hours, a spokesperson for the ministry said.

The first virus infection was reported on February 26, and at least seven deaths have been confirmed in the country so far. The health minister said there were over 7,000 suspected cases in the country and that the government was taking all the steps needed to control the spread of coronavirus.

"It has been decided to suspend all domestic flight operations from March 26 to April 2," a spokesperson for the Aviation Ministry said. Pakistan had already suspended international flights till April 4.

Thousands of troops and police were enforcing the nationwide lockdown. Pakistan has the world's fifth-largest population with over 220 million people, and an already struggling healthcare system. There are some 2,000 ventilators in the country and a shortage of protective gear for medical staff.

-- DPA