ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army has deployed troops across the country, including Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), to assist civilian authorities in containing the spread of COVID-19.

"Troops have been deployed to aid civil authorities under Article 245," said Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar, spokesperson of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

The deployment was approved by Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on the request of the Interior Ministry.

According to the government notification, only hospitals, shops selling food items, medical stores, and food and medicine manufacturing industries will remain open. All schools should remain closed, it added.

As many as 12 people have succumbed to the Chinese Virus, and 25 have recovered.

As many as 557 people are infected in Punjab, 469 in Sindh, 138 in Baluchistan, 188 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 107 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 39 in Islamabad and two in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).