ISLAMABAD: At least 20 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in Pakistan on Sunday, taking the total the number of cases in the country to 53.

This is the highest number of cases reported in Pakistan in a single day; 13 people were tested positive for Covid-19 in Sukkur, the third largest city in Sindh on Sunday, all of whom had recently arrived from Iran.

Murtaza Wahab, spokesman of Sindh government, said in a tweet: “So far, 13 people have tested positive of #COVID-19 from amongst the people who arrived in Sukkur from Taaftaan. These people were purportedly kept in quarantine at the border (sic).”

The first case of Covid-19 in Lahore is a 54-year-old man, admitted in the Mayo Hospital on Saturday night, days after his return from the UK. Muhammad Usman, health secretary of Punjab province, said all contacts of the patient have tested negative for the virus.

Earlier in the day, five cases were reported from Karachi and one from Islamabad. Representative of the Sindh government said three of the patients in Karachi had recently returned from Saudi Arabia, while one has no recent travel history. The fifth patient is from Baluchistan and had reached Karachi on Saturday night.

In Islamabad, the newly confirmed patient is the husband of a woman who arrived in the capital from the US and was confirmed on Saturday to have the virus. The couple was admitted in the isolation ward of Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS), a government-run hospital in Islamabad.

Hospital authorities described the condition of the woman as critical, saying that she has been put on a ventilator. There are now four Covid-19 patients at the isolation ward in PIMS, Dr Waseem Khawaja, spokesman of the hospital, said.

The total number of coronavirus cases detected in Pakistan has now risen to 53, out of which 34 are from Sindh. Baluchistan has currently 10 confirmed cases, while Islamabad has four, Gilgit-Baltistan three, and Punjab one.

Pakistan has closed borders with Iran and Afghanistan and allowed only three airports — Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore — to operate international flights, in a bid to contain Covid-19. The central government has also imposed a ban on public gatherings, including weddings and religious congregations. All educational institutions have also been closed in the country until April 5.