The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 2,039, with 26 deaths reported across the country, according to the latest data released on the website of the Health Ministry on Wednesday.

The country’s eastern Punjab province and southern Sindh province were the worst-hit areas with 708 and 676 cases respectively, followed by the northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which has 253 confirmed cases, Xinhua news agency reported.

The number of cases reached 184 in north Gilgit-Baltistan region, 158 in southwest Balochistan province, and 54 in capital Islamabad.

The data said 82 people have been discharged from hospitals after recovery.

At the end of February, Pakistan had a total of four confirmed cases, but the numbers started to grow after Pakistanis came back from pandemic-hit countries like Iran.

Earlier on Tuesday, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza told media that the government is enhancing strict prevention measures and social distancing policy while reviewing the international guidelines.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan also chaired a high-level meeting to review the coronavirus control efforts and analyze factors including diagnosing facilities, resumption of the industrial sector, economic packages for common people and industries, supply and distribution of essential items.