The Pakistan government on Wednesday decided to extend the ongoing lockdown for another two weeks until April 14 to contain the spread of novel coronavirus in the country, according to the report.

The announcement has been made by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar after a meeting of National Coordination Committee (NCC) on COVID-19, The Express Tribune reported.

Umar said the forum will soon meet again to decide whether to relax or increase the restrictions.

The Minister said that stranded overseas Pakistanis will be brought back to the country in a special Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight on April 4.

The death toll climbed to 31 from the deadly novel Coronavirus, while number of people infected reached 2238.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has confirmed 23 more cases of the novel coronavirus, according to a report issued by the provincial health department.

Reports of the lack of adequate screening procedures and squalid living conditions at the quarantine camps at the Taftan border crossing with Iran have raised concerns about the surge in the number of infections.

According to The News International, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that “people are treating coronavirus patients like ‘criminals’ and reiterated that only the old and the weak needed to be hospitalized in case they contracted the infection”.

Khan further said “Coronavirus will be confronted by the force of faith” and announced government measures to contain the virus.

Pakistani media cited Jamaat-i-Islami’s general-secretary Liaqat Baloch as saying that the Prime Minister is “confused” over whether or not to impose a lockdown in the country.

The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic infected 905,279 people worldwide and increased the death toll to 45,371 on Wednesday even as the head of the United Nations has described this crisis as humanity’s worst since World War II.

The US has recorded the highest numbers of cases worldwide at 199,092 including 4,361 deaths. Italy has a total of 110,574 positive cases including 13,155 deaths, the highest fatalities globally. Spain followed Italy with 102,136 cases and 9,053 deaths.

(With inputs from agency)