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Coronavirus

Pakistani Troops to Help Enforce Distancing

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s prime minister has summoned troops to help police implement social-distancing rules as a part of new measures aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday that daily confirmed cases and deaths from COVID-19 were steadily increasing in the country.

Khan made his televised comments at a meeting convened to consider strict anti-infection measures.

The prime minister said he was not imposing a lockdown for now but that he would close down cities if Pakistan started facing a situation line in neighboring India, which is reporting record-high numbers of confirmed cases.

The warning from Khan came hours after Pakistan reported 144 deaths in the previous 24 hours. It has reported a total of 16,842 deaths among 784,108 cases since last year.

Earlier, a top health official said Pakistan's hospitals were being flooded by the steady increase in patients.

Many Pakistanis routinely violate social distancing rules, and so far police have failed to achieve better adherence.

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