KARACHI: Former Pakistani first-class cricketer Zafar Sarfraz became the first professional player in the country to die after contracting the novel coronavirus, his family confirmed on Tuesday.
The 50-year-old first fell ill earlier this month and was put on a ventilator at a hospital in Peshawar after his condition deteriorated.
He died late Monday.
"Sarfraz was healthy and lively but some 10 days ago he developed symptoms of the coronavirus and did not survive," said a family member who spoke to AFP.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) also confirmed his death on its official Twitter handle and expressed grief over the passing of former player.
PCB has expressed grief over the passing of former first-class cricketer Zafar Sarfaraz from Peshawar due to coronavirus on Monday. It has also offered its sympathies to Zafar's family and friends. pic.twitter.com/V0r00VQsFm— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) April 14, 2020
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Sarfraz, a middle-order batsman, played 15 first-class games in Peshawar and retired in 1994.
The nationwide tally of COVID-19 patients has reached 5,812 with 2,856 cases in Punjab, 1,518 in Sindh, 800 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 231 in Balochistan, 233 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 131 in Islamabad, and 43 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The virus has claimed 102 lives while at least 1,378 coronavirus patients have recovered.
A lack of testing and an underfunded health care sector, however, has raised fears the country is ill-equipped to handle a spike in cases.
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