A man holds his daughter as a health official checks her body temperature amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 at Peshawar railway station in Peshawar on March 17, 2020. (Photo by ABDUL MAJEED/AFP via Getty Images)

THE coronavirus pandemic expands in the Indian sub-continent. Bangladesh and Pakistan have reported their first fatalities due to COVID-19 on Wednesday (18).

In Bangladesh, a 70-year old man died due to the virus. The number of active cases in the country now stands at 14, said Prof Meerjady Sabrina Flora, director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR).

The patient had multiple pre-existing complications like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high blood pressure, heart problems and diabetes.

Besides, he had heart stenting done previously, Prof Meerjady added.

Bangladesh has said that a total of 16 people have been kept in isolation while 42 are kept in institutionalised quarantine.

The IEDCR has tested 341 samples so far.

In Pakistan, a 58-year-old man from Gilgit-Baltistan’s Diamer district died from the virus during treatment, GB Health Secretary Rashid Ahmed said.

The total number of confirmed cases in Pakistan now stands at 269.

The virus-affected regions are Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan, Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan (AJK/GB).

Most positive cases are in Sindh province with 189 patients.

India has reported three deaths so far due to the virus with 151 active cases as on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka already declared a 3-day national holiday to combat the virus.