Coronavirus kills another 52 Pakistanis, infects 1,579 in 24 hours
Daily US Covid cases below 40,000 for first time in months
Pakistan has recorded another 52 deaths by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 587,014 during the last 24 hours (Thursday), showed the figures released by the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC) on Friday morning.
With the addition of 52 new deaths, the countrywide tally of fatalities has now jumped to 13,128.
As per the latest NCOC statistics, 1,579 persons tested positive for coronavirus during the past 24 hours (Thursday).
As usual, Sindh remained the worst-hit province by the pandemic in terms of cases followed by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Most casualties have been reported in Punjab.
As many as 259,164 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 175,051 in Punjab, 73,258 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 19,097 in Balochistan, 45,078 in Islamabad, 10,409 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 4,957 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
As many as 5,510 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Punjab, 4,405 in Sindh, 2,099 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 200 in Balochistan, 504 in Islamabad, 308 in Azad Kashmir and 102 in Gilgit Baltistan.
Pakistan has so far conducted 9,135,393 coronavirus tests and 37,998 during the last 24 hours (Thursday), whereas 556,769 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas 1,551 patients were in critical condition.
Daily US cases
The United States recorded fewer than 40,000 new cases of Covid-19 in one day for the first time in five months on Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University pandemic tracker.
This number peaked at nearly 300,000 new cases on January 8 in the country hardest hit by the pandemic, with more than half a million fatalities.
But now it is back down to the levels of before Thanksgiving and Christmas, when holiday travel and gatherings in defiance of safety warnings were blamed for spreading the virus further in the US.
Another encouraging sign as the United States presses on with its vaccination drive is that daily deaths and hospitalizations from Covid are also way down.
Three vaccines are currently being administered in the country and the Biden administration says the campaign to jab 100 million people in his first 100 days in office is ahead of schedule.
The number people vaccinated is now close to surpassing the number of cases detected here since the global pandemic began a year ago.
But amid the stream of good news, some states are lifting Covid restrictions such as mask wearing mandates.
Biden has called such steps premature and dangerous.
These are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
- First vaccine export ban -
Italy blocks a shipment to Australia of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine in the first such export ban under an EU vaccine monitoring scheme.
The scheme was set up after the Anglo-Swedish company supplied just a fraction of the doses it had promised to deliver to the bloc.
- Joining up with Israel -
Leaders from Israel, Austria and Denmark announce an alliance for the development and production of future generation coronavirus vaccines.
- Sputnik for EU? -
The European Union's drug watchdog starts a "rolling review" of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, a key step towards approval for use across the 27-nation bloc.
Russia says it is ready to provide 50 million doses to Europe by June if the jab is approved.
- EU vaccine pledge -
The European Union's coronavirus vaccination campaign should be able to inoculate "all those who need" by the end of summer or perhaps sooner, EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton says.
The pledge comes after the World Health Organization warns that the number of new cases is rising in Europe after six weeks of decline.
- Rio tightens curbs -
Rio de Janeiro becomes the latest city in Brazil to go back on partial lockdown, after the country registers record Covid-19 death tolls the past two days.
- Ukraine warns of lockdown -
Ukraine's Prime Minister Denys Shmygal warns of a new national lockdown, after the country records more than 10,000 new virus infections in the past 24 hours, a high since the end of January.
- Third French region -
France places the northern Pas-de-Calais region under weekend lockdown, the third area to be singled out for tighter restrictions.
- AstraZeneca for seniors -
Germany and Sweden authorise the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine for people over 65, after the countries say recent studies prove its effectiveness.
- Curevac deal -
German group Curevac says it has signed a deal with Novartis for the Swiss pharmaceutical giant to help in its production of the Covid-19 vaccine it is developing, mRNA.
- Extreme poverty in Latin America -
Extreme poverty in Latin America has reached its worst level in 20 years due to the pandemic, while the number of poor people there rose by 22 million in 2020, the UN says.
- 2.56 million dead -
The virus has killed at least 2,560,789 people since it emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources.
The US is the worst-affected country with 519,064 deaths, followed by Brazil (259,271), Mexico (188,044), India (157,435) and Britain (123,783).
With inputs from AFP.