Pakistan records third consecutive day free of coronavirus fatality

NIH record shows daily infections drop to 148 with positivity ratio plunging to 0.56%: China reports 20,000 daily Covid cases, most since start of pandemic

By: News Desk
Published: 09:22 AM, 6 Apr, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: Employees are welcomed back to work with breakfast in the cafeteria at the Chicago Google offices in Illinois. Google employees began returning to work in the office this week for three days a week following a two-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.–AFP
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Pakistan has registered the third consecutive coronavirus death-free day with all other indicators also nosediving indicating that the Covid-19 pandemic was taking its last breaths in the country.

The number of single-day infections also dropped to 148 which is new lowest in many months from the coronavirus pandemic during the last 24 hours (Tuesday), showed the figures released by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Wednesday morning.

As per the latest NIH data, the death toll from the coronavirus remained unchanged for the third continuous day at 30,361, whereas the number of total infections now stood at 1,525,923 after adding the fresh 148 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), 26,413 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 0.56 percent. The number of patients in critical care was 310.

During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), as many as 212 patients have recovered from the virus whereas the total recoveries stood at 1,486,464. As of Wednesday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 9,098.

As many as 575,949 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 505,224 in Punjab, 219,173 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 135,103 in Islamabad, 35,478 in Balochistan, 43,281 in Azad Kashmir and 11,715 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 13,558 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,097 in Sindh, 6,322 in KP, 1,023 in Islamabad, 792 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.

The NIH also informed that 80 percent of eligible Pakistani population stand fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

 

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS

Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.

China reports 20,000 daily Covid cases

China reported over 20,000 Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, the highest daily tally given since the start of the pandemic, with Shanghai the heart of the virus surge despite being in lockdown.

The country's "zero-Covid" strategy has come under immense strain as cases spike.

Until March, China had kept daily cases low with snap localised lockdowns, mass testing, and strict restrictions on international travel.

But the caseload has hit thousands per day in recent weeks, with officials saying they have detected a mutation of the highly transmissible Omicron variant near Shanghai.

China recorded 20,472 infections on Wednesday, the National Health Commission said in a statement, adding that there were "no new deaths."

It is the country's highest-ever daily infection number given by authorities, even during the peak of the initial outbreak which centreed around Wuhan. 

The majority of the cases are, however, asymptomatic.

Yet in Shanghai quarantine facilities are bulging with people who test positive as city officials stick rigidly to virus protocols.

Those include separating Covid-positive babies and children from parents who test negative, a policy that has stirred anxiety and anguish from worried families.

Shanghai, China's largest city, accounted for more than 80 percent of the national tally, city officials said on Wednesday.

The metropolis of 25 million locked down its residents in phases last week, prompting scenes of panic-buying and mass testing.

A top Shanghai official has conceded that the financial hub had been "insufficiently prepared" for the outbreak.

Anger over lack of fresh food and curtailed movements is rising among residents as the lockdowns drag on, with state broadcaster CCTV reporting that the city will launch a fresh round of tests on the entire population on Wednesday.

China, the country where the coronavirus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, is among the last remaining places following a zero-Covid approach to the pandemic.

The outbreak has taken on an increasingly serious economic dimension, trimming analysts' growth projections as factories close and millions of consumers are ordered indoors.

Omicron sub-variant BA.2

The US national public health agency said on Monday the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron was estimated to account for nearly three of every four coronavirus variants in the country. Overall Covid-19 cases in the United States have dropped sharply after hitting record levels in January, but a resurgence in cases in parts of Asia and Europe has raised concerns that another wave could follow in the United States. The country’s health experts, however, believe it is unlikely.

US Senate negotiators reach deal on $10 billion for Covid aid

Negotiators in Congress have agreed to an additional $10 billion in Covid-19 funding to address US needs but have dropped international aid from the package, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday. The compromise, if passed, would be less than half of the $22.5 billion initially sought by US President Joe Biden to combat Covid, prepare for future variants and shore up the nation’s pandemic infrastructure.

Mexico says WTO Covid vaccine deal should go beyond IP waiver

Any World Trade Organisation (WTO) agreement on Covid-19 vaccines should include more than just a waiver on intellectual property, Mexico’s representative to the trade body said, in a sign that consensus is proving tough to forge. The United States, the European Union, India and South Africa reached a provisional consensus on elements of a long-sought IP waiver for the vaccines, according to a document that circulated among governments last month.

South Africa’s Covid state of disaster to end at midnight

South Africa’s national state of disaster, in place for more than two years in response to Covid-19, will end from midnight local time on Monday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said. The national state of disaster has been the government’s main mechanism for managing the pandemic. Removing it will do away with the vast majority of remaining Covid-19 restrictions, aside from a few that will remain in place on a transitional basis, Ramaphosa said.

With inputs from AFP.