Pakistan coronavirus cases top 700,000, deaths 15,000
A senior citizen receives a dose of the Chinese-made Sinopharm vaccine against the Covid-19 coronavirus, at a vaccination centre in Quetta.–AFP
The number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan has topped 700,000-mark and the deaths 15,000-mark as the country reported 4,004 new infections and 102 fatalities during the last 24 hours (Tuesday), showed the data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday morning.
As per the latest NCOC figures, after the addition of the fresh 102 fatalities, the death toll has now surged to 15,026 whereas the number of total confirmed cases stood at 700,188, after adding 4,004 fresh ones.
During the past 24 hours (Tuesday), 2,631 patients have recovered from the deadly virus while the total recoveries stood at 620,789. As of Wednesday, the total count of active cases was recorded at 64,373 and the positivity rate stood at 9.6 percent.
As many as 267,238 coronavirus cases have now been confirmed in Sindh, 237,594 in Punjab, 93,862 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 62,775 in Islamabad, 19,942 in Balochistan, 13,713 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 5,064 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Moreover, 6,731 individuals have so far lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab, 4,516 in Sindh, 2,496 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 588 in Islamabad, 380 in Azad Kashmir, 212 in Balochistan and 103 in Gilgit Baltistan.
The health facilities across the country conducted 41,699 coronavirus detection tests, taking the total number of COVID-19 tests to 10,535,061 since the first case was reported early last year.
Punjab: Authorities reported 56 deaths due to the coronavirus, raising total casualties to 6,731. The province now has 237,594 confirmed cases; it reported 2,025 new infections after conducting 17,290 tests, a positivity ratio of 11.71 percent. There were 856 new recoveries recorded, leaving 197,841 fully recovered, and 33,022 active cases of the virus.
Sindh: Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Sindh have now climbed to 267,238; it reported 312 new infections on Wednesday after conducting 6,778 tests, a positivity ratio of 4.6 percent. The province reported 6 new deaths, raising toll to 4,516, while its recoveries rose by 116 to 257,013. Overall, the province now has 5,709 active cases of the novel coronavirus.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: The provincial government recorded 829 new infections after conducting 8,019 tests, a positivity ratio of 10.34 percent. Overall, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s confirmed cases have climbed to 93,862. It recorded 27 new deaths and 1,318 recoveries, raising toll to 2,496 and recoveries to 80,348. There are currently 11,018 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.
Balochistan: The province raised its confirmed cases to 19,942 with 87 new infections after conducting 1,301 tests, a positivity ratio of 6.67 percent. There was one death and 37 recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving 212 fatalities and 19,222 fully recovered. There are now 508 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.
Islamabad: The federal capital raised its confirmed coronavirus cases by 564 to 62,775 after conducting 6,722 tests; a positivity ratio of 8.39 percent. There were 4 deaths and 225 recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving 588 casualties; 50,064 recovered; and 12,123 active cases.
GB: Gilgit-Baltistan reported three new cases of the novel coronavirus after conducting 411 tests, a positivity ratio of 0.73 percent; it now has 5,064 confirmed cases. The region reported no new deaths and 2 recoveries, leaving 103 fatalities and 4,892 fully recovered people. There are currently 69 active cases of COVID-19 in the region.
AJK: In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, confirmed cases rose by 86 to 13,713 after conducting 1,178 tests, a positivity ratio of 7.3 percent. There was one death and 66 recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving 380 fatalities and 11,409 fully recovered. It now has 1,924 active cases of COVID-19.
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
-Brazil's daily toll surpasses 4,000-
Brazil registered more than 4,000 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours for the first time Tuesday, the health ministry said, as the country reeled from a surge of infections that has made it the current epicenter of the pandemic.
The coronavirus claimed 4,195 lives in the deadliest day of the pandemic yet for the hard-hit country, whose total reported death toll is now nearly 337,000, second only to the United States.
Brazil's health system is buckling under the strain of the latest virus wave, which has forced doctors into agonizing decisions over which patients to give life-saving care and led cemeteries to hold nighttime burials to deal with the crush of coffins.
"We're in a dreadful situation, and we're not seeing effective measures by either state or federal governments" to respond, said epidemiologist Ethel Maciel of Espirito Santo Federal University.
"At the rate we're vaccinating -- 10 percent of the population (with a first dose) so far -- the only way to slow the extremely fast spread of the virus is an effective lockdown for at least 20 days," she told AFP. "Unfortunately, politics has brought us where we are today: This enormous number of people who have lost their lives. Very sad."
- UK pauses children's AstraZeneca trial -
Oxford University announces it has paused trials of the AstraZeneca vaccine on children, pending guidance from Britain's medicines regulator on its possible link to blood clots.
- AstraZeneca thrombosis link -
The European Medicines Agency says it is still deciding whether the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine causes blood clots after a top official said there was a clear link.
The World Health Organization says the risk-benefit balance for the vaccine is "still largely positive".
- US vaccines -
President Joe Biden is set to announce that all adults across the United States will be eligible for Covid-19 vaccines by April 19 -- well ahead of the already ambitious previous target.
- World economy -
Accelerated vaccinations and a flood of government spending, especially in the US, have boosted the outlook for the global economy, which should grow by 6.0 percent this year after a 3.3-percent contraction in 2020, the IMF says.
- Delhi curfew -
India's capital New Delhi imposes an overnight curfew after more than 100,000 new cases are recorded nationwide on a single day for the first time. Financial hub Mumbai introduces similar restrictions.
- Stranded in Morocco -
Spain and France charter planes and ferries to bring home thousands of their nationals stranded in Morocco, which from Tuesday suspended all passenger flights to and from the two countries to slow the spread of the virus.
- New record in Iran -
Iran announces a new daily record number of 17,430 cases, as authorities warn of a "major increase" in infections to come as the Middle East's hardest-hit country faces its fourth wave.
- Outlier state -
Germans in the tiny border state of Saarland return to cafes, cinemas and cultural venues even as the rest of the country faces tighter restrictions amid rising case numbers.
- 'Not proper' to ignore Covid -
Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan says it was "not proper to ignore" the pandemic, marking a policy shift from her late Covid-sceptic predecessor John Magufuli.
- Big game season -
Botswana resumes its controversial trophy-hunting season, including issuing licences to kill 287 elephants, after big game hunting was halted by the pandemic last year.
- Giant jab centre -
France converts its biggest stadium, the Stade de France, known for major sporting events and pop concerts, into a giant vaccination centre as the government scrambles to keep its promise of a giant leap in jabs.
- Man City take hit -
English Premier League leaders Manchester City largely blame a £126 million ($175 million) net loss last season on the virus.
- 2.8 million dead -
At least 2,864,292 people have died of Covid-19 around the world since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally from official sources at 1830 GMT.
The US is the worst-affected country with 555,735 deaths, followed by Brazil with 332,752, Mexico with 204,399, India with 165,547 and Britain with 126,882.
With inputs from AFP.