Pakistan posts 98 new coronavirus deaths, 5,329 infections in a day
People wearing facemasks wait for transport at a market in Rawalpindi.–AFP
Another 98 people died due to the coronavirus pandemic whereas 5,329 fresh infections were reported during the last 24 hours (Wednesday), showed the statistics released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Thursday morning.
As per the latest NCOC figures, after the addition of 98 new fatalities, the death toll has now surged to 15,124 whereas the number of total confirmed cases stood at 705,517, after adding 5,329 fresh ones.
During the past 24 hours (Wednesday), 2,610 patients have recovered from the virus whereas the number of total recoveries stood at 623,399. As of Thursday, the total count of active cases was recorded at 66,994 and the positivity rate stood at 10.69 percent.
As many as 267,612 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 240,584 in Punjab, 94,880 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 63,499 in Islamabad, 19,999 in Balochistan, 13,873 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 5,070 in Gilgit Baltistan.
Moreover, 6,793 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab, 4,520 in Sindh, 2,519 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 591 in Islamabad, 386 in Azad Kashmir, 212 in Balochistan and 103 in Gilgit Baltistan.
The health facilities across the country conducted 49,816 coronavirus detection tests during the last 24 (hours), taking the total number of Covid-19 tests in the country to 10,584,877 since the first case was reported.
Punjab: Authorities reported 62 deaths due to the coronavirus, raising the total casualties to 6,793. The province now has 240,584 confirmed cases; it reported 2,990 new infections after conducting 21,325 tests, a positivity ratio of 14 percent. There were 912 new recoveries recorded, leaving 198,753 fully recovered, and 35,038 active cases of the virus.
Sindh: Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Sindh have now climbed to 267,612; it reported 374 new infections after conducting 9,411 tests, a positivity ratio of 3.97 percent. The province reported 4 new deaths, raising toll to 4,520, while its recoveries rose by 163 to 257,176. Overall, the province now has 5,916 active cases of the novel coronavirus.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: The provincial government recorded 1,018 new infections after conducting 8,292 tests, a positivity ratio of 12.28 percent. Overall, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s confirmed cases have climbed to 94,880. It recorded 23 new deaths and 945 recoveries, raising the toll to 2,519 and recoveries to 81,293. There are currently 11,068 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.
Balochistan: The province raised its confirmed cases to 19,999 with 57 new infections after conducting 816 tests, a positivity ratio of 6.98 percent. There were no deaths and 27 recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving 212 fatalities and 19,249 fully recovered. There are now 538 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.
Islamabad: The federal capital raised its confirmed coronavirus cases by 724 to 63,499 after conducting 8,433 tests; a positivity ratio of 8.58 percent. There were 3 deaths and 466 recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving 591 casualties; 50,530 recovered; and 12,378 active cases.
Gilgit-Baltistan: GB reported six new cases of the novel coronavirus after conducting 474 tests, a positivity ratio of 1.26 percent; it now has 5,070 confirmed cases. The region reported no new deaths and 4 recoveries, leaving 103 fatalities and 4,896 fully recovered people. There are currently 71 active cases of COVID-19 in the region.
AJK: In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, confirmed cases rose by 160 to 13,873 after conducting 1,065 tests, a positivity ratio of 15 percent. There were 6 deaths and 93 recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving 386 fatalities and 11,502 fully recovered. It now has 1,985 active cases of Covid-19.
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
-Argentina virus curfew-
The curfew will enter into force on Friday and apply from midnight to 06:00 am every day until April 30, he said in a message recorded at his official residence, where he is self-isolating after being infected with the virus himself.
It will be in force in the country's highest risk areas, mainly the urban centers, the president said. Bars and restaurants will close at 11:00 pm.
Earlier Wednesday, Argentina's health ministry said a record 22,039 new infections were reported in the preceding 24 hours -- up from the previous record of 20,870 the day before. More than 13,500 of the latest cases were reported in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area -- home to a third of Argentina's population of 45 million.
To date, some 4.5 million Argentinians have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, and just over 700,000 both doses.
- AstraZeneca jab link to blood clots -
The EU's medicines regulator says that blood clots should be listed as a rare side effect of the AstraZeneca jab but the benefits continue to outweigh risks. WHO experts say a causal relationship between the vaccine and blood clots is "plausible but is not confirmed".
Italy and Belgium react by suspending the use of AstraZeneca's vaccine on younger people. The UK says it will use other vaccines on those under 30 whenever possible.
- India battered -
Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home region Gujarat is forced to tighten curbs as infections in India rocket to a record of almost 116,000 new cases in 24 hours. The new wave is being blamed on people attending huge religious and political events as well as weddings and cricket matches.
- Nearly 700 million vaccines jabs worldwide -
More than 694 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered globally, according to an AFP tally, with just a handful of countries leading the pack by a wide margin.
Though vaccinations have begun in at least 195 territories around the world, richer nations have made much more progress than the rest, with the lowest-income countries accounting for just 0.1 percent of the doses administered.
- G20 agrees to help poorest nations -
G20 finance ministers and central bankers agree to extend a moratorium on debt interest payments for the poorest countries, which could lag behind the global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
In an online meeting, the Group of 20 most powerful nations also backed the International Monetary Fund's plan to boost its reserve offerings to help impoverished nations, and pledged to reach a deal on global tax reform by the middle of the year.
- Mental, neurological problems -
One in three people who overcome Covid-19 suffer from a neurological or psychiatric diagnosis six months on, according to the largest study so far published on the mental toll that long-Covid takes on survivors.
Authors say the research, printed in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, proves that Covid-19 patients are significantly more likely to develop brain conditions than those suffering from other respiratory tract infections.
- Merkel calls for lockdown -
German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for a short national lockdown to stem rising case numbers putting her on a collision course with some states who control health policy.
- Aussies blame EU -
Australia's prime minister blames EU vaccine export controls for halting its inoculation drive, as he faces growing public frustration over the sluggish rollout.
- Vaccine diplomacy -
Taiwan accuses China of trying to tempt Paraguay to drop its recognition of the island nation in exchange for vaccines.
Paraguay is one of only 15 countries that officially recognise Taipei over Beijing, which claims Taiwan as part of its territory.
- 2.8 million dead -
At least 2,874,984 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.
The US is the worst-affected country with 556,528 deaths, followed by Brazil with 336,947, Mexico with 205,002, India with 166,177 and Britain with 126,882.
With inputs from AFP.