89 new coronavirus deaths take Pakistan death toll nears 8,500
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Pakistan reported its highest daily death count in recent months as 89 people died of the coronavirus during the past 24 hours, raising the toll in the country to 8,487, reported National Command and Operation Centre on Tuesday morning.
Most of these deaths were recorded in Punjab and Sindh where 41 coronavirus patients each lost their lives. It was followed by six in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one in Azad Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Sindh continued to be the worst affected region with 1,726 new cases. Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa witnessed 429 and 402 infections during the same period.
The coronavirus pandemic-related figures for different regions are given below with the overall number of cases currently standing at 423,179 after the virus was found in another 2,885 people:
Sindh 186,212 cases and 3,060 deaths, Punjab 124,191 cases and 3,218 deaths, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 45,078 cases and 1,419 deaths, Islamabad 33,061 cases and 341 deaths, Balochistan 17,501 cases and 169 deaths, Azad Kashmir 7,390 cases and 182 deaths, Gilgit Baltistan 4,746 cases and 98 deaths.
On Monday, the number of people recovering from the coronavirus infection reached 370,474 with the addition of 13,932, resulting in a sharp reduction in active cases which were reduced to 44,218.
Meanwhile, 2,486 of these active cases are currently in critical condition and being treated in intensive care units of different hospitals.
On the other hand, 33,610 more tests were administered in different parts of the country as part of the ongoing efforts to identify, isolate and trace new coronavirus cases to control the infection rate, increasing the overall number to 5,827,852.
Latest global developments
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
- UK preps V-day -
The world-first rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is due to start on Tuesday in the UK. Dubbed "V-Day" by Health Secretary Matt Hancock, he has volunteered to take it live on television. Queen Elizabeth II, 94, has also said she will take the vaccine as has Monty Python star Michael Palin, 77, campaigning singer Bob Geldof, 69, and 73-year-old Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones.
- First vaccines for Canada -
Pfizer and BioNTech will deliver the first -- up to 249,000 -- doses of their Covid-19 vaccine to Canada this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces. He says pending Health Canada approval, the first shipment could be delivered next week, with millions more doses to follow in 2021.
- Indian firms seek vaccine approval -
Two Indian pharmaceutical firms seek fast-track approval for distribution of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine -- of which the company is already making 50-60 million doses a month -- saying it "will save countless lives" in the hard-hit country of 1.3 billion.
- South California in lockdown -
Southern California goes into a strict lockdown, with more than 20 million people under stay-at-home orders triggered after hospitals passed a threshold set by Governor Gavin Newsom of more than 85 percent of intensive care unit beds being filled.
- Danish closures -
Denmark announces new shutdown measures in 38 municipalities covering almost half of the country's population, including the closure of middle and high schools, bars, cafes and restaurants.
- Greece extends lockdown -
Greece extends its lockdown measures to January 7, citing the slow impact of restrictive measures announced a month ago. The shutdown affects schools, restaurants, clubs, courts and most professional sports and travel between regions.
- Germany mulls next measures -
Chancellor Angela Merkel urges German regions with high coronavirus rates to tighten social contact restrictions before Christmas, after the country sees its infection levels plateau at a high level for more than a month.
- Over 1.53 million dead -
The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,535,987 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Monday.
The US is the worst-affected country with 282,324 deaths.
After the US, the hardest-hit countries are Brazil with 176,941 deaths, India with 140,573 deaths, Mexico with 109,717 deaths, and the UK with 61,245 deaths.
- World Economic Forum in Singapore -
The World Economic Forum moves next year's summit from Switzerland to Singapore, where it will be held in person from May 13-16 due to the pandemic.
- Cricket crisis -
England's cricket tour of South Africa is called off after a Covid-19 outbreak in the England touring party.
- Pope's first trip -
The Vatican announces Pope Francis will visit Iraq in March, in what will be his first trip since the coronavirus pandemic.
- Lufthansa cuts costs -
Some 35,000 ground crew at Germany's beleaguered airline giant Lufthansa agree to a 200-million-euro ($240 million) cut in personnel costs in exchange for avoiding forced redundancies until March 2022, trade union Verdi says.
- World Cup stadium opening -
Qatar will inaugurate its third completed football 2022 World Cup stadium with a domestic fixture on December 18 at which half of tickets will be reserved for fans who have recovered from coronavirus.
With inputs from AFP.