Pakistan posts lowest coronavirus cases since October
1,008 new infections, 40 deaths reported in last 24 hours
The gradual decrease in the number of daily coronavirus cases continued as Pakistan recorded its lowest single-day infections since October after 1,008 people tested positive for the virus during the last 24 hours (Monday), showed data issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Tuesday.
During the last 24 hours (Monday), 31,509 tests were conducted across the country taking the total number of tests conducted so far in Pakistan to 8,256,378.
As many as 1,008 came out positive out of the new tests conducted, taking the nationwide tally to 556,519. Sindh reported 387 cases, Punjab 412, Balochistan 8 and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recorded 94 new cases, Islamabad reported 86, Azad Jammu and Kashmir 19 while Gilgit-Baltistan reported only two cases. Currently, there were 31,510 active cases throughout the country.
At least 251,434 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 161,347 in Punjab, 68,625 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 18,877 in Balochistan, 42,080 in Islamabad, 9,238 in Azad Kashmir, and 4,918 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
During the last 24 hours (Monday), the novel coronavirus also claimed 40 more lives, taking the death toll to 12,066 in Pakistan. As many as 1,441 people also recovered in 24 hours, taking the total number of recoveries to 512,943.
Moreover, 4,919 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Punjab, 4,132 in Sindh, 1,964 in KP, 196 in Balochistan, 480 in Islamabad, 273 in Azad Kashmir, and 102 in GB.
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
- WHO verdict on AstraZeneca -
World Health Organization experts are deciding who the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine should best be given to, as doubts are raised about its usefulness for older people and against the South African strain.
It will deliver its verdict later this week.
- South African doubts -
South African health experts suggest vaccinating several thousand people with AstraZeneca's vaccine to assess whether it protects against severe cases of the variant that emerged there.
Authorities on Sunday delayed the start of a vaccination campaign -- expected to begin this week with a first batch of one million AstraZeneca/Oxford doses -- after a study showed the jabs failed to prevent mild and moderate infection from the variant.
- British variant spreading in US -
The British coronavirus variant is rapidly spreading in the United States, threatening to bring a surge of new cases as its prevalence doubles roughly every 10 days, according to a new study.
The study offers the most comprehensive look at the rise of the variant in the country hit hardest by the pandemic. It has not yet been peer reviewed and was posted online on Sunday.
- Russian mortality spikes -
Russia recorded a 17.9 percent increase in mortality in 2020 fuelled by the coronavirus pandemic, according to figures released by the Rosstat statistics agency that showed more than 162,000 virus-related deaths.
In total, 2.12 million people died in Russia in 2020 compared to 1.8 million in 2019, with the pandemic exacerbating a demographic crisis the country has faced since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
- Dutch curfew extended -
The Dutch government extends the country's coronavirus curfew to March 2, citing the spread of new contagious variants.
The introduction of the curfew last month sparked the country's worst riots in four decades.
- Mexican president beats Covid -
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says that he has overcome the coronavirus as he resumes his daily news conference, as usual not wearing a mask, after more than two weeks in isolation.
The left-wing populist, who has a history of heart problems and hypertension, reveals that he has been treated with antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Iranian homegrown jab -
Iran unveils its second homegrown coronavirus vaccine project, dubbed Razi Cov Pars, developed at the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, which is linked to the agriculture ministry.
The jab, which will be the focus of Phase 1 of clinical trials, is introduced on the eve of a campaign to vaccinate Iran's 80-million-plus population, starting with Russia's Sputnik V jab, of which Tehran has bought two million doses.
- More than 2.3 million dead -
The virus has killed at least 2,316,812 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP Monday.
The United States is the worst-affected country with 463,470 deaths followed by Brazil with 231,534, Mexico with 166,200, India with 155,080, and the UK with 112,465.