Pakistan records 54 more coronavirus deaths, 1,353 infections

US daily toll below 1,000 for time: over 700,000 deaths in Latin America

By: News Desk      Published: 10:54 AM, 9 Mar, 2021
Pakistan records 54 more coronavirus deaths, 1,353 infections

Another 54 people lost their lives to coronavirus whereas 1,353 new infections were reported across Pakistan during the last 24 hours (Monday), showed the data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Tuesday morning.

As per the latest NCOC figures, after the addition of 54 new fatalities the death toll has surged to 13,281 while the number of total confirmed cases stood at 593,453, after adding 1,353 new infections.

During the past 24 hours (Monday), 3,365 patients have recovered from the Covid-19 while the number of total recoveries stood at 563,823. The total count of active cases across Pakistan was 16,349.

As many as 259,956 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 178,648 in Punjab, 74,167 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 45,976 in Islamabad, 19,121 in Balochistan, 10,626 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 4,959 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 5,600 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab, 4,436 in Sindh, 2,118 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 511 in Islamabad, 313 in Azad Kashmir, 201 in Balochistan and 102 in Gilgit Baltistan.

A total of 31,786 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours (Monday) while 9,278,613 samples have so far been tested.

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS

-US daily toll falls-

For the first time in nearly three and a half months, the United States recorded fewer than 1,000 deaths in a day from Covid-19 on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

In 24 hours, 749 people died from the coronavirus, far below the peak of 4,473 deaths recorded on January 12. 

The daily US death toll has not been below the thousand mark since November 29, when 822 people died in a 24-hour period. 

That indicates that the slowdown in the epidemic is continuing in the United States, where infection rates and deaths have fallen to similar levels as before Halloween, Thanksgiving and other end-of-year holidays that were marked by travel and larger gatherings that boosted the spread of the virus.

The slowdown is good news for President Joe Biden, whose colossal $1.9 trillion aid plan successfully passed the Senate on Saturday, and will bolster his large-scale vaccination strategy. 

-Latin America tally-

More than 700,000 lives have been lost to Covid-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean since the pandemic began, according to an AFP tally on Monday evening from official sources.

The region, which encompasses 34 countries and territories in South and Central America and the Caribbean plus Mexico, recorded 700,022 deaths -- the second-highest number of virus fatalities after Europe.

Brazil and Mexico account for two-thirds of the region's coronavirus deaths, which hit the grim figure of over 500,000 by the end of December and have steadily increased since, reaching 600,000 on February 2.

Brazil, the country second-hardest hit after the United States, has registered more than 266,000 deaths from 11 million reported infections.

- 100,000 dead in Italy -

Italy's death toll passes 100,000, just over a year since it became the first European country to be overwhelmed by Covid-19.

At least 2,595,242 people have died of coronavirus around the world since the outbreak began in December 2019, an AFP tally from official sources on Monday showed. 

The United States is the worst-affected country with 525,136 deaths followed by Brazil (265,411), Mexico (190,604), India (157,853) and Britain (124,566).

- Millions more EU jabs -

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen says she expects the bloc to receive 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccines every month from April, in a boost to its struggling inoculation campaign.

The 27-nation bloc with a population of 446 million people has received 51.5 million doses of vaccines as of February 26, according to official data posted on the EU's website.

- Biden to speak -

President Joe Biden will give a primetime television address on Thursday to mark the one year anniversary of the US coronavirus lockdown, the White House says.

In the address Biden will "discuss the many sacrifices the American people have made over the last year and the grave loss communities and families across the country have suffered," Press Secretary Jen Psaki says.

- Assad positive -

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma have tested positive for Covid-19 after experiencing mild symptoms, and will quarantine for up to three weeks, the presidency says.

- Bad news for women -

The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic and political turmoil have sharpened the challenges facing women as they demand equal rights, three of the world's top female leaders tell the European Parliament on International Women's Day. 

"COVID-19 has threatened the health, the economic security, and the physical security of women everywhere," US Vice President Kamala Harris says in a video address to a session also addressed by New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and EU chief Von der Leyen.  

- EU vaccine warning -

Von der Leyen warns that the EU could halt further exports of the coronavirus vaccine, saying Italy's stopping of a shipment to Australia "was not a one-off".

Italy last week revealed it had blocked the export of 250,700 doses of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine meant for Australia, blaming the shortage of jabs in virus-hit Europe -- and the lack of urgent need in Australia.

- New US mask rules -

People who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can gather indoors unmasked with others who have been vaccinated, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in new guidance.

They can also visit unvaccinated people from one other household indoors without masks or distancing so long as the unvaccinated people are not at high risk for severe Covid-19, it adds.

- Covid-free rail link -

Italy's state-run railways say they will operate "Covid-free" high-speed trains on the Rome-Milan route starting next month, with all staff and passengers tested for coronavirus before boarding "with the help of the Red Cross". 

- More than 300 million doses -

At least 305.67 million doses of anti-Covid vaccine have been administered in at least 140 countries and territories around the world, according to an AFP count at 1730 GMT.

With inputs from AFP.