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♦ The coronavirus pandemic is on the rise in Karachi as the positivity rate in the city has risen to 15.52 per cent; of 4, 891 people whose tests were conducted during the last 24 hours, 759 tested positive for the virus; overall 928 cases were reported from Sindh;
♦ The positivity rate of the coronavirus cases in the country has now reached 3.66 per cent as 1, 649 more cases came to light during the last one day; at the same time, three people died from the pandemic; with 20 fresh cases of the Omicron variant reported from Lahore, the number of cases in the Punjab capital now stands at 306; Federal Minister Asad Umar has advised people to get themselves vaccinated and wear masks since cases of the pandemic were on the rise;
♦ Heart patients are in deep pain as employees of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Karachi go on a strike to press the authorities for the payment of coronavirus allowance to them.
♦ Hundreds of tourists are still present in Murree; while the food shortage has developed at restaurants and hotels due to the closure of roads.
♦ Hotel owners have been found to be equally responsible for the deaths of scores of people in freezing temperatures in Murree; Boycott Murree campaign gathers pace on the social media; one room’s rent which was previously Rs5, 000 was increased to Rs50, 000 overnight; each egg’s price shot up to Rs500; similarly, Rs1, 000 were charged for keeping the heater on for an hour.
♦ Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar approves an amount of Rs1.76 million as the provincial government decides to compensate the victims of the Murree tragedy.
♦ Road links severed as snowfall continues intermittently in Astore district of Gilgit-Baltistan; roads are being cleared of snow at Razmak and in other parts of North Waziristan; weather turns bitterly cold in Azad Jammu and Kashmir following several days of snowfall.
♦ Traffic remained suspended on roads and highways as fog blanketed different parts of Punjab early Monday morning; different sections of the motorway were opened after the closure of several hours; two people were killed while 14 were injured when a bus crashed into a truck parked on a roadside at Feroze Watowan; fog also disrupted flight operation at Lahore airport; air quality index in the city drops to 175.
♦ Wait for the Karachites is over as 80 green line buses will now ply from 7 in the morning to 10:00 PM; fare will range between Rs15 and Rs55.
♦ Action-packed National Assembly session is expected today as the government will try to get the mini budget passed; opposition on the other hand is all set to give tough time to the government; joint opposition will meet today; Shehbaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto and other senior leaders will attend the meeting.
♦ Date of the meeting between JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has been fixed as the opposition parties accelerate their efforts for an in-house change; Shehbaz will also meet with PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
♦ The Supreme Court Bar has drafted an application to challenge lifelong disqualification of any public office holder under article 62 1-F of the constitution; the petition reads that declaring any candidate ineligible for life is against the basic human rights;
♦ The Sindh High Court orders demolition of five storeys of a seven-story structure at Agra Taj Layari area of Karachi; the court bars the authorities from giving gas, water and electricity connections to the building spreading over 96 square yards.
♦ The restoration of International Monetary Fund programme for Pakistan delays further as the country requests the Fund to defer its executive board’s meeting till the last week of January.
♦ Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz attends hearing of Ashiana Housing Society reference; Shehbaz Sharif’s one-day exemption from appearance in the court approved.
♦ Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and PPP announce the formation of committees for a dialogue as the former goes ahead with its protest against the local bodies bill in Karachi.
♦ Sindh Police decide to announce head bounties for the most wanted criminals, especially car lifters; 24News manages to obtain photos of suspects.
♦ A tanker crushes to death two motorcyclists near Korangi Godam Chowrangi in Karachi; bodies shifted to Jinnah hospital; tanker driver arrested.
♦ Coronavirus starts spreading rapidly in the world as over 0.3 million, 0.2 million and 0.1 million fresh cases have been reported from the USA; France and India respectively.
♦ A case of the new variant of the coronavirus named Delta Coron has been reported from Cyprus.
♦ Two more Kashmiris have been martyred in the Indian occupied Kashmir in the name of search operation.
♦ 19 people, including nine children, killed in a fire at a residential building in Brooklyn area of New York; officials say the fire erupted due to a fault in an electric heater.
♦ A football stadium of Oregon State University in the USA was blown up with explosives; the structure comes crashing down in seconds.
♦ Three more charges proved against Myanmar’s democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, including that of possessing ‘illegal’ walkie talkie; court sentences Kyi four more years in prison.
♦ As many as 1, 200 temporary settlements of Rohingya Muslims reduced to ashes as Bangladesh’s largest refugee camp catches fire
♦ One year has passed to the death of a renowned Urdu poet, intellectual and critic Naseer Turabi.
♦ Today is the 23rd death anniversary of popular playback singer Akhlaq Ahmad. He sang 177 songs for 86 films in his career.