Sharp drop in coronavirus infections in Pakistan

NIH data shows cases come down to 371, positivity ratio to 2.47%: Macau lockdown begins, Hong Kong mulls health code app: US Senate Majority Leader Schumer tests positive for Covid

By: News Desk
Published: 10:17 AM, 11 Jul, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: People get married during a mass wedding for Covid-delayed couples at Lincoln Center in New York City.–AFP
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Pakistan recorded a sharp drop in the number of daily coronavirus infections as the country registered 371 cases as compared to previous day’s 502 and two deaths during the last 24 hours (Sunday), showed the figures released by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Monday morning.

As per the NIH data, the death toll in Pakistan has now increased to 30,423 whereas the number of total infections now stood at 1,543,250 after adding the fresh 371 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Sunday), 15,038 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio lowered to 2.47 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 140.

Most of the 371 new cases were reported from Islamabad where were 51 where the positivity ratio stood at 6.72 percent.

The infectivity ratio in Lahore was recorded at 4.32 percent, Mardan 3.28 percent, Hyderabad 3.14 percent, Karachi 2.83 percent and in Peshawar 2.25 percent.

During the last 24 hours (Sunday), another 440 patients recovered from the Covid-19 in Pakistan and the number of total recoveries now stood at 1,502,700. As of Monday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 10,127.

As many as 585,891 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 509,585 in Punjab, 220,314 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 136,643 in Islamabad, 35,614 in Balochistan, 43,433 in Azad Kashmir and 11,770 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 13,579 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,130 in Sindh, 6,325 in KP, 1,027 in Islamabad, 793 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.

Macau lockdown begins, Hong Kong mulls health code app

Macau casino shares plunged on Monday as the Chinese city embarked on a week-long lockdown to curb its worst coronavirus outbreak while neighbouring Hong Kong said it was mulling a mainland-style health code system.

Share prices of six gaming conglomerates -- Sands China, Galaxy Entertainment, SJM Holdings, Melco International, MGM China and Wynn Macau -- dropped by between six to nearly nine percent on Monday morning trade.

It is the first casino lockdown in more than two years, overriding a previous deal between the industry and the Macau government that only those found with infections would need to close temporarily.

Macau is the only place in China where gambling is legal but the pandemic has hammered the city's fortunes as it sticks to Beijing's zero-Covid model.

Authorities announced a week of lockdowns starting Monday after recording more than 1,500 infections in the past three weeks despite multiple rounds of compulsory mass testing of the city's 650,000 people.

All residents must stay home except to go shopping for daily necessities and to get tested for the virus, with rule-breakers facing up to two years in jail.

Some public services and businesses such as supermarkets and pharmacies can stay open, and only people with special permission or a low-risk health code can use public transport.

China uses mandatory health code apps to trace people's movements and coronavirus outbreaks. Only those with green codes can move freely.

It is a system that Hong Kong's government is now considering employing, new health minister Lo Chung-mau said Monday.

"So-called freedom can sometimes be easily confused with selfishness," Lo told RTHK radio.

"Infected people should not have the freedom to go wherever they want and affect our health."

Hong Kong is currently being remoulded in the authoritarian mainland's image after huge democracy protests three years ago.

The business hub has hewed to a lighter version of the zero-Covid model, which has battered the economy and left the city internationally cut off for more than two years.

The newly installed administration of chief executive John Lee, a former security official, has vowed to both stamp out infections and restart travel to both the mainland and outside world.

To do that, authorities may need to deploy more mainland-style mass monitoring of the population.

Hong Kong currently uses a less restrictive mobile phone app than the mainland one, which keeps a resident's vaccination record and is used to check into businesses and venues.

US Senate Majority Leader Schumer tests positive for Covid

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has tested positive for Covid-19, his spokesman said Sunday. 

Schumer joins a list of Washington heavyweights who have contracted the virus this year, including US Vice President Kamala Harris, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and top pandemic advisor Anthony Fauci.

The Democratic New York senator, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, has very mild symptoms, spokesman Justin Goodman said in a statement.

"He greatly appreciates the protection the vaccine has provided him and encourages everyone to test regularly and get vaccinated and boosted." 

Goodman said Schumer will isolate and work remotely this week. 

"Anyone who knows Leader Schumer knows that even if he's not physically in the Capitol, through virtual meetings and his trademark flip phone he will continue with his robust schedule and remain in near constant contact with his colleagues." 

With inputs from AFP.