71 coronavirus deaths, over 2,700 new cases reported in Pakistan

By: News Desk      Published: 10:32 AM, 12 Dec, 2020
71 coronavirus deaths, over 2,700 new cases reported in Pakistan

Pakistan recorded 71 more deaths and 2,729 new coronavirus cases during the past 24 hours (Friday), showed the latest data released by National Command and Operation Centre on Saturday morning.

It means the coronavirus death toll in the country has now reached 8,724 after another 36 people died in Punjab, 23 in Sindh, five each in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad, and two in Azad Kashmir.

As far as the new coronavirus cases are concerned, 1,439 of these were reported in Sindh, 629 in Punjab, 286 in Islamabad and 232 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Thus, the over number of infections recorded so far in the country has jumped to 435,056.

With Sindh being most affected region in terms of the reported cases and Punjab witnessing the highest death rate, the region-wise distribution of the coronavirus cases and deaths now stands at:

Sindh 192,735 cases and 3,132 deaths, Punjab 126,526 cases and 3,330 deaths, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 51,404 cases and 1,455 deaths, Islamabad 34,300 cases and 358 deaths, Balochistan 17,696 cases and 173 deaths, Azad Kashmir 7,620 cases and 188 deaths, Gilgit Baltistan 4,775 cases and 98 deaths.

On the other hand, the number of active cases again moved up during the past 24 hours which now stands at 45,124. Out these infected persons, 2,470 are in a critical condition and being treated in intensive care units of different hospitals with 355 of them placed on ventilators.

Also on Friday, another 2,116 coronavirus patients fully recovered from the infection, raising the overall number to 381,208. In this way, the number of closed cases [deaths + patients recovering from infection] has increased to 390,004.

Meanwhile, efforts are underway through the testing process to identify, isolate and trace new coronavirus cases to control the infection rate. For this purpose, another 41,226 tests were administered across the country during the past 24 hours after which the overall number carried out since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic reached 5,990,148.

Brazil death toll surpasses 180,000

Brazil passed the grim milestone of 180,000 deaths from Covid-19 Friday, as experts warned the country was undergoing a second wave of infections despite President Jair Bolsonaro's insistence the crisis was at the "tail end."

The Brazilian health ministry reported 672 new deaths for a total of 180,437 since the pandemic began, making the South American country the second to pass that threshold, after the United States.

The curves for both infections and deaths in Brazil now show clear signs of an upward trend, after falling somewhat from late August to early November.

Bolsonaro drew criticism from opponents this week for his latest comments downplaying the health crisis.

"We're at the tail end of the pandemic. Compared to other countries in the world, our government was the best, or one of the best, in handling it," the far-right leader said Thursday.

Health experts disagreed.

"The president is wrong. I don't know where he got that idea, but no indicator shows that" the end is near, said Christovam Barcellos, a researcher at Brazil's leading public-health research center, Fiocruz.

In fact, infections are also rising sharply again. They surpassed the 54,000 mark Friday, for a total of 6.8 million since the pandemic began.

Barcellos warned the situation could get worse still with the holiday season and the southern hemisphere summer.

Latest global developments

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- WHO warns on holiday cheer -

The World Health Organization warns people to think very carefully about their plans for the festive season, saying there has been a 60 percent increase worldwide in deaths from Covid-19 over the past six weeks.

- US jabs by Monday? - 

The United States could start injecting the first Americans with the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine by Monday, health secretary Alex Azar says.

His comments come after an expert committee convened by the United States Food and Drug Administration votes heavily in favour of approving it for emergency use.

- Sanofi, GSK shots delay -

France's Sanofi and Britain's GSK say their protein-based vaccines will not be ready until the end of 2021, after interim results showed a low immune response in older adults.

- UN chief lashes response - 

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres lashes out at the global response to Covid-19, describing it as "fragmented and chaotic.... We cannot let the same thing happen for access to new COVID-19 vaccines," he says.

- Over 1.58 million dead -

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,582,721 people since the outbreak emerged in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP on Friday.

The US is the worst-affected country with 292,190 deaths, followed by Brazil with 179,765, India with 142,186 and Mexico with 112,326.

- Acceleration in US, Canada -

The virus spread fastest in the United States and Canada last week with a 19 percent increase in new cases, according to a specialised AFP database.

Africa followed with a nine percent increase, while Europe has stabilised at a high infection rate with an average of 236,700 per day.

- No indoor dining for NYC -

New York City will stop indoor dining from next week, Governor Andrew Cuomo says, in the latest blow to the Big Apple's famed restaurants and economy from the pandemic. 

- Catalan skiing -

Amid a European row over whether ski resorts should operate during the pandemic, resorts in Spain's Catalonia region that borders France say they will open next week.

- Swiss shutdown -

Switzerland announces that all shops, bars and restaurants must close from 7:00pm from Saturday until January 22.

- Britain reduces quarantine -

Britain says it is to cut its period of self-isolation from 14 to 10 days for travellers arriving from overseas and people who come into contact with positive coronavirus cases.

- False positive -

The test on Italy's interior minister Luciana Lamorgese, who tested positive for coronavirus earlier this week, "turned out to be wrong", her office says.

- Genetic variants -

Scientists say they  have identified genetic variants that make patients more likely to develop severe Covid-19, in a breakthrough that could see new and existing drugs help patients survive the illness.

With inputs from AFP.