Coronavirus fatalities recede, infections increase in Pakistan
Indian nationals return to their country after being stranded due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan, at the Wagah Border Post.–AFP
There has been a gradual decline in the number of coronavirus fatalities in Pakistan while the number of new infections were on the rise.
At least 41 people lost their lives due to the Covid-19 2,408 new cases have reported in the last 24 hours (Monday), the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said on Tuesday morning.
According to the latest NCOC data, the death toll has now climbed up to 10,717 while the total number of confirmed cases has jumped to 506,701.
At least 3,606 patients have recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours whereas total recoveries stand at 461,977. As many as 2,340 patients are currently in critical condition including 54 whose health condition has been declared sensitive.
The total count of active cases is 34,007 on Tuesday.
Punjab: On Tuesday, authorities reported 27 deaths due to the coronavirus, raising total casualties to 4,299. The province now has 146,016 confirmed cases; it reported 508 new infections after conducting 14,499 tests, a positivity ratio of 3.5 percent. There were 407 new recoveries recorded, leaving 130,765 fully recovered, and 10,952 active cases of the virus.
Sindh: Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Sindh have now climbed to 227,885; it reported 1,547 new infections on Tuesday after conducting 14,137 tests, a positivity ratio of 10.94 percent. The province reported 9 new deaths, raising toll to 3,708, while its recoveries rose by 2,852 to 206,927. Overall, the province now has 17,250 active cases of the novel coronavirus.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: In the past 24 hours, the provincial government recorded 224 new infections after conducting 5,001 tests, a positivity ratio of 4.48 percent. Overall, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s confirmed cases have climbed to 61,648. It recorded 3 new deaths, raising toll to 1,743, while its recoveries have risen by 179 to 56,714. There are currently 3,191 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.
Balochistan: The province on Tuesday raised its confirmed cases to 18,429 with 17 new infections after conducting 574 tests, a positivity ratio of 2.96 percent. There were no deaths and 17 recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving 188 fatalities and 17,955 fully recovered. There are now 286 active cases of COVID-19 in the province.
Islamabad: Islamabad on Tuesday raised its confirmed coronavirus cases by 98 to 39,340 after conducting 5,277 tests; a positivity ratio of 1.86 percent. There were 2 deaths and 130 recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving 443 casualties; 36,895 recovered; and 2,002 active cases.
Gilgit Baltistan: Gilgit Baltistan reported 2 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday after conducting 367 tests, a positivity ratio of 0.54 percent. It now has 4,882 confirmed cases. The region reported no deaths and 5 recoveries, leaving 101 fatalities and 4,739 fully recovered people. There are currently 42 active cases of COVID-19 in the region.
Azad Kashmir: In Azad Kashmir, confirmed cases rose by 12 to 8,501 after conducting 233 tests, a positivity ratio of 5.15 percent. There were no deaths and 16 recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving 235 fatalities and 7,982 fully recovered. It now has 284 active cases of COVID-19.
Malaysia declares virus emergency
Malaysia's king declared a nationwide state of emergency Tuesday to fight a coronavirus surge that is overwhelming hospitals, but critics charged it was a bid by an unstable government to cling to power.
The announcement came a day after the prime minister introduced sweeping new curbs across much of the Southeast Asian nation, including the closure of most businesses, and warned the health system was "at breaking point".
Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah agreed to declare an emergency until August 1 following a request from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in a Monday meeting, the national palace said in a statement.
In a televised address, Muhyiddin said parliament would be suspended and elections would not take place, with the king able to enact new laws if necessary. But the leader, whose 10-month-old government faces a host of challenges, insisted that "the civilian government will continue to function".
"The emergency declaration... is not a military coup and a curfew will not be enforced," he said.
He insisted he was committed to holding a general election once the country's outbreak is brought under control.
The announcement came after Muhyiddin's key coalition allies threatened to withdraw support, which could have led to the collapse of the government and snap national polls that some feared could worsen the outbreak.
Malaysia kept the virus in check for much of last year with a tough lockdown but, once curbs were eased, cases accelerated and have repeatedly hit fresh records in recent days.
The country has reported more than 138,000 virus cases and 555 deaths.
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
- No 'herd immunity' in 2021 -
Despite the vaccines being rolled out in a number of countries, the World Health Organization's chief scientist says that population, or herd, immunity, will not be achieved this year.
- BioNTech: 2 bln doses -
German company BioNTech says it expects to produce two billion doses of its Covid-19 vaccine in 2021, up from the 1.3 billion previously forecast.
- Biden's second shot -
US President-elect Joe Biden receives his second vaccine dose, saying: "My number one priority is getting vaccine in people's arms, as rapidly as we can."
- Beijing lockdown -
More than half a million people are under lockdown in Beijing as the government tries to avoid an outbreak in the city of 20 million ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday next month.
- UK mass vaccination -
Britain opens seven mass vaccination sites across England where thousands of people a week will gets shots with more sites to follow.
- Origins team -
The World Health Organization says a team of 10 scientists which will visit China from Thursday to investigate the origins of the pandemic is not looking for "somebody to blame".
- Russian one-dose vaccine -
Russia will trial a one-dose version of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, as they aim to provide a stop-gap solution for badly hit countries.
- More than 1.9 million dead -
The pandemic has killed more than 1,934,693 million people worldwide, according to a tally compiled by AFP using official sources and information from the WHO.
The US is the country most affected with more than 374,341 deaths, followed by Brazil (203,100), India (over 151,160), Mexico (133,706) and the UK (81,431).
- Portuguese lockdown looms -
Portugal has suffered record numbers of coronavirus deaths and infections, making a new lockdown unavoidable, Prime Minister Antonio Costa says.
- Lebanon 24-hour curfew -
Lebanon imposes a 24-hour curfew for an 11-day period and introduces new travel restrictions to stem an unprecedented spike in infections
- Rugby union cups suspended -
Rugby union's European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup have been suspended after the French government said the pandemic made it too risky for French teams to play.
With inputs from AFP.