72 more Pakistanis die of corona, 3,369 cases recorded
As the second wave of coronavirus spread its tentacles across Pakistan, the death toll from the deadly infection has neared 9,000 while the total number of cases is also close to half a million on Sunday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The latest data issued by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday morning showed that 3,369 persons tested positive for the Covid-19 in the past 24 hours.
Sindh remained the worst-hit province by the pandemic in terms of cases followed by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad. Punjab has overtaken Sindh in most number of casualties.
Till now 194,359 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 127,212 in Punjab, 52,092 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 34,579 in Islamabad, 17,737 in Balochistan, 7,663 in Azad Kashmir and 4,783 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Furthermore, 3,351 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab 3,149 in Sindh, 1,463 in KP, 368 in Islamabad, 191 in Azad Kashmir, 175 in Balochistan, and 99 in GB.
Pakistan has so far conducted 6,032,390 coronavirus tests and 42,222 in the last 24 hours. As many as 383,000 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas 2,471 patients are in critical condition.
South Korea hits new daily record
The country had previously been held up as a model of how to combat the pandemic, with the public largely following social distancing and other rules. But a resurgence centred on the capital and the surrounding area has prompted President Moon Jae-in to apologise on Facebook for his administration's failure to contain the latest wave.
On Saturday he called the situation "very grave" after authorities reported 950 new infections, the largest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.
Saturday's record was broken on Sunday with 1,002 new locally transmitted cases, some 786 of which were uncovered in the greater Seoul area -- home to half the country's 52 million people.
The weekend numbers followed several days in which authorities reported figures ranging from about 500 to 600.
South Korea's spike came despite the government's tightening of social distancing rules in the capital area earlier this week. The stricter restrictions include a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people and spectators at sports events. Cafes can serve only takeaways, while restaurants must close by 9 pm, with only deliveries permitted afterwards.
However, authorities said Saturday they may have to tighten the curbs further to the highest level by closing schools, banning gatherings of more than 10 people and allowing only essential employees to offices.
South Korea endured one of the worst early Covid-19 outbreaks outside mainland China, but brought it broadly under control with its "trace, test and treat" approach.
It has never imposed the kind of lockdowns ordered in much of Europe and other parts of the world.
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.
He 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.