Daily coronavirus infections shoot up in Pakistan, India

NIH data shows positivity ratio also climbing up: India records nearly 9,000 daily cases in three months: US panel recommends Moderna Covid vaccine for children six and up : Canada lifts Covid vaccine mandate for domestic, outbound travel

By: News Desk
Published: 10:12 AM, 15 Jun, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: Representational image.
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The everyday number of coronavirus infections in Pakistan and India have shot up along with infectivity ratio also registering a sharp rise in both the countries. In Pakistan, the daily cases have crossed the 100 mark in many many weeks and in India the everyday infections have increased to nearly 9,000.

Pakistan, however, has registered no death while neighbouring India has recorded 15 deaths in a single day.

According to the statistics released by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Wednesday morning, Pakistan has reported 106 coronavirus infections during the last 24 hours (Tuesday).

As per the latest NIH data, the death toll in Pakistan remained unchanged at 30,381, whereas the number of total infections now stood at 1,531,437 after adding the fresh 106 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), 12,696 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 0.83 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 58.

During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), another 132 people recovered from the Covid-19 in Pakistan and the number of total recoveries now stood at 1,498,149. As of Wednesday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 2,907.

As many as 577,957 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 507,502 in Punjab, 219,744 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 135,621 in Islamabad, 35,506 in Balochistan, 43,354 in Azad Kashmir and 11,753 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

With no reported death 13,565 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,107 in Sindh, 6,324 in KP, 1,024 in Islamabad, 792 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.


India sees a new daily high in around 3 months

Further raising the possibility of the Covid-19 fresh wave entering India, the country on Wednesday reported 8,822 fresh coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours. With this, India's tally of Covid-19 cases rose to 4,32,45,517, while the count of active cases increased to 53,637, according to Health Ministry data. Wednesday’s tally saw a new daily high of coronavirus cases in nearly three months.

The death toll due to the disease has climbed to 5,24,792 with 15 fatalities being reported in a span of 24 hours, the data updated at 8am stated. The count of active cases now comprises 0.12 percent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.66 percent, the Health Ministry said.

An increase of 3,089 cases has been recorded in the active COVID-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours in India, the data showed. The daily positivity rate was recorded at two percent and the weekly positivity rate at 2.35 percent, according to the ministry.

The number of people who have recuperated from the disease has surged to 4,26,67,088, while the case fatality rate was recorded at 1.21 percent, as per the data. 

US panel recommends Moderna Covid vaccine for children six and up

A panel of US medical experts on Tuesday recommended the Moderna Covid vaccine for use in children aged six through 17.

Formal authorization should soon follow, at which point families will have a second option against the coronavirus, as Pfizer's vaccine was given the greenlight for teens and younger children last year.

After weighing available data, 22 experts convened by the US Food and Drug Administration unanimously agreed that the known benefits outweighed the known risks when Moderna's vaccine was administered as two shots at the adult dose of 100 micrograms to those aged 12-17, and half of that for children 6-11.

"This can be a valuable tool and having this available to families, particularly in areas where there's rising viral spread, and particularly (for) parents of children who may have comorbidities," said Ofer Levy, an infectious disease physician at Boston Children's Hospital.

Safety was demonstrated in clinical trials involving several thousand participants.

Several thousand participants took part in the clinical trials, which showed the vaccines were safe and triggered a similar level of antibodies in younger age groups as it did in young adults.

The panel said a second authorized vaccine for the pediatric population would also help mitigate against production and inventory shortages if there was only one provider.

The delay in authorizing Moderna for American children was a result of FDA concern that it caused rare cases of myocarditis, or heart inflammation, at a higher rate than Pfizer.

The FDA position has since changed. According to a slide shown at the meeting, "Some evidence suggests that myocarditis and pericarditis risk may be higher after Moderna than after Pfizer-BioNTech; however, findings are not consistent in all U.S. monitoring systems" and neither the frequency nor severity preclude authorization.

Moderna also argued its vaccine had already been given to more than 6.7 million teens and 300,000 children in countries outside the United States -- though it was also paused by several European countries for younger males, the most at-risk group for vaccine-caused myocarditis.

Canada lifts Covid vaccine mandate for domestic, outbound travel

Canada's Covid-19 vaccination requirement for domestic and outbound travelers, as well as federal bureaucrats and transportation workers, will be suspended starting next week, officials said Tuesday.

Masking, however, will still be required on planes and trains.

"I'm pleased to announce that on June 20 our government will suspend the requirement to be vaccinated in order to board a plane or train in Canada," Transport Minister Omar Alghabra told a news conference.

He cited a high rate of inoculations and a falling number of Covid cases and hospitalizations across the country. The move also comes as most other pandemic restrictions have been lifted.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic Leblanc added that this will not, however, immediately ease a logjam at Canadian airports.

That problem, along with delays in the issuing of passports, sparked a public outcry in recent weeks, as more and more Canadians seek to take trips after more than two years of pandemic restrictions and lockdowns.

The mandatory vaccine policy for travelers was rolled out last October, and Alghabra warned it could be reimposed in the fall if Covid-19 cases jump back up.

"Our government will always continue to evaluate measures and will not hesitate to make additional adjustments based on the latest public health advice and science," he said.

Travelers entering Canada, meanwhile, must continue to show proof of vaccination. Those departing the country will no longer need to do so.

Alghabra noted that the United States, a popular destination for Canadians, still requires proof of vaccination for those arriving from abroad.

In a statement, the Canadian government said it was maintaining the requirement for inbound travelers to be vaccinated because "vaccination rates and virus control in other countries varies significantly" and it will "serve as added protection against any future variant."

More than 90 percent of Canadians have received two Covid vaccine doses, while about half have also received a booster, according to government figures.

With inputs from AFP.