Deaths soar as Pakistan reports 358 coronavirus cases

NIH data shows positivity ratio sliding to 2.91%: Two Covid scares cause mayhem in Shanghai: Heathrow extends passenger cap into October

By: News Desk
Published: 11:32 AM, 16 Aug, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: A health worker conducting a swab test on a child for the Covid-19 coronavirus in Xiamen, in China's eastern Fujian province.–AFP
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Pakistan has registered an uptick in coronavirus fatalities but downslide in number of daily infections as it posted another 358 fresh Covid-19 cases and eight deaths during the last 24 hours (Monday), showed the statistics released by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Tuesday morning, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

As per the NIH data, the death toll in the country now surged to 30,537 after adding the eight new fatalities while the number of total infections now stood at 1,563,705 after adding the fresh 358 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Monday), 12,273 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 2.92 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 165.

During the last 24 hours (Monday), another 393 patients have recovered from the Covid-19 in Pakistan and the number of total recoveries now stood at 1,523,964. As of Tuesday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 9,204.

As many as 592,458 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 518,467 in Punjab, 222,467 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 138,438 in Islamabad, 35,894 in Balochistan, 44,018 in Azad Kashmir and 11,963 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 13,594 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,215 in Sindh, 6,336 in KP, 1,030 in Islamabad, 793 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.


Two Covid scares cause mayhem in Shanghai

Just two possible Covid-19 cases have sparked chaotic scenes in Shanghai, with crowds of people seen running out of a building and an Ikea store to try and escape a lockdown under China's strict coronavirus rules.

The country's zero-Covid strategy involves snap lockdowns and quarantines, sometimes over just a handful of cases, and the measures have sparked anxiety and anger in some cities.

Videos widely shared on social media and verified by AFP showed a small group of PPE-clad personnel trying to keep the main doors of a Shanghai building closed on Friday after a worker there was identified as a close contact of a Covid case.

A large crowd is then seen bursting past the outnumbered staff, running away from the building as onlookers film the scene on their mobile phones.

Some people were seen dragging what appeared to be a metal barricade several metres as they fled the mall.

Close contacts could face days of quarantine and monitoring under China's health rules.

Similiar scenes unfolded at an Ikea store in Shanghai's Xuhui district on Saturday, when health authorities tried to lock down customers on site over an "abnormal" test result.

Video clips shared online showed a large group of people trying to leave.

In one scene, screams are heard as personnel try to keep doors closed. The crowd eventually pushes its way through the door and people are seen running past to try and get out.

The 25 million residents of Shanghai -- China's biggest city -- have grappled with harsh Covid rules since earlier this year, when it was sealed off for two months to contain an outbreak.

The measures battered business activity and some residents reported trouble accessing food and non-Covid medical care.

They also sparked protests by frustrated residents against the authorities.

Anger spilled over in the southern island of Hainan too, where more than 80,000 tourists were stranded in the resort city of Sanya earlier this month because of a Covid flare-up.

Travellers there have been protesting, with social media posts last weekend showing crowds on the street shouting for local leaders to meet with them.

China is the only major economy still holding fast to a zero-Covid strategy, stunting local tourism during peak travel seasons.

The country's borders have been largely closed since early 2020, halting international tourism.

Heathrow extends passenger cap into October

London's Heathrow airport said Monday it was extending its capacity limit through most of October to reduce the chaos caused by a post-pandemic surge in passengers amid a lack of staff.

Europe's largest airport introduced a cap of 100,000 departing passengers per day in July, which was originally slated to have expired at the end of September.

"Since the cap was introduced, passenger journeys have improved with fewer last-minute cancellations, better punctuality and shorter wait times for bags," said Heathrow.

It said the extension through October 29 "will provide passengers with confidence ahead of their half-term getaways."

Airlines scheduled thousands of flights in Europe this summer season to capture a boom in travel demand following the relaxation of Covid restrictions.

But having cut back staff drastically during the pandemic, both airlines and airports found it difficult to hire enough employees.

This led to long waits to check-in, clear security and collect bags in many airports across Europe, as well as to cancellations of flights due to lack of crew.

The Heathrow cap was set at roughly 4,000 passengers per day fewer than scheduled flight capacity.

Airlines have cancelled flights in response to the cap, as well as in recognition of their staffing levels.

Heathrow said it was regularly reviewing the situation and would remove the cap early if it sees an improvement.

"We want to remove the cap as soon as possible, but we can only do so when we are confident that everyone operating at the airport has the resources to deliver the service our passengers deserve," Heathrow Chief Commercial Officer Ross Baker said.

Amsterdam and Frankfurt airports have also instituted caps.

With inputs from AFP.