Pakistan posts another 66 coronavirus infections, no death

NIH data shows number of active cases stood at 3,208: North Korean leader slams negligent officials over spiralling virus outbreak: IMF warns pandemic school closures could inflict lasting economic toll

By: News Desk
Published: 09:24 AM, 18 May, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: A North Korean doctor promoting epidemic prevention measures to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus in Pyongyang.–AFP
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Pakistan has recorded another 66 coronavirus infections with no fatality during the last 24 hours (Tuesday), reported National Institute of Health Pakistan on Wednesday morning.

As per the latest NIH data, the death toll remained the same at 30,378, whereas the number of total infections now stood at 1,529,471 after adding the fresh 66 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), 16,306 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 0.40 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 90.

During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), as many as 95 patients have recovered from the virus whereas the total recoveries stood at 1,495,885. As of Wednesday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 3,208.

As many as 577,166 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 506,831 in Punjab, 219,607 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 135,303 in Islamabad, 35,493 in Balochistan, 43,323 in Azad Kashmir and 11,748 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 13,563 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,106 in Sindh, 6,324 in KP, 1,024 in Islamabad, 792 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.


North Korean leader slams negligent officials over spiralling Covid outbreak

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said the negligence and laziness of state officials worsened the country's Covid outbreak, state media reported Wednesday, as the number of known cases crossed 1.7 million.

The nuclear-armed country reported its first coronavirus cases last week, and the Omicron variant-fuelled outbreak has since ballooned -- marking the failure of a two-year blockade maintained since the start of the pandemic.

Chairing a meeting of the ruling party's Politburo on Tuesday, Kim said there was "immaturity in the state capacity for coping with the crisis" and slammed the "non-positive attitude, slackness and non-activity of state leading officials", the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

North Korea recorded 232,880 new cases of "fever" as of Tuesday evening, bringing the total number to 1.72 million with 62 deaths, KCNA said.

State media reports do not specify how many of the cases and deaths have tested positive for the coronavirus, but experts say the country would struggle to test and diagnose on this scale.

At the Tuesday meeting, Kim promised to "arouse the whole Party like an active volcano" to counter the spread of the virus. 

North Korea's leader has put himself front and centre of his country's Covid response, saying the outbreak is causing "great upheaval" nationwide.

Medicines donated by the Kim family were distributed to North Koreans in South Hwanghae province, state media said, in a bid to highlight his personal role in fighting the outbreak. 

Nearly 3,000 military medics are taking part in a "24-hour service system to carry out the delivery and supply of medicines", state media said Wednesday.

North Korea has one of the world's worst healthcare systems, with poorly equipped hospitals, few intensive care units, and no Covid treatment drugs or mass testing ability, experts say.

The World Health Organization is "deeply concerned at the risk of further spread of Covid-19 in the country particularly because the population is unvaccinated and many have underlying conditions putting them at risk of severe disease and death," the UN body's chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters.

Pandemic school closures could inflict lasting economic toll: IMF

School closures during the pandemic have set back children's learning in many G20 countries and could have a long-lasting negative impact on GDP in advanced economies, the IMF said Tuesday.

Recent assessments of schoolchildren show that widespread virtual learning during the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in lower academic levels in India, Germany, the United Kingdom, Brazil and the United States, where many institutions were closed for more than a year.

"If these learning losses aren't addressed, affected students could experience a lifetime of depressed earnings," the Washington-based crisis lender said in a report.

IMF economists observed that current students will make up nearly 40 percent of the working-age population in G20 economies for decades to come.

"While much is still unknown, our simulations show that, once all such students are in the labor market, gross domestic product for advanced G20 economies could be as much as three percent lower in the long run," the report warned.

Poorest households suffered the worst learning losses, and their prospects stand to be "particularly diminished, further widening income inequality," the IMF said.

If learning loss from the pandemic goes unaddressed, it could result in lifetime income losses of 1.5 to 10 percent for residents of G20 nations, the IMF estimates.

With inputs from AFP.