Pakistan logs 48 new coronavirus deaths, 1,594 infections

By: News Desk      Published: 10:17 AM, 24 Jan, 2021
Pakistan logs 48 new coronavirus deaths, 1,594 infections
A medical staff collects the Covid-19 coronavirus test sample of Nepal's mountaineer Nirmal Purja in a lab in Islamabad.–AFP

There was no respite from coronavirus strikes as the pandemic claimed 48 more lives while infected another 1,594 people during the last 24 hours (Saturday), showed the figures released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said on Sunday morning.

With the addition of new 48 deaths, the fatalities toll has now climbed up to 11,295 while the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases throughout Pakistan stood at 532,412 at the moment.

During the past 24 hours (Saturday), as many as 1,981 patients have recovered from the virus, taking the number of total recoveries to 486,489.

The total count of active cases in Pakistan now stands at 34,628 on Sunday with the national positivity ratio recorded at 3.95 percent.

As usual, Sindh remained at the top in terms of cases followed by Punjab and other regions.

At least 240,570 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 153,410 in Punjab, 65,287 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 40,713 in Islamabad, 18,736 in Balochistan, 8,795 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 4,901 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 4,561 individuals have died due to the coronavirus in Punjab, 3,888 in Sindh, 1,832 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 465 in Islamabad, 254 in Azad Kashmir, 193 in Balochistan, and 102 in Gilgit Baltistan.

At least 40,285 tests have been conducted during the last 24 hours while 7,642,665 samples have been tested so far throughout the country.

Global developments

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- Year since Wuhan lockdown -

The Chinese city of Wuhan marks one year since the start of its traumatic 76-day coronavirus lockdown.

On January 23, 2020, Wuhan shocked the globe by confining its 11 million anxious citizens to their homes, starting a cycle that would spread across the world. 

But China largely brought its outbreak under control and Wuhan is nothing like the ghost town of a year ago, with traffic humming, sidewalks bustling, and citizens packing public transport and parks.

- Israel to vaccinate teens -

With a quarter of its nine-million-strong population now vaccinated, Israel is expanding its drive to high school students aged 16-18 -- as long as their parents agree.

As the country works down the age scale, people aged 40 and up are also allowed to get the vaccine from Saturday.

In Europe, France passes one million doses injected, while Spain's top general resigns after accusations he got the vaccine early without belonging to a priority group.

- Tighter measures - 

Thousands of people in one of Hong Kong's poorest and most densely packed districts are ordered to stay in their homes.

Norway's government meanwhile imposes the strictest restrictions seen in the region of the capital Oslo since March after the discovery of the British variant in a retirement home.

In Gabon, the government announced an earlier evening curfew, from 8 pm rather than 10 pm, along with hefty fines for ignoring mask-wearing rules or a 30-person limit on the size of gatherings.

- French lockdown 'likely' -

A French government source tells AFP that "the hypothesis of confinement is more and more likely", citing projections of a surge in cases due to the more transmissible British strain.

France's HAS national health authority says that it would be "reasonable" to extend the time between the two required vaccination doses to up to six weeks, from the current recommendation of three to four.

- Czech pubs protest -

Hundreds of Czech pubs and restaurants belonging to the "Dog is dead" anti-lockdown movement defy restrictions in place since October by opening all at once, risking a fine of 20,000 crowns ($932).

- Red faces over Lombardy lockdown -

Mistaken infection statistics led Italy to lock down its economic powerhouse Lombardy for a week longer than needed, regional authorities say.

- African testing alliance -

The ECOWAS west African bloc agrees to "harmonise" prices of Covid-19 tests across its 16 member countries at $50, hoping especially to relieve a costly burden on travellers.

ECOWAS Commission chief Jean Claude Kassi Brou added that it will set up a joint fund to buy vaccines, backed by governments and other partners.

- Fabric masks still work: WHO -

The World Health Organization says it has no plans to change its guidance recommending fabric facemasks as new coronavirus variants spread, because the mutated strains are transmitted in the same way.

The statement comes after Germany and Austria made medical masks mandatory on public transport and in shops, allowing only surgical or FFP2 masks rather than fabric.

- Oxygen race in Mexico -

With Mexico City's hospitals overwhelmed, relatives are queueing for hours to buy oxygen for the growing number of people fighting the virus at home. The country has recorded 146,174 Covid-19 deaths so far.

- Brazil vaccine shortages -

Brazil has just started its vaccination campaign but scientists are already warning the hard-hit country will quickly run out of doses and even syringes, some blaming the government for the shortages.

- New drug hope -

Canadian doctors say a clinical trial shows anti-inflammatory drug colchicine is effective in treating Covid-19 and reduces the risk of complications.

Cochicine is "the world's first oral drug that could be used to treat non-hospitalised patients with Covid-19", the Montreal Heart Institute says, after it reduced reduced hospitalisations by 25 percent, the need for mechanical ventilation by 50 percent, and deaths by 44 percent among 4,159 patients.

- More than 2.1 million dead -

More than 2.1 million people have died of the virus since it first emerged in China in late 2019, according to a tally compiled by AFP on Saturday based on official figures.

The US has suffered the highest death toll with 414,107 fatalities, followed by Brazil with 215,243 and India with 153,184.

But more than 60 million vaccination doses have been administered in some 64 countries or territories, with 90 percent of those jabs taking place in 13 nations.

The number of deaths globally is broadly under-estimated. The toll is calculated from daily figures published by national health authorities and does not include later revisions by statistics agencies.

With inputs from AFP.