Pakistan posts 58 deaths, 1,853 new coronavirus cases
At least 1,643 patients recovered from the novel disease over the past 24 hours, pushing the number of recovered patients to 422,132.
Sindh stands first in terms of new cases as 210,241 coronavirus cases have been confirmed so far, 135,665 in Punjab, 57,215 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 37,117 in Islamabad, 18,075 in Balochistan, 8,172 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 4,850 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Moreover, Punjab ranks top in terms of deaths as 3,900 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic so far in the province, 3,469 in Sindh, 1,602 in KP, 404 in Islamabad, 216 in Azad Kashmir, 182 in Balochistan and 101 in GB.
National Positivity Ratio dropped to 5.57% on December 27. Abbottabad ranks first with the highest positivity ratio of 25.53% followed by Karachi at 13.56% and Faisalabad at 10.14%.
A total of 33,270 tests were conducted across the country during the last 24 hours while 6,557,112 samples have been tested thus far.
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
- 'British' new variant spreads -
A new variant of the virus, feared to be more easily transmissible, has been spreading with cases notably identified in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Denmark as well as Japan and Lebanon while South Africa and Nigeria have announced cases of mutant strains which do not appear to be the same one as the British version.
- Japan acts on arrivals -
Japan said Saturday it will halt all new non-resident foreign arrivals coming from overseas from Monday until late January. Additionally, Japanese travellers and foreign residents from countries where the new coronavirus strain has been reported must take tests within 72 hours ahead of their departure for the country and again upon arrival at Japanese airports.
- Swedish 'isolated case' -
Swedish health authorities announced a "first isolated case" of the new virus, saying the sufferer had "travelled from the United Kingdom".
Regional authorities said the risk of it spreading was very low. Sweden has already extended its suspension of flights from Britain to December 31.
- Hungary vaccinates hospital staff -
Hungary has begun vaccinating hospital staff after receiving its first delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus jabs ahead of most other EU countries, where vaccinations were due to begin Sunday after regulators approved the product on December 21.
"The first shipment is of utmost importance to frontline healthcare staff fighting the coronavirus," Janos Szlavik, infections expert at the South Pest Central hospital Budapest, which administered the first jab, told Hungarian newswire MTI.
- We blundered, Swiss admit-
Switzerland's health minister has admitted the government blundered in easing Covid-19 restrictions too far, resulting in some of Europe's fiercest infection rates during the pandemic's second wave.
Alain Berset said the Swiss approach put the emphasis on personal responsibility -- but accepted that it had not worked.
"In summer, we had the feeling that the worst was over. We were too loose," Berset told broadcaster SRF.
- Try licorice -
In authoritarian post-Soviet Turkmenistan, where the government says no coronavirus cases have been detected, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has claimed licorice root could cure Covid-19.
Without citing any scientific evidence, former dentist Berdymukhamedov claimed that "licorice stops the coronavirus from developing".
- Take three for Austria -
Austria entered a third lockdown no sooner had Christmas come and gone while Scotland and Northern Ireland have notably imposed more restrictions.
- Toll passes 1.75 million -
The death toll from the virus globally has passed 1.75 million according to the latest AFP toll from 1100 GMT with global cases exceeding 80 million of which more than 50 million are judged recovered. The highest fatalities are 330,279 in the United States for 18.76 million cases. Per 100,000 population, Belgium remains out in front with 165 deaths.
With inputs from AFP.