Global death toll crosses 1m, Pakistan sees 566 new Covid cases 

By: News Desk      Published: 11:20 AM, 28 Sep, 2020
Global death toll crosses 1m, Pakistan sees 566 new Covid cases 
A young boy sits in front of a mural representing the Covid-19 coronavirus in Bogor, West Java, Indonesia. AFP

More than one million people have died from coronavirus, according to an AFP toll, as Pakistan saw another nine people dying of the virus during the past 24 hours (Sunday).

The latest figures released by National Command and Operation Centre on Monday morning show that the coronavirus-related death toll in the country has increased to 6,466.

Sunday also saw 566 new cases after which the total number of officially reported infections in Pakistan has now reached 310,841.

The region-wise distribution of these cases shows that Sindh is by far the most affected province where 136,017 people have so far contracted the virus. The next on the list is Punjab with 99,219 cases followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 37,701, Islamabad 16,470, Balochistan 15,092, Gilgit-Baltistan 3,681 and Azad Kashmir 2,661.

Meanwhile, another 499 people fully recovered from the coronavirus infection Sunday, increasing the overall of number to 296,022. It means a total of 302,488 cases have so far closed [deaths + recoveries] in Pakistan.

However, there are 8,353 active cases currently in the country of which 451 are in a critical condition. 

The past 24 hours also had 28,887 new tests administered in the country which means their overall number has reached 3,449,541.

The pandemic has ravaged the world's economy, inflamed geopolitical tensions and upended lives, from Indian slums and Brazil's jungles to America's biggest city New York.

On Sunday 2230 GMT the disease had claimed 1,000,009 victims from 33,018,877 recorded infections, according to an AFP tally using official sources.

The United States has the highest death toll with more than 200,000 fatalities followed by Brazil, India, Mexico and Britain.

With scientists still racing to find a working vaccine, governments are again forced into an uneasy balancing act: Virus controls slow the spread of the disease, but they hurt already reeling economies and businesses.

The IMF earlier this year warned that the economic upheaval could cause a "crisis like no other" as the world's GDP collapsed.

Europe, hit hard by the first wave, is now facing another surge in cases, with Paris, London and Madrid all forced to introduce controls to slow infections threatening to overload hospitals.

Masks and social distancing in shops, cafes and public transport are now part of everyday life in many cities.

Mid-September saw a record rise in cases in most regions and the World Health Organization has warned virus deaths could even double to two million without more global collective action. 

Patrick Vogt, a family doctor in Mulhouse, a city that became the outbreak's epicentre in France in March, said he realised coronavirus was everywhere when doctors started falling ill, some dying.

"We saw people in our surgery who had really big breathing problems, young and not-so-young who were exhausted," he said. "We didn't have any therapeutic solutions."

Nor did the virus spare the rich or famous this year.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spent a week in hospital. Madonna tested positive after a tour of France as did Tom Hanks and his wife who recovered and returned home to Los Angeles after quarantine in Australia.

The Tokyo Olympics, Rio's famed Carnival and the Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah are among the major events postponed or disrupted by the pandemic. Premier League football has restarted but with empty stadiums. The French Open tennis tournament is limiting its audiences to 1,000 a day.

Israel has gone into full lockdown again and Moscow's vulnerable have been ordered to stay home.

As the restrictions tighten, protests and anger are rising as businesses worry about their survival and individuals grow frustrated about their jobs and families in the face of another round of lockdown measures.

Anti-lockdown protesters and police clashed in central London on Saturday as officers dispersed thousands at a demonstration.

And the IMF says the economic outlook appears brighter now than it had been in June, even if it remains "very challenging".

Crucially, nine vaccine candidates are in last-stage clinical trials, with hopes some will be rolled out next year, though questions remain about how and when they will be distributed around the world.