Pakistan enlists 7,963 more coronavirus infections, 27 deaths

NCOC says shows marginal drop in positivity ratio while number of active cases shoots up: Global deaths soar by a fifth during last week

By: News Desk
Published: 08:20 AM, 29 Jan, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: Supporters for a convoy of truckers driving from British Columbia to Ottawa in protest of a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers, gather near a highway overpass outside of Toronto, Canada. A convoy of truckers started off from Vancouver on its way to protest against the mandate in the capital city of Ottawa.–AFP
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Pakistan has reported another 7,963 coronavirus infections and 27 deaths during the last 24 hours (Friday) amid the fifth wave of Covid-19 which spreading at a faster pace in the country, showed figures released by National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday morning.

As per the latest NCOC data, after the addition of 27 new deaths, the overall toll has now surged to 29,219 whereas the number of total infections now stood at 1,410,033 after adding the fresh 7,963 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Friday), 70,389 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 11.31 percent. The number of patients in critical care was 1,375.

During the last 24 hours (Friday), as many as 2,062 patients have recovered from the virus whereas the total recoveries stood at 1,276,719. As of Saturday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 104,095.

As many as 538,196 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 474,208 in Punjab, 190,578 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 125,203 in Islamabad, 34,277 in Balochistan, 36,967 in Azad Kashmir and 10,604 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Moreover, 13,139 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 7,800 in Sindh, 5,994 in KP, 979 in Islamabad, 752 in Azad Kashmir, 367 in Balochistan and 188 in Gilgit Baltistan.

 

GLOBAL DEVELOPMENTS

Here are the global developments in the coronavirus crisis:

Canada truckers protest vaccine mandate

Hundreds of Canadian truckers converged on  Ottawa Friday for a major demonstration against vaccine mandates to cross the Canada-US border. 

Coming from as far as British Columbia on the Pacific coast, the "Freedom Convoy", as the truckers have named it, has been growing and drawing more attention in recent days. 

The meeting point for the weekend rally has been set for Parliament Hill, in the heart of the Canadian capital.

Since mid-January, Canada and the United States have imposed a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for truck drivers crossing the border between the two countries, the longest in the world at nearly 5,500 miles (9,000 kilometers). 

The vaccine mandate has been denounced by some truckers, who received an endorsement from Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who tweeted on Thursday "Canadian truckers rule."

"These demonstrations are national in scope. They're massive in scale. Unfortunately, they're polarizing in nature," said Ottawa police chief Peter Sloly Friday.

He was unable say how many trucks or demonstrators would show up but warned of "major traffic safety issues" in the capital and asked people to stay off the roads whenever possible.

He said organizers of the protest had told police it would be peaceful but warned that some people may join the movement to "incite hatred and violence". 

Some businesses have already shut their doors for the weekend, local media said, broadcasting footage of the first trucks arriving near parliament amid a loud honking of horns. 

Politicians in the federal capital could also be targeted, the police chief said. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, currently in isolation after a Covid exposure, defended the vaccination mandate on Wednesday, noting that 90 percent of drivers are already vaccinated. 

He called the truckers headed for the city a "small fringe minority" whose "unacceptable views" do not represent the majority of Canadians.

The leader of the Conservative opposition, Erin O'Toole, said Thursday that he would meet with some of the truckers. 

Some members of far-right groups have made threatening remarks on social media and urged demonstrators to copy the January 6 assault on the US Capitol in Washington.

Canadian police fear that the mobilization of truckers will continue beyond the weekend. 

The Canadian Trucking Alliance, a major association in the haulage industry, said the vast majority of Canadian truck drivers are vaccinate and said it "strongly disapproved" of the gathering in Ottawa. 

- Covid deaths soar -

The number of global deaths from Covid-19 soared by a fifth worldwide in the last week to 9,050 per day, according to AFP's database.

- Vaccine mandate accord? -

An accord between rich nations and developing countries on intellectual property waivers for Covid-19 vaccines could be just weeks away, the head of the World Trade Organization, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala says.

- Merck pill 'active' against Omicron -

Merck's anti-Covid pill remains "active" against the Omicron variant, the US drugmaker says, citing results from six laboratory studies.

- Iceland to lift curbs -

Iceland aims to lift all its Covid-19 curbs by mid-March, which would end a three-stage easing plan presented by the government.

- US jabs for Bangladesh -

The United States says it has begun shipping another 7.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Bangladesh.

- Art Basel Hong Kong fair delayed -

Art Basel postpones its Hong Kong edition to May 27-29 due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in the city.

- 5.6 million dead -

The coronavirus has killed at least 5,635,702 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally compiled from official sources on Friday.

The US has recorded the most Covid deaths with 878,467, followed by Brazil with 625,085, India on 492,327 and Russia 329,443.

Taking into account excess mortality linked to Covid-19, the WHO estimates the overall death toll could be two to three times higher.

With inputs from AFP.