Pakistan’s coronavirus caseload nears four lakh
Country reports 2,829 new Covid-19 infections, 43 deaths
Volunteers wait to be administered the new Chinese-made vaccine for the Covid-19 coronavirus, the first ever Phase 3 clinical trial for any vaccine in Pakistan, at a hospital in Islamabad.–AFP
As the number of cases in neighbouring India soars near a million, Pakistan has reported 43 deaths during the last 24 hours (Saturday) by novel coronavirus as the caseload has surged to 395,185. The nationwide fatalities toll has jumped to 7,985 on Sunday.
According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 2,829 persons tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours (Saturday).
Sindh remained the worst-hit province by the pandemic in terms of cases followed by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Punjab has overtaken Sindh in most number of casualties.
So far, 171,595 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 118,511 in Punjab, 46,877 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 17,101 in Balochistan, 29,782 in Islamabad, 6,682 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 4,637 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Furthermore, 2,979 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Punjab, 2,911 in Sindh, 1,359 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 166 in Balochistan, 309 in Islamabad, 164 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 97 in Gilgit Baltistan.
As many as 339,810 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas 2,186 patients are in critical condition.
In neighbouring India, authorities have registered a single-day rise of 41,810 new COVID-19 cases and 496 fatalities, pushing the country's total caseload to 93.92 lakh and death toll to 1.36 lakh, according to the Indian Health Ministry.
In the daily bulletin, it said that the active COVID-19 cases in country stand at 4.53 lakh, while 88.02 lakh people have recovered from the disease so far.
Curfew in San Francisco
A surge in coronavirus cases will put San Francisco under a curfew beginning on Monday and trigger other restrictions related to the virus, the city announced. The curfew requires non-essential businesses to close and prohibits members of different households from gathering between 10 pm and 5 am until December 21, Mayor London Breed said Saturday.
San Mateo county outside San Francisco will also be subject to the same rules after the state of California classified both under its most restrictive tier of locations based on the spread of the virus.
In addition to the curfew, certain indoor businesses will be required to either close or reduce capacity beginning on Sunday at noon, Breed said. "I don't know how to be more clear -- this is the most dangerous time we've faced during this pandemic," Breed said on Twitter.
"Do not travel or gather with others. We have to get this under control now and we can't afford to let things continue at this rate."
On Friday, a temporary ban on gatherings of people from different households, with religious services and protests exempt, was announced for California's largest city, Los Angeles.
That order affecting the United States' second-largest city will take effect Monday and last at least three weeks, until December 20, Los Angeles county's public health department said.
California imposed a night-time curfew across much of the state a week ago, but San Francisco was not affected because it was not at the time classified among the state's most restrictive tier of locations.
The United States on Friday topped 13 million Covid-19 cases -- the world's highest -- and President-elect Joe Biden has warned of difficult weeks ahead before vaccines become widely available.
Latest global developments
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
- Europe deaths top 400,000 -
Coronavirus deaths have topped 400,000 in Europe, the world's second worst-hit region.
The pandemic has killed at least 1,444,426 people worldwide since last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT on Saturday.
Some 61.6 million cases have been officially recorded, of which more than 39 million are considered recovered.
- Shops reopen -
Shoppers form queues at so-called "non-essential" stores which have reopened in France for the holiday season, after a month of coronavirus closures.
Poland's shopping centres also resume business, while Belgium will allow shops to reopen from December 1. The moves mirror similar easing in Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Ireland has also announced a staggered easing of restrictions to allow some businesses to reopen and for families to gather ahead of Christmas.
- Germany's AfD holds congress -
Hundreds of delegates from Germany's far right AfD gather for a congress that authorities have warned could become a coronavirus hotspot, as the party increasingly aligns itself with militants protesting anti-Covid restrictions.
To win approval for the huge gathering at a time when Germans are asked to limit their contacts to just two households at a time, the AfD signed up to stringent rules including compulsory mask wearing and social distancing.
- Argentina eases restrictions -
Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez announces an easing of restrictions, leaving only two cities in lockdown.
Some curbs remain in force, such as the compulsory wearing of masks and the ban on gatherings of more than 10 people in closed places.
- Los Angeles bans gatherings -
Los Angeles, the United States' second-largest city, announces a temporary ban on gatherings of people from different households, with religious services and protests exempt.
The order will take effect Monday and last at least three weeks.
With inputs from AFP.