Pakistan tops 10,000 coronavirus deaths with over 477,000 cases

Covid claims 55 more lives, infects another 2,155 people during last 24 hours

By: News Desk      Published: 10:34 AM, 30 Dec, 2020
Pakistan tops 10,000 coronavirus deaths with over 477,000 cases
Pakistani nationals, who were previously stranded in India following the closure of borders due to the Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown, wave as they sit inside a car before crossing through Attari-Wagah border post.–AFP

Pakistan reached another grim milestone by crossing the mark of 10,000 deaths during the past 24 hours, showed the latest data released by National Command and Operation Centre on Wednesday morning, as the coronavirus claimed another 55 lives.

It means the country has so far reported 10,047 deaths since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak in February this year.

On Tuesday, another 23 people died of the virus in Punjab followed by 18 in Sindh, 10 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three in Islamabad and one in Azad Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the country also recorded 2,155 new coronavirus cases during the same period after which the overall number reached 477,240 as 1,100 more persons tested positive for the virus in Sindh and 626 in Punjab.

The region-wise distribution of the coronavirus cases now stands at: Sindh 213,193, Punjab 137,295, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 57,982, Islamabad 37,556, Balochistan 18,118, Azad Kashmir 8,241 and Gilgit-Baltistan 4,855.

Similarly, the overall deaths-related figures for different provinces/regions are given as: Punjab 3,982, Sindh 3,520, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 1,627, Islamabad 415, Azad Kashmir 220, Balochistan 182 and Gilgit-Baltistan 101.

As far as the number of active cases in the country are concerned, the country currently has 37,080 coronavirus patients – a marked decrease when compared with the previous day’s total of 39,599.

This reduction was made possible after another 4,619 persons fully recovered from the infection, raising the overall number to 430,113. As a result, the number of closed cases [death + people recovering from infection] in Pakistan reached 440,160.

Out of the active cases, 2,714 infected persons are in hospitals with 2,219 of them being at intensive care units due to their critical condition. Moreover, 299 of these critically ill patients have been placed on ventilators.

But efforts are also underway to identify, trace and isolate the infected persons to reduce further spread of the coronavirus. Thus, the past 24 hours saw 36,390 tests being administered across the country, increasing the overall number to 6,656,373.

Latin America, Caribbean top 500,000 deaths

Latin America and the Caribbean became the second region after Europe to top half a million deaths from Covid-19, according to an AFP count based on official tallies.

There have been at least 500,800 deaths among the 29 countries in the region, with more than half of those in Brazil (192,000) and Mexico (120,000). 

The milestone came 12 days after Europe passed the half a million mark. It takes the total worldwide deaths to more than 1.78 million, with the US and Canada accounting for over 350,000 and Asia topping 217,000.

Almost 82 million people worldwide have contracted the virus, including more than 15 million in Latin America -- the third largest after Europe (26 million) and the US and Canada (20 million.)

Brazil has the largest number of cases in Latin America with more than 7.5 million.

Latin America was the first region to reach 400,000 fatalities.

On Tuesday, Argentina joined Mexico, Chile and Costa Rica in becoming the fourth country in the region to begin a mass immunization program, although it used the controversial Russian Sputnik V vaccine.

The other three countries began vaccinations last week with the jab developed by Pfizer/BioNTech.

Global developments

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- Eye of the storm - 

The United Kingdom registers a record 53,135 new Covid cases in 24 hours, as the government comes under pressure to introduce tighter restrictions, including delaying the return to school.

Health chiefs warn that England is "back in the eye" of the coronavirus storm, with as many patients in hospital as during the initial peak in April, and the new strain of the virus appearing to be behind the recent upsurge in cases.

- 'High' risk new strains -

The Stockholm-based European Centre Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) says that the risk is "high" that newly discovered virus variants causing Covid-19 could cause more deaths due to "increased transmissibility".

- New strain reaches Latin America -

Chile's health authorities say they have detected a case of the new coronavirus strain initially found in Britain, the first such confirmed infection in Latin America.

- Vaccinations roll out -

Argentina and Belarus launch their vaccination campaigns, both using the Sputnik V shots developed by Russia.

- Harris vaccinated -

US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris receives her Covid vaccine live on television and urges public trust in the process.

- French vaccine-sceptic -

Just four in 10 people in France want to have a vaccination against Covid-19, a poll by Ipsos Global Advisor in partnership with the World Economic Forum shows.

- US call for China reporter release -

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demands that China release citizen journalist Zhang Zhan, jailed for reports from pandemic Ground Zero Wuhan, accusing Beijing of seeking to cover up the Covid-19 pandemic.

- 1.77 million dead -                                 

The coronavirus has killed at least 1,775,272 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally on Tuesday based on official sources.

At least 81 million cases have been registered.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 334,967 deaths, followed by Brazil with 191,570.

The tallies are based on daily tolls provided by health authorities in each country and exclude later re-evaluations by statistical organisations, as has happened in Russia, Spain and Britain.

- New high at Premier League -

England's top flight Premier League says that 18 football players and staff have tested positive for coronavirus, the highest number since weekly testing began, plunging the continuation of the season into doubt.

- Indian Wells postponed -

Indian Wells in California, traditionally the first Masters event of the year on the men's tennis calendar, will not be held as usual in March because of the coronavirus, the ATP says.

With inputs from AFP.