Pakistan, India see massive jump in daily coronavirus infections

NIH data shows cases shoot up to 641, number of tests to over 18,000, active cases nearly 6,000 and critical cases to 119: India records 18,819 new Covid-19 cases, 39 deaths: US secures 105 million doses of Pfizer vaccine for fall

By: News Desk
Published: 09:45 AM, 30 Jun, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: People wait after receiving a booster dose of the vaccine against Covid-19, in Mexico City.–AFP
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As the latest onslaught of coronavirus picked up pace, Pakistan and India have recorded a massive jump in their Covid-19 everyday infections.

Pakistan which was posting under-100 daily cases a few days ago has now registered 641 coronavirus infections during the last 24 hours (Wednesday), showed the figures released by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Thursday morning.

The situation in neighbouring India was not much different as the authorities there reported a steep rise in Covid-19 cases and during the last 24 hours (Wednesday) over 18,000 cases were confirmed.

As per the NIH data, the death toll in Pakistan has now moved up to 30,395 after adding the two fatalities whereas the number of total infections now stood at 1,535,785 after adding the fresh 641 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Wednesday), 18,813 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 3.41 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 119.

During the last 24 hours (Wednesday), another 159 patients recovered from the Covid-19 in Pakistan and the number of total recoveries now stood at 1,499,641. As of Thursday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 5,749.

As many as 580,574 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 508,364 in Punjab, 220,000 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 136,153 in Islamabad, 35,546 in Balochistan, 43,388 in Azad Kashmir and 11,760 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 13,571 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,113 in Sindh, 6,324 in KP, 1,026 in Islamabad, 792 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.


India records over 18,000 new infections

India recorded 18,819 new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours and 39 deaths, data from the health ministry showed. As many as 13,827 patients recovered from the infection. The total active Covid cases crossed the one-lakh mark at 104,555. The total number of deaths in the country is now at 5,25,116. The country has witnessed a jump of more than 4,000 cases in just 24 hours.

On Wednesday India logged 14,506 new Covid cases taking the total tally of such cases to 4,34,33,345, and that of the active cases to 99,602, according to the health ministry data. India recorded 30 deaths due to coronavirus, and with it the death toll has climbed to 5,25,077, the data updated at 8 am stated. Active cases comprise 0.23 per cent of the total infections, while the national Covid-19 recovery rate was recorded at 98.56 per cent, the health ministry said.

An increase of 2,902 cases has been recorded in the active Covid-19 caseload in a span of 24 hours. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 3.35 percent, almost equal to the weekly positivity rate, which was recorded at 3.36 percent, according to the health ministry. 

US secures 105 million doses of Pfizer vaccine for fall

The United States on Wednesday announced an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech for 105 million doses of Covid vaccine for Americans this fall.

The $3.2 billion contract, signed between the companies and the US health and defense departments, includes vaccines for babies, young children, teens and adults, and may include Omicron-specific vaccines, which a panel of government experts recommended on Tuesday.

Delivery will begin in late summer and continue into the fourth quarter, the companies said. The contract gives the US the option to procure up to 300 million doses.

"The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to doing everything we can to continue to make vaccines free and widely available to Americans – and this is an important first step to preparing us for the fall," Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

President Joe Biden's administration has asked Congress for $23.5 billion in additional Covid funding, but a bill has not yet been passed.

As a result, the federal government "was forced to reallocate $10 billion in existing funding, pulling billions of dollars from Covid-19 response efforts" the statement said, with the new vaccines procured through this reallocation.

White House officials have previously said that without new funding, future vaccines might only be given for free to those at highest risk.

Mauritius lifts most Covid restrictions

Mauritius has reopened nightclubs and bars, lifted restrictions on gatherings, and scrapped a public mask mandate as it eased Covid-19 measures in the Indian Ocean island paradise popular with holidaymakers.

Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said Mauritius had achieved a very high rate of vaccination and could "enter a new phase" of the pandemic more than two years after it began.

"Difficult decisions had to be taken, including total containment with its consequences on the economy," the prime minister said in an address broadcast late Tuesday on national radio.

"We have not been in a hurry to reopen our borders and it has been done in stages and we have noted that it is a formula that has worked. Now, it is with confidence that we can enter a new phase."

Masks would still be required in some indoor settings such as health facilities and public transport, but no longer required elsewhere.

Restrictions on public gatherings and crowds at weddings, funerals and places of worship were lifted, he said.

Bars and nightclubs can reopen, punters can return to horse racing arenas, and picnics can resume at beaches after being prohibited.

Jugnauth urged the public to take precautions regarding mask wearing to help contain the spread of Covid, even if mandatory measures had been lifted.

Mauritius had fully opened its doors to international visitors at the start of October, hoping to rebuild its vital tourism industry after long months of isolation because of the pandemic.

But a month later it reimposed a raft of new Covid-19 curbs after cases surged.

With inputs from AFP.