Pakistan posts steep rise in number of coronavirus deaths

NIH data shows positivity ration inches to 1.47%: Malaysian ex-PM Mahathir in hospital with coronavirus: Hong Kong leader cancels China trip over virus flareup

By: News Desk
Published: 11:53 AM, 31 Aug, 2022
Pakistan coronavirus
Caption: A schoolteacher wearing a cloth protective mask gives class to pupils wearing also protective masks during Covid-19 crisis in French city of Bruyeres le Chatel.–AFP (File photo)
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A day after reporting zero fatalities, Pakistan has posted 227 coronavirus infections and six deaths during the last 24 hours (Tuesday), showed the statistics released by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Wednesday morning, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

As per the NIH data, the death toll in the country rose to 30,581 while the number of total infections now stood at 1,569,076 after adding the fresh 227 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), 15,475 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 1.47 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 115.

During the last 24 hours (Tuesday), another 341 patients have recovered from the Covid-19 in Pakistan and the number of total recoveries now stood at 1,529,818. As of Wednesday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 8,677.

As many as 593,317 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 520,978 in Punjab, 223,459 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 139,109 in Islamabad, 35,946 in Balochistan, 44,247 in Azad Kashmir and 12,020 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 13,609 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,231 in Sindh, 6,349 in KP, 1,030 in Islamabad, 793 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.


Malaysian ex-PM Mahathir in hospital with coronavirus

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad was in hospital Wednesday after testing positive for coronavirus for the first time.

"Mahathir has only mild symptoms of the Covid infection," an aide told AFP on condition of anonymity.

A Wednesday statement from the former premier's office said he "tested positive for Covid-19 this morning".

Mahathir has been admitted to the National Heart Institute for "observation for the next few days", it added.

The 97-year-old veteran politician has been actively touring the country in recent weeks to beef up support for his new political party amid speculation that snap polls could be held before the end of the year.

Mahathir was previously admitted in December and January for several days, for a check-up in the cardiac care unit.

He has had numerous heart problems over the years, suffering several heart attacks and undergoing bypass surgery.

Mahathir is one of Malaysia's dominant political figures, having served twice as prime minister for a total of 24 years.

He was leader from 1981 to 2003, then returned to power in 2018 at the age of 92, heading a reformist coalition.

But that administration collapsed in 2020 due to infighting.

Hong Kong leader cancels China trip over virus flareup

Hong Kong leader John Lee on Wednesday cancelled a trip to the Chinese mainland to discuss reopening travel as the coronavirus situation worsened on both sides of the border.

Lee was scheduled to visit neighbouring tech hub Shenzhen and provincial capital Guangzhou -- his first official visit since taking office in July -- where he was expected to discuss plans for reopening the border between Hong Kong and mainland China.

On Wednesday, Lee told reporters he would instead meet top city and provincial officials online due to the coronavirus situation, calling it the "most convenient" option.

"We will discuss the cross-border arrangement for residents in Hong Kong and mainland China and I hope that, after thorough discussion, a consensus can be reached," he said.

The cancelled trip illustrates how hard it is for Hong Kong to balance the competing demands of reopening to the rest of the world while simultaneously reestablishing travel with closed-off China.

Hong Kong adheres to a looser version of China's zero-Covid policy, under which infections are quashed with stringent border controls, lockdowns and social-distancing measures.

The restrictions have hammered the city's economy and deepened a brain drain as rivals like Singapore embrace living alongside the coronavirus.

Lee has promised to reopen travel with both the mainland and internationally, but with limited success so far.

Earlier this month, his administration reduced compulsory quarantine for international arrivals from seven days to three.

Businesses have urged him to scrap the requirement entirely, and no timetable has yet been given for when Hong Kong might truly reopen.

Meanwhile, local residents and businesses are desperate for the mainland border to reopen fully.

Hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers need to travel regularly to the mainland for study, business and family reasons, according to Lee and his top officials.

Hong Kong reported more than 8,800 infections and 13 deaths on Tuesday, with authorities warning that social-distancing measures may be tightened if cases continued to rise.

Shenzhen on Tuesday ramped up its coronavirus curbs after officials detected the more transmissible Omicron subvariant BF.15 for the first time amid 35 new cases.

With inputs from AFP.