Pakistan reports 58 deaths, over 2,400 new Covid-19 cases

By: News Desk      Published: 10:43 AM, 31 Dec, 2020
Pakistan reports 58 deaths, over 2,400 new Covid-19 cases
Indian nationals wait before crossing to Pakistan at the Wagah border post.–AFP

Pakistan reported 2,475 new coronavirus cases during the past 24 hours, showed the latest data released by National Command and Operation Centre on Thursday morning.

It is the highest daily count in the last 13 days. As a result, the total number of cases in the country has increased to 479,715.

On the other hand, there were 58 more deaths during the same period, raising the overall toll to 10,105, just a day after Pakistan reached another grim milestone by crossing the mark of 10,000 deaths.

Punjab and Sindh continued recording most of the deaths as another 31 and 13 people died of the virus in the two provinces respectively on Wednesday. They were followed by 11 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and one each in Islamabad, Balochistan and Azad Kashmir.

After the addition of deaths reported on Wednesday, the overall figures for all the provinces/regions are given as: Punjab 4,013, Sindh 3,533, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 1,638, Islamabad 416, Azad Kashmir 221, Balochistan 183 and Gilgit-Baltistan 101.

Similarly, the region-wise distribution of the coronavirus cases now stands at: Sindh 214,425, Punjab 137,949, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 58,379, Islamabad 37,702, Balochistan 18,148, Azad Kashmir 8,256 and Gilgit-Baltistan 4,856.

Meanwhile, the number of active cases in the country further reduced to 34,537 from the previous level of 37,080 after another 4,960 persons fully recovered from the infection, raising the overall number to 435,073. Hence, the number of closed cases [death + people recovering from infection] in Pakistan now stands at 445,178.

It means Pakistan has witnessed over 4,500 people recovering from the infection on two consecutive days. Earlier, the number of active cases had crossed 51,000 at one point during the second wave of this deadly pandemic.

Out of these active cases, 2,691 infected persons are in hospitals with 2,206 of them being at intensive care units due to their critical condition. Moreover, 307 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 39,695 tests being administered across the country, increasing the overall number to 6,696,068. 

Global developments

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

- UK vaccine -

Britain becomes the first country to approve AstraZeneca and Oxford University's low-cost Covid vaccine, with a roll-out set for January 4.

However, it is unlikely the jab will get a green light in the European Union until at least next month, while the US expects to approve it in April.

- English curbs extended -

England extends tighter coronavirus restrictions, already in place in London, to three-quarters of the country's population.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock blames a new Covid-19 variant for record case numbers this week.

- Germany: 'very far from normality' -

Germany's daily death toll crosses 1,000 for the first time and politicians predict an extension of the country's partial lockdown beyond the January 10 deadline.

"The infection and death figures show that we are still very far from normality," Germany's Health Minister Jens Spahn tells reporters in Berlin. 

- Premier League match postponed -

Tottenham's home match against Fulham becomes the third in the English Premier League championship to be postponed, after a coronavirus outbreak at the visiting club.

- France criticised over vaccines -

The French government faces criticism from scientists and the opposition over the slow progress of its drive to vaccinate people against Covid-19.

In the first three days of the campaign less than 100 people were given the jab, compared to 42,000 so far in Germany.

- Guinea rolls out vaccine -

The West African state of Guinea says it has begun administering coronavirus vaccines using a small number of doses of Russia's Sputnik V, on middle-aged volunteers on a trial basis.

- 10 times higher in Wuhan? -

The number of cases in the Chinese city where the pathogen was first detected may have been 10 times higher than official figures suggest, according to a study by health authorities in Wuhan.

About 4.4 percent of the city's 11 million residents had developed antibodies against the virus causing Covid-19 by April, the report by the Chinese Centre for Disease Control (CDC) says.

That suggests around 480,000 infections in Wuhan by April, nearly 10 times the official tally to date of 50,000 cases in the city

- 1.79 million dead -          

The coronavirus has killed at least 1,792,359 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally on Wednesday based on official sources.

More than 81 million cases have been registered.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 338,656 deaths, followed by Brazil with 192,681, India with 148,439 and Mexico with 123,845.

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.

With inputs from AFP.