Pakistan logs 34 new coronavirus deaths, 1,599 infections in 24 hours
As Pakistan gears up efforts to acquire coronavirus vaccine from around the world, at home the Covid-19 pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down as 34 more people lost their lives due to the deadly virus whereas 1,599 fresh infections were reported during the last 24 hours (Saturday), showed the figures released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday morning.
The death toll has surged to 11,657 with the addition of 34 new fatalities while the total number of confirmed cases climbed up to 544,813.
As many as 1,822 patients have recovered from the virus during the past 24 hours (Saturday) as the number of total recoveries has jumped to 499,974.
As of Sunday, the total count of active coronavirus cases in the country stood at 33,182 while the national positivity ratio was recorded at 3.76 percent.
As usual, Sindh remained at the top in terms of cases followed by Punjab and other regions.
As many as 246,437 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 157,353 in Punjab, 66,953 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 41,359 in Islamabad, 18,815 in Balochistan, 8,988 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and 4,908 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Moreover, 4,736 individuals have died due to the novel virus in Punjab, 3,992 in Sindh, 1,897 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 475 in Islamabad, 260 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, 195 in Balochistan and 102 in Gilgit Baltistan.
At least 42,455 tests have been conducted during the last 24 hours while 7,932,196 samples have been tested so far.
The government has announced that it will receive up to 17 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in the first half of 2021.
A special plane has also left for China to bring back half a million doses of the Chinese vaccine.
Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:
- WHO in Wuhan: hospital and exhibition -
A team of WHO experts investigating the origins of the coronavirus toured a propaganda exhibition celebrating China's recovery from the pandemic in Wuhan after a meeting at the hospital that treated the first confirmed Covid-19 cases over a year ago.
Details of the trip have been scant so far, with the media kept at arm's length.
- New restrictions in France -
France is to close its borders Sunday to non-European Union countries for all except essential travel, while stepping back from a widely anticipated third lockdown.
Large shopping centres -- excluding those where food is sold -- are to be closed and enforcement of a 6pm curfew is to be stepped up.
- Germany restricts arrivals -
Germany has banned most travellers from countries hit by new, more contagious coronavirus variants to prevent a surge in infection numbers.
The move, set to last until February 17, affects people coming from Brazil, Britain, Ireland, Portugal, and South Africa, as well as the southern African kingdoms of Lesotho and Eswatini.
- Semi-confinement eased in Oslo -
The Norwegian government announced that several semi-confinement measures affecting Oslo and the surrounding area would be lifted.
The measures were enacted a week ago following the detection of several cases of the British variant of Covid-19.
- Vatican museums to reopen -
The Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, are to reopen Monday after being closed for 88 days owing to coronavirus restrictions -- the longest closure since World War II.
- Vaccinations in Algeria, Egypt and Iran -
Algeria launched its vaccination campaign with the Russian vaccine Sputnik V.
It is to receive Sunday its first doses of the vaccine developed by Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
Egypt said its first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine would arrive on Sunday as well.
It began its vaccination programme with the vaccine developed by the Chinese group Sinopharm.
Iran expects to receive the first batch of Moscow's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine by February 4.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier this month banned the use of vaccines made by the United States and Britain, calling them "completely untrustworthy".
- US: Masks mandatory on public transport -
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now require masks on virtually every form of public transportation throughout the country.
The order extends to travel on airplanes, trains, buses, taxis, ride-shares, subways, ferries and ships.
- More than 2.2 million deaths -
More than 2.2 million people have died of coronavirus since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally from official sources.
More than 102 million have been registered.
The US has suffered the highest toll with 436,810 deaths, followed by Brazil with 222,666 and Mexico with 156,579.
The number of deaths globally is underestimated. The toll is calculated from daily figures published by national health authorities and does not include later revisions by statistics agencies.
With inputs from AFP.