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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

  • Covid-19 emerges in China's Wuhan in Dec 19, declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020
  • Over 512.4 million infected globally; more than 6.2 million dead
  • 1,528,347 reported in Pakistan; 30,371 dead, 1,494,141 recovered

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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
May 02, 2022
11:02 AM

Pakistan reports 40 new Covid cases, 1 death

9:20 AM

Greece lifts Covid curbs for travellers ahead of key summer season

May 01, 2022
1:15 PM

As Beijing tightens Covid curbs, hard-hit Shanghai sees signs of life

7:15 AM

Taiwan calls China's Covid lockdowns 'cruel', says won't follow its steps

Apr 30, 2022
4:12 PM

Chinese Omicron-specific mRNA Covid vaccine candidate to be trialled in UAE

12:30 PM

Pakistan's Covid-19 tally rises by 65

Apr 29, 2022
6:28 PM

South Africa says it may be entering fifth Covid wave

1:20 PM

Pakistan reports 75 new coronavirus cases

10:10 AM

Ecuador lifts indoor and outdoor mask mandates

Apr 28, 2022
4:59 PM

Taiwan faces largest Covid-19 outbreak yet

2nd May, 11:02 AM

Pakistan reports 40 new Covid cases, 1 death

Pakistan has reported 40 coronavirus cases and one death over the past 24 hours.

The country's infection tally has risen to 1,528,518 and death toll from the virus has climbed to 30,372.

2nd May, 9:20 AM

Greece lifts Covid curbs for travellers ahead of key summer season

Greece lifted Covid-19 restrictions on Sunday for foreign and domestic flights, its civil aviation authority said, ahead of the summer tourism season that officials hope will see revenues bouncing back from the pandemic slump.

To fly in or out of the country, travellers were previously required to show either a vaccination certificate, a certificate saying they had recovered from coronavirus or a negative test, according to Reuters.

From May 1, passengers and crew will need only to wear a face mask, the civil aviation authority said.

The summer tourism season typically begins after the Greek Orthodox Easter, which was on April 24. Greece is expecting high numbers of visitors this year, with officials predicting revenues reaching 80 per cent of 2019 levels. That was a record year before the pandemic brought travel to a halt.

1st May, 1:15 PM

As Beijing tightens Covid curbs, hard-hit Shanghai sees signs of life

China's capital Beijing tightened Covid restrictions on as it battled an outbreak, while Shanghai let some of its 25 million residents venture out for light and air after reporting a second day of zero infections outside of quarantine areas.

Shanghai's outbreak, which began in March, has been China's worst since the early months of the pandemic in 2020. Hundreds of thousands have been infected and the city has forbidden residents from leaving their homes, to great public anger, Reuters reports.

The outbreak in China's most populous city and the risk of a spread in Beijing are testing the government's zero-Covid approach in a year when Xi Jinping is expected to secure an unprecedented third term as president.

1st May, 7:15 AM

Taiwan calls China's Covid lockdowns 'cruel', says won't follow its steps

China's lockdowns to control the spread of Covid-19 are “cruel” and Taiwan will not follow suit, Premier Su Tseng-chang said.

Having controlled the pandemic with tough border controls and quarantines, Taiwan has been dealing with a surge in domestic infections since the start of this year, with some 75,000 infections driven by the Omicron variant.

But with more than 99 per cent of those having mild or no symptoms, a handful of deaths so far and high vaccination levels, the government has moved to ease restrictions as it seeks normalcy and to gradually reopen the island of 23 million people to the outside world.

Speaking during a visit to Taiwan's Centres for Disease Control, Su said their pandemic-containment measures had been “praised by the world”. “We will not lock down the country and cities as cruelly as China,” he said, adding Taiwan's methods were “gradual”.

People line up to receive a vaccine against Covid-19 at the vaccination site at Taipei Main Station on April 28. — Reuters
People line up to receive a vaccine against Covid-19 at the vaccination site at Taipei Main Station on April 28. — Reuters

30th Apr, 4:12 PM

Chinese Omicron-specific mRNA Covid vaccine candidate to be trialled in UAE

China's Suzhou Abogen Biosciences Co has said its Covid-19 vaccine candidate using the messenger RNA (mRNA) technology and targeting the Omicron variant has obtained clinical trial approval in the United Arab Emirates.

With the announcement, Abogen joins Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna in trialling candidates modified specifically against Omicron, a highly transmissible variant with increased resistance to antibodies elicited by existing shots, Reuters reported.

Besides the UAE, Abogen was communicating with regulators in China and other countries on potential clinical trials for the Omicron-specific candidate, it said in a statement.

30th Apr, 12:30 PM

Pakistan's Covid-19 tally rises by 65

Pakistan has reported 65 coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, following which the country's infection tally has risen to 1,528,412.

Meanwhile, no coronavirus-related fatalities have been reported and the death toll stands at 30,371.

29th Apr, 6:28 PM

South Africa says it may be entering fifth Covid wave

South Africa may be entering a fifth Covid wave earlier than expected after a sustained rise in infections over the past 14 days that seems to be driven by the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants, health officials and scientists have said.

The country that has recorded the most coronavirus cases and deaths on the African continent only exited a fourth wave around January and had predicted a fifth wave could start in May or June, early in the southern hemisphere winter, Reuters reported.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla told a briefing that although hospitalisations were picking up there was so far no dramatic change in admissions to intensive care units or deaths.

Infectious disease specialist Richard Lessells told the same briefing that waning immunity from previous waves could be contributing to the earlier-than-expected resurgence in cases.

29th Apr, 1:20 PM

Pakistan reports 75 new coronavirus cases

Pakistan has reported 75 coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, following which the country's infection tally has risen to 1,528,347.

Meanwhile, no coronavirus-related fatalities have been reported and the death toll stands at 30,371.

29th Apr, 10:10 AM

Ecuador lifts indoor and outdoor mask mandates

Ecuador will immediately lift mask mandates for both indoor and outdoor spaces thanks to significant gains made against coronavirus, President Guillermo Lasso said on Thursday, Reuters reported.

The decision is based on vaccination figures of 87 per cent for those aged 3 and over and Covid-19 test positivity rates of just 5 per cent, he said, as well as an effort to give second booster shots to adults.

"From today in Ecuador it will cease to be obligatory to use a face mask in open and closed spaces in all national territory," said Lasso. "It is a clear indicator that we have practically beaten Covid-19."

The number of Covid-19 patients in hospitals has fallen drastically, he added, as has the number of deaths from the virus.

28th Apr, 4:59 PM

Taiwan faces largest Covid-19 outbreak yet

Taiwan, which had been living mostly free of Covid-19, is now facing its worst outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic with over 11,000 new cases reported Thursday, according to AP.

Cases have been on the upswing since late March. In April, the island’s central authorities announced that they would no longer maintain a “zero-Covid” policy like the Chinese government’s in which they would centrally quarantine positive cases.

Instead, the government is asking people to quarantine at home if they test positive, unless they show moderate to severe symptoms.

Chen Shih-chung, the island’s health minister, announced Thursday they had found 11,353 new cases, along with two deaths. During the daily press briefing held by the Central Epidemic Command Center, he said 99.7 per cent of the cases in the current outbreak either had no symptoms or had mild symptoms.