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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Key points

  • Covid-19 emerges in China's Wuhan in Dec '19, declared a pandemic on March 11
  • Over 12 million infected globally; more than 549,000 dead, over 6.3 million recovered
  • 250,977 cases reported in Pakistan; 5,257 dead, 156,700 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Jul 12, 2020
11:00 PM

Mexico set to surpass Italy's coronavirus tally as death toll nears 35,000

10:30 PM

Palestinian Authority orders nightly, weekend virus curfew

10:10 PM

PML-Q's Tariq Bashir Cheema tests positive for Covid-19

9:50 PM

AFP Fact Check: Flu shots do not contain coronaviruses

8:40 PM

KP reports 408 Covid-19 cases, 12 deaths

8:20 PM

Top US health official wants 'everything on the table' to contain virus

8:00 PM

Primark rejects 30 million pound UK bonus for bringing back staff

7:30 PM

READ: 10 signs you may have Covid-19

7:15 PM

Lebanon records new infection high with more than 100 cases

6:45 PM

Sri Lanka cancels election rallies over new virus wave

6:15 PM

READ: How the world's busiest airport envisions post-Covid travel

5:45 PM

Iran's Khamenei urges fight against 'tragic' virus resurgence

5:15 PM

Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai, daughter test positive for Covid-19

4:50 PM

Sindh reports 1,713 Covid-19 cases, 48 deaths

4:30 PM

Adviser to KP CM on info Kamran Bangash appeals to people to not repeat mistakes made on Eidul Fitr

4:10 PM

READ: How coronavirus affects the entire body, not just the lungs

3:41 PM

Murad expresses concern over inadequate testing

3:03 PM

Lockdown on the cards as virus cases in Indian-occupied Kashmir top 10,000

2:30 PM

Russia reports 6,615 new cases of coronavirus

2:00 PM

Govt to take strict actions for implementation of SOPs after schools are reopened

1:25 PM

Put that screen down: How my family used the Covid-19 lockdown to work on our relationships

1:10 PM

Tokyo confirms 206 new cases of coronavirus infections

12:40 PM

Thailand plans November human testing for potential coronavirus vaccine

12:17 PM

WHO urges aggressive virus measures as flare-ups spark new closures

11:46 AM

3,566 more people recover from coronavirus in Pakistan, total tops 156,000

11:36 AM

Punjab's Covid-19 death toll crosses 2,000 with 21 more deaths

11:30 AM

Islamabad reports less than 100 cases for seventh day in a row

10:55 AM

Lebanon records new coronavirus infection high

10:25 AM

Trump wears mask in public for first time during pandemic

9:45 AM

US posts new daily virus case record of 66,528: Johns Hopkins

9:01 AM

PHOTO: Workers have lunch separated by plastic panels at a textile plant in San Miguel Petapa

8:31 AM

Australia's Victoria state marks week of triple-digit coronavirus cases

8:04 AM

Brazil sees over 1,000 new coronavirus deaths, cases top 1.8 million

Jul 11, 2020
11:14 PM

Hyderabad doctor dies of coronavirus after giving birth

10:50 PM

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan hospitalised after testing positive for virus

10:33 PM

Balochistan registers 29 new Covid-19 cases

10:14 PM

KP reports 303 new infections, 13 deaths

9:55 PM

Disney World to reopen as coronavirus cases surge in Florida

9:32 PM

Pandemic leads 7-Eleven to forgo free Slurpees on 7-11

9:15 PM

More Covid-19 cases in Syria's overcrowded rebel enclave

8:54 PM

PM emphasises need for 'out-of-the-box solutions' for economic growth amid pandemic

8:33 PM

WATCH: Berlin fashion show seeks masked models and social distancing

8:15 PM

India's Biocon secures approval to use drug on coronavirus patients

7:54 PM

China's CanSino in talks for Covid vaccine Phase III trial overseas

7:29 PM

WATCH: South Korean govt uses hundreds of drones for display thanking frontline workers

7:15 PM

Over 2,000 Sindh Police personnel have so far contracted Covid-19

6:59 PM

Doctors' forum stresses need to enhance Covid-19 testing in Pakistan

6:46 PM

British pilot to fly home after 4-month virus battle in Vietnam

6:29 PM

Croatia makes face masks compulsory in public indoor spaces

6:07 PM

Dubai announces new economic support package, worth over $400 million

Jul 12, 2020 11:00pm

Mexico set to surpass Italy's coronavirus tally as death toll nears 35,000

Mexico's death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is poised to overtake Italy's and shoot above 35,000, with the Latin American nation set to post the world's fourth highest deaths total, according to Reuters data.

While Italy appears to have tamed the virus, the pandemic is showing no signs of slowing down in Mexico, where the government has faced criticism for reopening its economy too soon.

Mexican authorities have gradually raised the projections of total fatalities and as recently as June forecast up to 35,000 deaths through October. In early May, the estimate was 6,000.

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Jul 12, 2020 10:30pm

Palestinian Authority orders nightly, weekend virus curfew

The Palestinian Authority imposed a nighttime and weekend curfew on the occupied West Bank for the coming 14 days to try and rein in rising coronavirus numbers, AFP reported.

“Travel will be prohibited daily from 8:00pm to 6:00am in all governorates,” as well as from Thursday evening to Sunday morning, Palestinian government spokesman Ibrahim Melhem told a news conference.

Jul 12, 2020 10:10pm

PML-Q's Tariq Bashir Cheema tests positive for Covid-19

Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema of PML-Q has tested positive for the coronavirus, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) spokesperson Dr Waseem Khawaja said.

He said that the minister was admitted to the facility after his condition deteriorated and was undergoing further tests.

Jul 12, 2020 08:20pm

Top US health official wants 'everything on the table' to contain virus

A top US health official said that with deaths from Covid-19 expected to continue rising in coming weeks, “everything should be on the table,” including renewed lockdowns in hard-hit states, according to AFP.

“We're all very concerned,” said Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of health, on ABC's This Week.

In particular, he called for the re-closing of bars, greater spacing in restaurants and the near-universal wearing of masks in the areas most afflicted, which are largely in southern states that reopened aggressively.

Jul 12, 2020 08:00pm

Primark rejects 30 million pound UK bonus for bringing back staff

Primark, the fashion retailer owned by AB Foods, said it would not take advantage of a British government scheme to pay employers for bringing back staff from furlough, eschewing a bonus of about 30 million pounds ($38 million), Reuters reported.

“The company removed its employees from government employment support schemes in the UK and Europe in line with the reopening of the majority of its stores.

"The company believes it should not be necessary therefore to apply for payment under the bonus scheme on current circumstances," a spokesperson said.

Jul 12, 2020 07:15pm

Lebanon records new infection high with more than 100 cases

Lebanon has recorded more than 100 new coronavirus infections in the last day, its highest daily increase yet, with most of the cases among workers of a cleaning company, Reuters reported.

“To reassure people, the source is known,” Health Minister Hamad Hassan told broadcaster LBC. He added that up to 75 per cent of the cases were linked to what he described as a big cleaning company, were symptom-free and non-Lebanese.

Hassan said 800 workers from the cleaning company in question needed to be tested, along with another 1,000 workers from two other companies with whom they were connected. “The number will remain high this week,” he said.

Jul 12, 2020 06:45pm

Sri Lanka cancels election rallies over new virus wave

Sri Lanka's ruling party called off its rallies ahead of upcoming parliamentary elections and delayed the international airport's reopening over a surge in virus cases, according to AFP.

The South Asian country of 21 million lifted its coronavirus lockdown in late June after declaring there was no longer any community spread of the virus.

But a swathe of cases emerged last week, including an outbreak at a drug rehabilitation centre last week that saw 253 patients test positive in a single night.

Jul 12, 2020 05:45pm

Iran's Khamenei urges fight against 'tragic' virus resurgence

Iran's supreme leader called the resurgence of the novel coronavirus in the country “truly tragic” and urged all citizens to help stem what has been the region's deadliest outbreak, AFP reported.

“Let everyone play their part in the best way to break the chain of transmission in the short term and save the country,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a video conference with lawmakers, according to his office.

According to his official site, Khamenei praised healthcare workers for “their sacrifices”.

But he also strongly criticised “some people who do not even do something as simple as wearing a mask”, saying he felt “ashamed” of such behaviour.

Jul 12, 2020 05:15pm

Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai, daughter test positive for Covid-19

Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai has tested positive for the coronavirus, a Mumbai city authority official told AFP, just a day after her father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan and husband Abhishek Bachchan tested positive.

Her eight-year-old daughter, Aaradhya, was also Covid-19 positive, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation official, who asked to remain anonymous, said.

Read more here.

Jul 12, 2020 04:50pm

Sindh reports 1,713 Covid-19 cases, 48 deaths

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that 1,713 coronavirus cases and 48 deaths were reported in the province during the past 24 hours.

In a statement, the chief minister said that the provincial total has risen to 105,533 while the death toll is 1,795. "Another 1,519 patients also recovered during the past 24 hours, taking the total to 60,958," he added.

Jul 12, 2020 04:30pm

Adviser to KP CM on info Kamran Bangash appeals to people to not repeat mistakes made on Eidul Fitr

Adviser to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Information Kamran Bangash has appealed to people to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) advised by the government on Eidul Azha and not repeat mistakes made during Eidul Fitr.

Kamran Bangash addressing the media. —DawnNewsTV
Kamran Bangash addressing the media. —DawnNewsTV

A failure to follow the SOPs could result in the outbreak of the virus getting out of control, he warned. He said that people would not be allowed to enter cattle markets without a mask, adding that their temperatures would be checked. He further said that the government was making arrangements to ensure the availability of sanitisers in the cattle markets.

Jul 12, 2020 04:08pm

Murad expresses concern over inadequate testing

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has expressed concern over "inadequate testing" in the country. In a press conference in Karachi, he said that the federal government had said two months ago that testing capacity would be increased to 50,000 per day but it was still around 24,000 daily tests.

Sindh Chief Minister addresses the media. — DawnNewsTV
Sindh Chief Minister addresses the media. — DawnNewsTV

He pointed out that Sindh has been conducting double the number of tests of any province since the pandemic began. "I have data till July 11, according to which we are conducting 11,790 tests per million. Punjab is doing 5,359 tests, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is doing 4,898 and Balochistan is conducting 4,316 tests per million."

He further said that he was "not satisfied" with the testing in Sindh and that the provincial health department was working on increasing capacity.

Jul 12, 2020 03:03pm

Lockdown on the cards as virus cases in Indian-occupied Kashmir top 10,000

Cases of the novel coronavirus in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir have passed 10,000, Anadolu Agency reported. According to a government update, 268 more infections were recorded over the past 24 hours, raising the overall count to 10,156.

Ten more Covid-19 patients died over the same period, bringing the death toll to 169.

Pandurang Pole, the divisional commissioner for Kashmir, said the administration received several requests for stricter measures, including from doctors and traders. He added that a decision would be taken soon after a review of the overall situation in the region.

Earlier, the Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation announced it would fully support the government's decision to enforce a lockdown.

Jul 12, 2020 02:30pm

Russia reports 6,615 new cases of coronavirus

Russia has reported 6,615 new coronavirus cases, taking its nationwide tally of infections to 727,162.

The country’s coronavirus crisis response centre said 130 people had died from Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 11,335.

Russia said 501,061 people have recovered from the virus.

Jul 12, 2020 02:00pm

Govt to take strict actions for implementation of SOPs after schools are reopened

Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood has said that the government will take strict actions for implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) after schools and other educational institutions are reopened.

APP quoted the minister as saying that "nothing will be rushed without proper consultations and students’ safety will be the top priority while making any decision".

He further said that discussions will be held on the matter and authorities will review the decision in August in light of the coronavirus situation in the country. If the crisis is not curbed, schools and universities will not be opened, added.

Jul 12, 2020 01:25pm

Put that screen down: How my family used the Covid-19 lockdown to work on our relationships

While Covid-19 has posed enormous medical and public health challenges for a low income country like Pakistan, the mental health impact of the illness has so far received little attention. Mental health professionals have been warning people for months about the impending tsunami of infection and stress related conditions that are already mushrooming all over the country.

When the national lockdown was imposed, schools, colleges, universities, and workplaces were all shut down simultaneously in an effort to control the spread of the infection. For the first time in recent history, families found themselves locked inside their homes for an extended period of time with no clear indication of when things would go back to 'normal'.

With three teenage children and two elderly parents, in addition to my wife and myself, my house suddenly became an interesting 'laboratory' in which to observe, at close quarters, what happens when people in 2020 are forcibly confined together with no indication of when the confinement might end.

Read the full story here.

Jul 12, 2020 01:10pm

Tokyo confirms 206 new cases of coronavirus infections

Tokyo officials have confirmed 206 new coronavirus infections, public broadcaster NHK reported, as Japan’s capital struggles with a resurgence in cases after the government lifted a state of emergency.

The total marks the fourth straight day of more than 200 cases.

Jul 12, 2020 12:40pm

Thailand plans November human testing for potential coronavirus vaccine

Thai researchers plan to begin human trials of a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus in November and are preparing 10,000 doses, a senior official has said, aiming for a vaccine that could be ready for use by late next year.

Following favourable results in trials on primates, the next step is to manufacture doses for human trials, said Kiat Ruxrungtham, director of the Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University vaccine development program.

“At first we were going to send them in June, but it was not easy to plan everything,” Kiat told a news conference.

There are no approved vaccines for the virus that causes Covid-19, but 19 candidates are being trailed in humans globally.

Jul 12, 2020 12:17pm

WHO urges aggressive virus measures as flare-ups spark new closures

The World Health Organisation has urged countries grappling with coronavirus to step up control measures, saying it is still possible to rein it in, as some nations clamp fresh restrictions on citizens.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on countries to adopt an aggressive approach, highlighting Italy, Spain, South Korea and India’s biggest slum to show it was possible to stop the spread, no matter how bad the outbreak.

“Across all walks of life, we are all being tested to the limit,” the WHO’s Tedros told a virtual news conference in Geneva. “From countries where there is exponential growth, to places that are loosening restrictions and now starting to see cases rise.

“Only aggressive action combined with national unity and global solidarity can turn this pandemic around,” he said.

Read more here.

Jul 12, 2020 11:46am

3,566 more people recover from coronavirus in Pakistan, total tops 156,000

According to the government's database on coronavirus, 3,566 more people have recovered from Covid-19 in Pakistan.

This has taken the total number of recovered people to 156,700.

Jul 12, 2020 11:36am

Punjab's Covid-19 death toll crosses 2,000 with 21 more deaths

Punjab has reported 565 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the government's Covid-19 portal, taking the provincial total to 86,556. Punjab last reported less than 600 cases on June 29 when it recorded 576 fresh cases.

The province's death toll has risen to 2,006 after 21 additional fatalities were confirmed. More than 55,000 people have recovered from the virus in Punjab.

Jul 12, 2020 11:30am

Islamabad reports less than 100 cases for seventh day in a row

Islamabad has reported less than 100 cases for the seventh day in a row. According to the government's Covid-19 portal, the capital recorded 96 cases in the last 24 hours, taking its total to 14,023.

Gilgit Baltistan reported 28 fresh cases while Azad Jammu and Kashmir confirmed 32, taking their tallies to 1,658 and 1,564, respectively.

Islamabad reported five additional fatalities from the virus while AJK recorded one more death.

Jul 12, 2020 10:55am

Lebanon records new coronavirus infection high

Lebanon’s number of new coronavirus infections increased for a third consecutive day to a record 86, the government has said.

Lebanon has recorded 2,168 infections and 36 deaths since February.

Health Minister Hamad Hassan told Reuters on Friday the spike was partly due to expatriates who came after the airport was reopened on July 1. One infected 12 people at a wedding and another infected 12 at a funeral, he said.

Jul 12, 2020 10:45am

Trump wears mask in public for first time during pandemic

President Donald Trump wore a mask during a visit to a military hospital, the first time the president has been seen in public with the type of facial covering recommended by health officials as a precaution against spreading or becoming infected by the novel coronavirus.

According to AP, Trump flew by helicopter to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in suburban Washington to meet wounded servicemembers and health care providers caring for Covid-19 patients. As he left the White House, he told reporters: “When you’re in a hospital, especially ... I think it’s a great thing to wear a mask.”

President Donald Trump wears a mask as he walks down the hallway during his visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda on July 11. — AP
President Donald Trump wears a mask as he walks down the hallway during his visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda on July 11. — AP

The president was a latecomer to wearing a mask during the pandemic, which has raged across the US since March and infected more than 3.2 million and killed at least 134,000. Most prominent Republicans, including Vice President Mike Pence, endorsed wearing masks as the coronavirus gained ground this summer.

Jul 12, 2020 09:45am

US posts new daily virus case record of 66,528: Johns Hopkins

The US, the country hardest hit by the #coronavirus, has now recorded a total of 3,242,073 infections, according to the Johns Hopkins database on coronavirus.

The total death toll stands at 134,729.

Jul 12, 2020 08:31am

Australia's Victoria state marks week of triple-digit coronavirus cases

Australia’s Victoria state has reported 273 new cases of the coronavirus and another Covid-19 death, marking a week of triple-digit increases in infections, as state authorities battle fresh outbreaks of the pandemic.

Melbourne, the capital of Australia’s second most-populous state, went under a six-week lockdown on Thursday after a spike in community-transmitted cases.

“This is a dangerous time,” Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews told a news conference.

According to Reuters, today's cases, the second highest for Victoria, home to a quarter of Australia’s 25 million people, follow a record 288 infections reported on Friday. The increase partly reflects increased testing, with the state conducting more than 30,000 tests daily.

Jul 12, 2020 08:04am

Brazil sees over 1,000 new coronavirus deaths, cases top 1.8 million

Brazil, the world’s number two coronavirus hotspot after the United States, recorded 1,071 new deaths from the outbreak, with a total of 1,839,850 confirmed cases, the Health Ministry has said.

Brazil has now recorded a total of 71,469 deaths, the ministry said.

11th Jul, 11:14 PM

Hyderabad doctor dies of coronavirus after giving birth

A doctor of Hyderabad's Liaquat University Hospital has died of the coronavirus after giving birth, taking the total number of deaths from the virus to 70 in Hyderabad.

Dr Erum Zaheer, the registrar of LUH's medical ward-III, was performing her duties before she was admitted to a private hospital for her delivery via C-section. She developed some complications after giving birth to a baby girl and was taken to another hospital but could not survive.

According to the Covid-19 focal person at the District Health Office (DHO) Hyderabad, Dr Zaheer died of Covid-19 which likely aggravated her post-C-section complications.

11th Jul, 10:50 PM

Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan hospitalised after testing positive for virus

Veteran Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has been shifted to hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus, he announced on Twitter.

He said the results of tests conducted of his family and staff are awaited.

11th Jul, 10:33 PM

Balochistan registers 29 new Covid-19 cases

Another 29 cases of the new coronavirus have been confirmed in Balochistan, bringing the provincial tally to 11,157, according to the Balochistan health directorate.

No new death was reported in the province during the last 24 hours. Balochistan has officially recorded 126 deaths from the virus so far.

11th Jul, 10:14 PM

KP reports 303 new infections, 13 deaths

303 new cases of the coronavirus have been recorded in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, taking the provincial tally to 30,078, according to the KP health department.

Thirteen more people died, with the provincial death toll from the virus rising to 1,087.

11th Jul, 9:55 PM

Disney World to reopen as coronavirus cases surge in Florida

The Most Magical Place on Earth has reopened after nearly four months with new rules in place to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom are reopening today, while Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios will follow four days later.

The reopening comes as a huge surge of Floridians have tested positive for the new coronavirus in recent weeks. Many cities and counties around the state have recently reinstated restrictions that had been lifted in May, when cases seemed to drop.

Guests wearing protective masks wait outside the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, on July 11. — AFP
Guests wearing protective masks wait outside the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, on July 11. — AFP

11th Jul, 9:15 PM

More Covid-19 cases in Syria's overcrowded rebel enclave

At least two doctors in Syria's opposition-held northwest have been infected with the coronavirus, a monitoring group reported, the latest confirmed cases in the overcrowded rebel enclave.

The new infections raise the number of confirmed cases to three in the area, where health care facilities have been devastated by years of civil war, and where testing has been limited due to scarce resources.

Observers fear the virus could spread easily in Idlib province, a concern compounded as Russia, an ally of the Syrian government, moved at the UN Security Council to reduce cross-border aid from Turkey. Aid groups and UN agencies say such a reduction would hamper aid delivery of life-saving assistance amid a global pandemic.

11th Jul, 8:15 PM

India's Biocon secures approval to use drug on coronavirus patients

India's Biocon Ltd has received regulatory approval for its drug Itolizumab to be used on coronavirus infected patients suffering from moderate to severe respiratory distress, the biopharmaceutical company said in a statement.

“The randomised control trial indicated that all the patients treated with Itolizumab responded positively and recovered,” said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, the firm's executive chairperson. The drug is also used to cure the skin disease psoriasis.

The control group which did not receive Itolizumab unfortunately suffered deaths, she said, adding that the “first-in-class” drug will save lives and help reduce the mortality rate in India.

11th Jul, 7:54 PM

China's CanSino in talks for Covid vaccine Phase III trial overseas

Chinese vaccine developer CanSino Biologics is in talks with Russia, Brazil, Chile and Saudi Arabia to launch a Phase III trial of its experimental Covid-19 vaccine, its co-founder has said.

“We are contacting and Russia, Brazil, Chile and Saudi Arabia (for the Phase III trial) and it’s still in discussion,” Qiu Dongxu, executive director and co-founder of CanSino, told an anti-viral drug development conference in Suzhou, in eastern China.

He said its Phase III trials were likely to start “pretty soon”, and the company plans to recruit 40,000 participants for the tests.

According to Reuters, its Covid-19 candidate Ad5-nCov became the first in China to move into human testing in March but is running behind other potential vaccines in terms of trial progress. Two experimental vaccines developed by Sinovac Biotech and a unit of China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) are already approved for Phase III trials.

11th Jul, 7:15 PM

Over 2,000 Sindh Police personnel have so far contracted Covid-19

As many as 2,096 officers and personnel of the Sindh Police have been infected with the new coronavirus to date, with 171 infections being reported during the last two days, according to a police spokesperson.

A statement said at least 16 policemen have lost their lives while performing duties to fight the virus.

Of the total personnel infected, 496 have recovered from the disease.

11th Jul, 6:59 PM

Doctors' forum stresses need to enhance Covid-19 testing in Pakistan

Peoples' Doctors Forum Pakistan has stressed the need to enhance Covid-19 testing in the country. In a webinar titled "situation of Covid-19 pandemic — myths and realities in Pakistan [and] way forward", the medical professionals said that the government's figures of infected people are "not representative of the actual ground situation".

They urged the government to meet with doctors and paramedics. The webinar also called upon the authorities to increase testing in areas where it has been reduced.

The medical professionals also urged people to continue taking precautions during Eidul Azha, Muharram and Eid Miladun Nabi, warning that a failure to do so could lead to a spike in cases.

11th Jul, 6:46 PM

British pilot to fly home after 4-month virus battle in Vietnam

A British pilot who spent more than two months on life support in Vietnam after contracting Covid-19 is on his way home, astounding doctors who gave him just 10 per cent chance of survival.

A British pilot who was Vietnam's most critical Covid-19 patient is carried on a stretcher in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Saturday. — AP
A British pilot who was Vietnam's most critical Covid-19 patient is carried on a stretcher in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Saturday. — AP

Stephen Cameron, 42, was the sickest patient medics have had to treat during the coronavirus outbreak in the Communist nation, which has recorded no official deaths following a fast and aggressive response to the pandemic.

Little more than six weeks ago, they warned that Cameron would need a double transplant for his lungs, which were only functioning at around 10pc.

But after nearly four months in hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City, including 10 weeks on a ventilator, the Vietnam Airlines pilot from Motherwell, Scotland was discharged today and is due to fly back to the UK within hours.

11th Jul, 6:29 PM

Croatia makes face masks compulsory in public indoor spaces

Croatia has said that wearing face masks will be obligatory in most closed public spaces from next week as the number of Covid-19 cases keeps rising, Reuters reports.

The number of new infections reached 140 today, the highest recorded so far in a single day. Most cases are in the capital Zagreb and in east of the country.

The national civil protection directorate said that from Monday face masks will be obligatory for both employees and clients in shops, and also for employees in bars, restaurants and other places where there is close contact with customers.

The use of face masks on public transport was made compulsory several weeks ago.

11th Jul, 6:07 PM

Dubai announces new economic support package, worth over $400 million

Dubai has announced a new package to help the economy cope with the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, worth 1.5 billion dirhams ($408 million), the crown prince of the emirate, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum, said on Twitter.

The package is the third announced by Dubai, the second-largest and wealthiest member of the United Arab Emirates federation. The three packages are worth a total of 6.3 billion dirhams, Sheikh Hamdan said.