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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Key points

  • Covid-19 emerges in China in Dec '19, declared a pandemic on March 11
  • WHO names Europe new epicentre; Italy surpasses China's death toll (Read more)
  • 905,279 infected globally; more than 45,371 dead, more than 193,700 recovered
  • 2,355 cases reported in Pakistan; 32 dead, 107 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Latest
3:11 PM

Punjab's cases rise to 914

3:04 PM

Belgium's coronavirus death toll tops 1,000

2:48 PM

Corona is Pakistan's biggest challenge, says Sarwar

2:44 PM

Watch: 'One bed means one life'

2:25 PM

Pakistan Science Foundation invites research proposals on Covid-19

2:17 PM

Human rights ministry stresses 'urgent need' to release sick prisoners

2:11 PM

Emirates receives approval for limited flights from April 6

1:57 PM

China's coronavirus numbers seem 'on the light side', says Trump

1:57 PM

India's toaster-sized ventilator offers hope to people fighting coronavirus

1:55 PM

Israel's health minister tests positive, top officials to isolate

1:49 PM

Sindh govt's Covid-19 relief fund has received Rs41m from private donors: Murtaza Wahab

1:40 PM

Chinese city Shenzhen bans consumption of cats and dogs

1:40 PM

Infection rate steepens as India searches for 9,000 exposed to Delhi cluster

1:33 PM

Under pressure, British PM vows 'massive' increase in testing

1:30 PM

PPP to establish coronavirus relief fund

1:27 PM

CII to discuss restriction of prayer congregations in emergency meeting today

1:23 PM

Islamabad's Shahzad Town being fumigated

1:11 PM

WATCH: 16-year-old uses 3D printer to make face shields for doctors in Manila

1:04 PM

Spain sheds nearly 900,000 jobs since coronavirus lockdown

1:01 PM

Cambridge International outlines criteria for grading candidates

12:52 PM

Millions of messages received for Ehsaas cash grant: PM's aide

12:36 PM

410 of Sindh's cases due to local transmission

12:35 PM

Sindh records 34 new cases

12:30 PM

Govt needs to find balance between social distancing and preventing unemployment: PM

12:25 PM

PM Imran to announce 'big package' for construction industry

12:17 PM

China says US officials making shameless comments on coronavirus data

12:12 PM

Tableeghi Jamaat member dies of coronavirus in Sindh

12:05 PM

Virus data: What’s known and not known about China’s numbers

11:56 AM

Lack of policy on Covid-19 troubling, says PML-N leader

11:56 AM

Sindh police tells schools and colleges to not have crowds throng campuses for fee submission

11:53 AM

China donates relief supplies worth $3m to Pakistan

11:49 AM

WATCH: Manila before and after quarantine

11:44 AM

Trump says he expects Saudi Arabia, Russia to reach a deal in next few days on oil

11:41 AM

Use this time to bond with your families, says President Alvi

11:30 AM

WATCH: How contagious is the coronavirus?

11:26 AM

25 more people recovered in last 24 hours

11:21 AM

More cases confirmed in GB, Islamabad and AJK

11:17 AM

READ: 'Muslims fear backlash of India’s coronavirus fury'

11:05 AM

Australia begins pre-clinical testing for coronavirus vaccine

11:02 AM

Punjab has conducted nearly 15,000 Covid-19 tests — why are other provinces lagging behind?

10:36 AM

Poland expects April peak in infections

10:31 AM

North Korea insists it is free of coronavirus

9:34 AM

Provincial govts must act in national interest, says Jhagra

9:29 AM

121 Taftan returnees to be released by KP tomorrow: Jhagra

8:29 AM

SEE: The evolution of personal protective equipment through the ages

8:21 AM

Bajwa calls for national unity to fight Covid-19

8:18 AM

Today's cartoon

8:16 AM

Most Americans huddle indoors as coronavirus deaths keep spiking

1:04 AM

UK man jailed for 6 months for coughing on police officer

12:51 AM

Six-week-old newborn dies of Covid-19 in US

Apr 02, 2020 03:11pm

Punjab's cases rise to 914

Punjab has reported another 69 cases, according to provincial health department spokesperson Qaiser Asif, taking the provincial total to 914.

With the new cases, Pakistan's total has risen to 2,355.

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Apr 02, 2020 03:04pm

Belgium's coronavirus death toll tops 1,000

The number of deaths attributed to the global coronavirus epidemic in Belgium has increased sharply and passed the 1,000 mark, AFP reported.

The official toll in the country of 11.4 million has doubled over the past three days, in part because figures have been updated with a backlog of fatalities from retirement homes.

There have now been 1,001 deaths and 15,348 officially recorded cases in the country since the start of the outbreak, officials said.

Apr 02, 2020 02:48pm

Corona is Pakistan's biggest challenge, says Sarwar

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar said that the coronavirus outbreak is the biggest challenge Pakistan has faced.

Speaking to the media, the governor said: "The only way to solve it, is by staying at home. That is why we have established a separate helpline (0304 1112101) so that citizens do not have to step outside their homes for medical advice."

Apr 02, 2020 02:25pm

Pakistan Science Foundation invites research proposals on Covid-19

Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain Chaudhry has announced that the Pakistan Science Foundation is inviting research proposals on Covid-19. He encouraged universities and researchers to submit proposals.

Apr 02, 2020 02:17pm

Human rights ministry stresses 'urgent need' to release sick prisoners

The Ministry of Human Rights has requested the Attorney General to submit a brief on the "urgent need" to release sick prisoners to the Supreme Court citing prison conditions, as a precautionary measure to control the spread of Covid-19.

The brief also calls for the release of prisoners with underlying health conditions, those entitled to bail under non-prohibitory clause and under-trial prisoners.

Apr 02, 2020 01:57pm

China's coronavirus numbers seem 'on the light side', says Trump

United States President Donald Trump has said that the coronavirus statistics China was reporting seemed “a little bit on the light side”, while his national security adviser said Washington had no way of knowing if Beijing's figures were accurate, Reuters reported.

During a daily briefing by his coronavirus task force, Trump said: "The numbers seem to be a little bit on the light side — and I am being nice when I say that — relative to what we witnessed and what was reported.”

Apr 02, 2020 01:55pm

Israel's health minister tests positive, top officials to isolate

The new coronavirus is forcing more top Israeli officials into isolation after the country's health minister, who has had frequent contact with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, tested positive, AP reported.

Health minister Yaakov Litzman and his wife, who also contracted the virus, are in isolation, feel well and are being treated, read a statement from the health ministry.

Shortly after the announcement, the prime minister's office said Netanyahu returned to self-quarantine because of his contact with Litzman.

Apr 02, 2020 01:40pm

Infection rate steepens as India searches for 9,000 exposed to Delhi cluster

India has reported its biggest single-day increase in coronavirus cases as officials raced to track down some 9,000 people exposed to the country's biggest infection cluster during a Muslim missionary group's gathering in the capital last month, according to Reuters.

The number of cases jumped on wednesday fuelled by infections among people who either attended prayers and lectures at the Tableeghi Jamaat's headquarters in a packed densely-packed Delhi neighbourhood or came into contact with them later. A government official said about 9,000 people were unaccounted for, of which 2,000 were identified as officials of the Tableeghi and the rest were described as primary contacts.

Apr 02, 2020 01:33pm

Under pressure, British PM vows 'massive' increase in testing

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to ramp up testing for coronavirus after his government faced criticism for being slower than some European peers to roll out mass checks for frontline health workers and the population, Reuters reported.

"We're also massively increasing testing,” Johnson said in a video message from a flat in Downing Street where he is self-isolating after testing positive himself.

Apr 02, 2020 01:30pm

PPP to establish coronavirus relief fund

PPP has informed the Election Commission of Pakistan of its intention to establish a coronavirus relief fund.

Apr 02, 2020 01:27pm

CII to discuss restriction of prayer congregations in emergency meeting today

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) will hold an emergency video conference today to discuss how prayer congregations can be restricted.

Social distancing and the religious way to bury a person who passed away after contracting Covid-19 will also be discussed during the meeting.

For safety reasons, unrelated people will not be allowed to enter the office.

CII chief Dr Qibla Ayaz is expected to hold a press conference at 6pm, the body's spokesperson added.

Apr 02, 2020 01:23pm

Islamabad's Shahzad Town being fumigated

The Bahria Town management has started to fumigate the Shahzad Town area of Islamabad.

All dispensaries and offices will be fumigated in an effort to reduce the chances of coronavirus spreading in Shahzad Town.

Apr 02, 2020 01:04pm

Spain sheds nearly 900,000 jobs since coronavirus lockdown

Spain has shed close to 900,000 jobs, more than half of them temporary, since it went into lockdown in mid-March to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reported.

Social security data showed that 898,822 Spaniards have now lost their jobs since the start of the lockdown, including around 550,000 temporary workers.

The number of people officially registered as unemployed in Spain rose to 3.5 million in March, the highest level since April 2017. That data does not include all the new job losses as not all workers officially registered as unemployed.

Spain has the world's second highest death toll from the disease after Italy.

Apr 02, 2020 01:01pm

Cambridge International outlines criteria for grading candidates

Cambridge International has issued a statement regarding the criteria under which they will grade candidates that were supposed to appear for the May/June 2020 exam series that has since been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"The decision on grades to be awarded to candidates will be made by Cambridge, using our own evidence combined with evidence from schools," the statement read.

The types of evidence that Cambridge will be looking at include:

  • Mock exams
  • Coursework
  • Assignments

Read the full statement here.

Apr 02, 2020 12:52pm

Millions of messages received for Ehsaas cash grant: PM's aide

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar said the government has started receiving millions of text messages on 8171 for the cash grant allocated under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme.

According to Radio Pakistan, those eligible for the grant will be able to withdraw the money by next week (Wednesday).

The PM's aide stated this programme has been launched for those facing financial problems due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Apr 02, 2020 12:36pm

410 of Sindh's cases due to local transmission

According to the Sindh health department, 410 out of the province's 743 cases are due to local transmission.

These cases make up for more than half of the total number of cases detected in the province so far.

Apr 02, 2020 12:35pm

Sindh records 34 new cases

Sindh has detected 34 new cases, all of them locally transmitted, taking the provincial tally to 743, Meeran Yousuf, media coordinator to the health and population welfare minister said.

About 17 cases have emerged in Karachi, nine in Hyderabad, six in Shaheed Benazirabad and two in Jamshoro.

Apr 02, 2020 12:30pm

Govt needs to find balance between social distancing and preventing unemployment: PM

The "biggest challenge" for the government at the time is to "find a balance" between promoting social distancing and preventing unemployment, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said.

He added that the government needed to decide which industries should keep operating despite the ongoing lockdown, which he pointed out, had been extended for two more weeks.

Apr 02, 2020 12:25pm

PM Imran to announce 'big package' for construction industry

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government will announce a "big package" for the construction industry so that labourers would not lose their jobs during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Apr 02, 2020 12:17pm

China says US officials making shameless comments on coronavirus data

China's foreign ministry said that US officials are making “shameless” comments casting doubt about China's reporting of coronavirus cases in the country, Reuters reported.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying reiterated during a daily briefing that China has been open and transparent about the coronavirus outbreak that began in the country late last year.

He added that the United States should stop politicising a health issue and instead focus on the safety of its people.

Apr 02, 2020 12:12pm

Tableeghi Jamaat member dies of coronavirus in Sindh

Sindh has recorded another death from the novel coronavirus, Meeran Yousuf, media coordinator to the health and population welfare minister confirmed.

The 65-year-old patient was a resident of Tando Mohammad Khan and was a member of the Tableeghi Jamaat. He was brought to a hospital in Hyderabad on March 28, where he tested positive and was being treated.

According to Yousuf, the patient had Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and was on a ventilator.

So far, 10 people have died in Sindh.

Apr 02, 2020 12:05pm

Virus data: What’s known and not known about China’s numbers

Skepticism about China’s numbers has swirled throughout the crisis, fueled by official efforts to quash bad news in the early days and a general distrust of the government. Long lines of people waiting to collect the ashes of loved ones at funeral homes last week revived the debate.

There is no smoking gun pointing to a cover-up by China’s ruling Communist Party. But intentional or not, there is reason to believe that more people died of COVID-19 than the official tally, which stood at 3,312 at the end of Tuesday. The same applies to the 81,554 confirmed cases, now exceeded by the US, Italy and Spain.

Read the Associated Press' full story here

Apr 02, 2020 11:56am

Lack of policy on Covid-19 troubling, says PML-N leader

PML-N leader Marriyum Aurangzeb said that not having a clear government policy while coronavirus cases continue to increase steadily is troubling.

In a statement, she said: "Clear standard operating procedures need to be established for testing and screening patients. There needs to be a proper system regarding the medical aspects of the coronavirus implemented at a national level."

Apr 02, 2020 11:56am

Sindh police tells schools and colleges to not have crowds throng campuses for fee submission

Sindh police has directed schools and colleges to ensure that no students go to campuses to submit fee vouchers.

Furthermore, one parent or guardian should go to submit the voucher to ensure that the coronavirus threat remains contained.

Apr 02, 2020 11:41am

Use this time to bond with your families, says President Alvi

President Arif Alvi has urged citizens to spend more time with their families while quarantining in order to negate the psychological impact of staying at home during the coronavirus outbraeak.

The president also stressed on the importance of exercising, maintaining a routine and taking up hobbies.

Apr 02, 2020 11:26am

25 more people recovered in last 24 hours

Twenty five people recovered during the last 24 hours, according to the official government portal for Covid-19 updates.

The total increased from 82 yesterday morning to 107 at 11am today.

Apr 02, 2020 11:21am

More cases confirmed in GB, Islamabad and AJK

The official government portal for Covid-19 updates has reported 8 more cases in Islamabad and 3 more in AJK and GB each.

The update was made today at 11:07am.

Pakistan's total is now at 2,252.

Apr 02, 2020 11:05am

Australia begins pre-clinical testing for coronavirus vaccine

Australia's national science agency has said it has commenced the first stage of testing potential vaccines for Covid-19, as it joins a global race to halt the coronavirus pandemic.

The first phase of testing would take around three months, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation Health Director Rob Grenfell told Reuters, adding that any resulting vaccine would not be available to the public before late next year.

“Were still sticking to the optimistic 18 months for delivery of vaccine to the general consumers,” Grenfell said. "There's a lot of technical challenges that were having to go through.”

Apr 02, 2020 11:02am

Punjab has conducted nearly 15,000 Covid-19 tests — why are other provinces lagging behind?

The infographic below shows the number of confirmed cases in each province and region, and the tests carried out there until March 31. The data for this information has been obtained from the National Institute of Health (NIH) for Islamabad and situation reports released by the respective provincial health departments.

For more on the status of testing across the four provinces, Islamabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan, click here.

Apr 02, 2020 10:36am

Poland expects April peak in infections

Poland may face a peak in coronavirus infections in April, government spokesman Piotr Muller told state radio, adding that further curbs on people's movements could not be ruled out.

According to Reuters, 2,554 people had been infected with the virus by Wednesday, with 43 dead in the country of 38 million people.

Apr 02, 2020 10:31am

North Korea insists it is free of coronavirus

North Korea remains totally free of the coronavirus, a senior health official in Pyongyang has insisted, despite mounting scepticism overseas as confirmed global infections near one million, according to AFP.

The already isolated North quickly shut down its borders in January after the virus was first detected in neighbouring China, and imposed strict containment measures.

Pak Myong Su, director of the anti-epidemic department, said: "We have carried out preemptive and scientific measures such as inspections and quarantine for all personnel entering our country and thoroughly disinfecting all goods, as well as closing borders and blocking sea and air lanes."

Apr 02, 2020 09:34am

Provincial govts must act in national interest, says Jhagra

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health minister Taimur Jhagra has said that out of the 121 pilgrims that came to the province from the Pakistan-Iran border at Taftan, several were from Punjab, Sindh and Islamabad. Despite this, the KP government acted in national interest and did not abandon them.

"We kept these people from Islamabad, Pindi, Karachi, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Jhang and Mandi Bahauddin because it was the right thing to do, despite our limited space and facilities. Because once here transporting them back would have exposed many other people across Pakistan to risk," he said in a tweet.

In this crisis, governments may not be able to fix the issues that have built up over 72 years, but we owe it to each other and to this country to act in national interest, not just in self-interest, he said.

Apr 02, 2020 08:21am

Bajwa calls for national unity to fight Covid-19

Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa has called for national unity in the fight against Covid-19 as the Commander of Army’s Air Defence Command, Lt Gen Hamood Uz Zaman Khan, was designated as convener of the newly-established National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

“The Commander of Army Air Defence Command, Lieutenant General Hamood Uz Zaman Khan, has been designated as chief coordinator of NCOC,” ISPR said in a statement.

The decision to set up the NCOC was taken a few days ago at a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC), the government’s lead agency in the anti-Covid-19 campaign. The NCOC would act as the implementation arm of the NCC.

Read full story here.

Apr 02, 2020 08:16am

Most Americans huddle indoors as coronavirus deaths keep spiking

Four new states have imposed sweeping stay-at-home directives in response to the coronavirus pandemic, putting over 80 per cent of Americans under lockdown as the number of deaths in the United States nearly doubled in three days.

The governors of Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Nevada each instituted the strict policies on a day when the death toll from COVID-19 shot up by 925 to more than 4,800 nationwide, with 214,000 confirmed cases, according to a Reuters tally.

President Donald Trump said he saw no need for the federal government to issue a nationwide decree, with 39 states and the District of Columbia now requiring residents to stay home except for essential outings to the doctor or grocery store.

Read full Reuters story here.

Apr 02, 2020 01:04am

UK man jailed for 6 months for coughing on police officer

A man who coughed on a police officer and threatened to infect him with coronavirus has been sentenced to six months in jail in Britain, a police statement said.

Adam Lewis, 55, was stopped after allegedly trying the door handles of cars in central London on Tuesday afternoon by a policeman who then tried to stop and search him.

Lewis smashed a bottle of wine he was holding on the floor and then verbally threatened the officer.

“I am Covid (19 positive) and I am going to cough in your face and you will get it,” he reportedly said, before coughing on the police officer.

A police officer with people and dogs at Greenwich Park as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, London, Britain, March 31. — Reuters
A police officer with people and dogs at Greenwich Park as the spread of the coronavirus disease continues, London, Britain, March 31. — Reuters

Apr 02, 2020 12:51am

Six-week-old newborn dies of Covid-19 in US

A six-week-old infant is believed to be the youngest patient to die from the coronavirus, Connecticut's governor has said.

Governor Ned Lamont tweeted that the newborn was “brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week and could not be revived”.

“Testing confirmed last night that the newborn was Covid-19 positive,” Lamont said. “This is absolutely heartbreaking. We believe this is one of the youngest lives lost anywhere due to complications relating to Covid-19.”