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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 20.6 million infected globally; more than 749,000 dead, over 12.6 million recovered
  • 287,795 cases reported in Pakistan; 6,161 dead, 265,215 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Aug 14, 2020
11:23 PM

Balochistan reports 82 new coronavirus cases

11:00 PM

UK secures 90m more doses of potential virus vaccine

10:30 PM

Spain closes discos, bans smoking in the street in new measures against coronavirus

10:00 PM

Greece rolls out more restrictions to fight rising Covid-19 infections

9:23 PM

UK reports 1,441 cases, the highest since June 14

7:55 PM

Britain lines up more potential Covid-19 vaccine supplies with J&J, Novavax deals

7:30 PM

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden calls for nationwide mask mandate

7:04 PM

KP reports 70 new cases, 2 deaths from Covid-19

6:50 PM

China suspends inbound Etihad Airways, SriLankan Airlines flights due to high virus infections

6:29 PM

India’s virus death toll overtakes Britain to become fourth-highest in world

5:52 PM

Paris, Marseille declared at-risk zones for coronavirus

5:03 PM

Sindh reports 343 new cases, 6 more deaths

3:37 PM

Govt has been using indigenously developed AI solutions to measure Covid-19 risk: SAPM Sultan

1:58 PM

Trump lashes out at Biden on virus response

12:21 PM

Islamabad, GB and AJK collectively report 46 Covid-19 cases, 2 deaths

12:15 PM

Punjab reports 128 virus cases, 1 death

12:10 PM

Pakistan reports 1,155 Covid-19 recoveries

11:22 AM

Novavax to deliver 60 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine candidate to UK for trial

10:03 AM

New Zealand virus outbreak spreads beyond Auckland

Aug 13, 2020
11:15 PM

Israeli hospital says its new test takes less than a second to deliver result

10:49 PM

Kuwait to move to fourth stage of gradual return to normality plan

10:00 PM

Balochistan reports 18 more cases

9:20 PM

KP reports 74 new cases, 1 more death

7:54 PM

India sees biggest jump in Covid-19 cases as over 66,000 infections reported in last 24 hours

7:27 PM

Portugal keeps Lisbon under stricter Covid-19 curbs until end-August

6:42 PM

Finland reverses policy, recommends mask use

5:04 PM

Sindh reports 360 new cases, 10 deaths from Covid-19

2:40 PM

China port warns public after coronavirus found in Brazilian chicken wings

2:13 PM

New Zealand races to track outbreak's origin as cases jump

1:52 PM

2,000 students, teachers and staff quarantined in several US schools across 5 states

12:19 PM

Islamabad, GB and AJK collectively report 54 virus cases, 1 death

12:09 PM

Punjab reports 150 coronavirus cases, 2 deaths

12:09 PM

Pakistan reports 867 Covid-19 recoveries

12:00 PM

PHOTO: Main road in Bhutan's capital Thimpu deserted as country goes into lockdown for first time

11:01 AM

Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases

10:00 AM

Mexico's confirmed coronavirus cases almost at 500,000

8:56 AM

Australia on course for lowest one-day rise in Covid-19 cases in more than three weeks

Aug 12, 2020
11:18 PM

Balochistan reports 88 new cases

11:10 PM

WHO keen to review Russian vaccine trials

10:55 PM

KP reports 88 new cases

10:31 PM

Bus stop newest front in South Korea's coronavirus battle

9:27 PM

Grandmother of Brazil's first lady dies after contracting Covid-19

8:47 PM

German institute says Covid-19 vaccine could be available in autumn

8:10 PM

Philippine president says he will volunteer for trials of Russia's Covid-19 vaccine

7:20 PM

Coronavirus found on Ecuador shrimps in China, state media says

6:45 PM

US health chief sceptical of Russia's virus vaccine claim

6:00 PM

'Covid-19 in Pakistan is down, not out': PM's aide warns against abandoning precautionary measures

5:37 PM

Saudi Arabia records 1,569 new coronavirus cases, 36 deaths

4:33 PM

Sindh reports 373 Covid-19 cases, 7 deaths

4:05 PM

New Zealand considers freight as possible source of new coronavirus cluster

Aug 14, 2020 11:23pm

Balochistan reports 82 new coronavirus cases

82 new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Balochistan, taking the provincial tally to 12,144, according to the Balochistan health department.

The province's death toll continues to stand at 138, with no new deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

A total of 1,238 tests were carried out in Balochistan since yesterday.

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Aug 14, 2020 11:00pm

UK secures 90m more doses of potential virus vaccine

Britain has secured access to 90 million doses of two “promising” coronavirus vaccines, AFP quoted the government as saying on Friday, taking its total orders of potential Covid-19 vaccines to nearly 350 million doses.

The country has struck agreements to buy 60 million doses from US biotech firm Novavax, and another 30 million doses from Janssen pharmaceuticals, which is part of US giant Johnson & Johnson.

The orders follow previous deals reached with four other companies, including BioNTech, Pfizer and Valneva, and mean Britain has agreed access to four different vaccine types being produced by six firms.

“Since we don't know if any of these vaccines are going to work, we think it's important to have a spread of risk across the different types,” Kate Bingham, Head of the UK Vaccines Task Force, told AFP.

“We do need a broad portfolio of different vaccines because I don't think there will be a single vaccine that will be suitable for everybody.” The new agreements include co-funding a “ground-breaking global clinical study” of the Janssen vaccine, the government said.

Aug 14, 2020 10:00pm

Greece rolls out more restrictions to fight rising Covid-19 infections

Greece set a temporary 50-person limit on public gatherings on Friday and said restaurants and bars in Athens and other areas must close by midnight, as the country seeks to contain a recent spike in Covid-19 infections, Reuters reports.

The deputy civil protection minister said the limit on public gatherings would last until Aug 24 and be imposed in parts of the country where infection numbers have risen.

Earlier, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged young people to wear masks, reminding them that they were not invulnerable to the novel coronavirus and could unwittingly infect their own families.

Recent data has shown Covid-19 infections have started to spread among lower age groups, Mitsotakis said, and he urged those returning from vacation to large urban centres to wear masks.

Aug 14, 2020 07:55pm

Britain lines up more potential Covid-19 vaccine supplies with J&J, Novavax deals

Britain will buy potential Covid-19 vaccines from US drug makers Johnson & Johnson and Novavax Inc, boosting the number of deals it has with drug makers as the global vaccine race rages on, Reuters reports.

Britain and the United States are in the lead with six vaccine deals with drug makers each, as companies and governments worldwide work overtime to find a vaccine against the pandemic.

The latest agreements bring Britain’s total number of doses secured to 362 million for a population of 66 million, and Britain said both vaccines could be available by the middle of next year for priority groups, such as such as frontline health and social care workers, ethnic minorities, adults with serious diseases, and the elderly.

Aug 14, 2020 07:30pm

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden calls for nationwide mask mandate

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is calling for a nationwide protective mask mandate, citing health experts predictions that it could save 40,000 lives from coronavirus over the next three months, according to AP.

"Wearing the mask is less about you contracting the virus," Biden said. "It's about preventing other people from getting sick."

He also responded to those who push back against such mandates.

"This is America. Be a patriot. Protect your fellow citizens. Step up, do the right thing. Every single American should be wearing a mask when they're outside for the next three months at a minimum, every governor should mandate mandatory mask wearing,” Biden declared.

Aug 14, 2020 07:04pm

KP reports 70 new cases, 2 deaths from Covid-19

70 new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, taking the provincial tally to 35,091, according to the KP health department.

Two more people lost their lives, with the provincial overall death toll rising to 1,238.

Aug 14, 2020 06:29pm

India’s virus death toll overtakes Britain to become fourth-highest in world

India’s coronavirus death toll has overtaken Britain to become the fourth-highest in the world with another single-day record increase in cases.

According to the Health Ministry, India reported 1,007 deaths in the past 24 hours. Its total rose to 48,040 deaths, behind the United States, Brazil and Mexico.

India’s confirmed cases reached 2,461,190 with a single-day spike of 64,553 in the past 24 hours. More than 70 per cent of people infected in India have recovered.

Aug 14, 2020 05:52pm

Paris, Marseille declared at-risk zones for coronavirus

The head of France’s national health service says Paris and Marseille have been declared at-risk zones for the coronavirus as authorities observe a sharp increase in infections.

Jerome Salomon, speaking on France Inter radio, warned “the situation is deteriorating from week to week” in the country. He says virus clusters emerge every day following family reunions, big parties and other gatherings amid summer holidays.

A government decree issued Friday allows authorities to impose stricter measures in the Paris and Marseille areas.

Salomon says there are “more and more people who tested positive, more and more people arriving in hospitals ... we need to react before counting new deaths.”

Aug 14, 2020 05:03pm

Sindh reports 343 new cases, 6 more deaths

Sindh has reported 343 new cases of the novel coronavirus, raising the provincial tally to 125,632.

Moreover, the daily situation report issued by the Chief Minister House stated that six more people had died due to the virus in the last 24 hours. The death toll now stands at 2,313.

Aug 14, 2020 03:37pm

Govt has been using indigenously developed AI solutions to measure Covid-19 risk: SAPM Sultan

SAPM on health Dr Faisal Sultan has revealed that the government has been using indigenously developed state-of-the-art artificial intelligence solutions to measure Covid-19 risk in communities.

He said on Twitter that mask adherence, social distancing, gender detection, along with 10 other variables were used for area-based risk ratings to assist district authorities strengthen their SOPs implementation and adopt a localised strategy to prevent Covid-19 spread.

Aug 14, 2020 01:58pm

Trump lashes out at Biden on virus response

United States President Donald Trump on Thursday has lashed out at Joe Biden for calling on governors to mandate that all Americans wear masks for the next three months, accusing the Democratic presidential candidate of politicising an issue Trump himself has used for political gain in recent months.

Trump claimed Biden has been wrong about the coronavirus pandemic at every turn, “ignoring the scientific evidence and putting left-wing politics before facts and evidence".

“To Joe, I would say stop playing politics with the virus,” Trump said at the White House press briefing.

Read the full story here.

Aug 14, 2020 12:21pm

Islamabad, GB and AJK collectively report 46 Covid-19 cases, 2 deaths

Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir collectively reported 46 coronavirus cases and two deaths during the last 24 hours.

According to the government's Covid-19 portal, 19 cases were recorded in the capital, 3 in AJK while 24 cases as well as two deaths were reported in GB.

Aug 14, 2020 12:15pm

Punjab reports 128 virus cases, 1 death

Punjab has reported 128 coronavirus cases and one death during the last 24 hours, according to the government's portal for tracking the spread of the virus in the country.

The provincial total has risen to 94,993 while the death toll is 2,180.

Aug 14, 2020 12:10pm

Pakistan reports 1,155 Covid-19 recoveries

Pakistan has reported 1,155 coronavirus cases during the past 24 hours, according to the government's Covid-19 portal.

With the new recoveries, the total has risen to 265,215.

Aug 14, 2020 11:22am

Novavax to deliver 60 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine candidate to UK for trial

The company and the UK government will collaborate for the trial to assess the efficacy of the vaccine in the UK population, Novavax said in a statement, but did not disclose any financial details of the agreement.

The trial will be a study in about 9,000 adults between 18 years and 85 years of age.

Aug 14, 2020 10:03am

New Zealand virus outbreak spreads beyond Auckland

New Zealand's resurgent coronavirus outbreak has spread beyond Auckland, AFP reported while quoting health officials.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins said there were 12 more cases of community transmission, and one probable, following the shock re-emergence of the virus in Auckland this week.

He said two of the infections were found in the North Island town of Tokoroa, around 210 kilometres south of Auckland.

The infections outside Auckland come despite a strict lockdown in New Zealand's largest city, including masked police blocking roads to seal its borders.

13th Aug, 10:49 PM

Kuwait to move to fourth stage of gradual return to normality plan

The Kuwaiti cabinet said on Thursday it will start implementing the fourth stage of the gradual go-to-normality plan on Aug 18 and some activities that were set to open during the fifth stage including gyms, sport clubs, beauty salons and tailors will now be open as a part of the fourth stage.

According to Reuters, the cabinet also decided to keep the nationwide partial curfew and to resume football activity in the gulf country without the presence of fans.

Kuwait decided in May on a five-phase plan to go back to normal life after restrictions the coronavirus outbreak brought to the country.

13th Aug, 10:00 PM

Balochistan reports 18 more cases

Balochistan has reported 18 more cases of the novel coronavirus, raising the provincial tally to 12,062.

The health department's daily situation report stated that no fatalities were reported in the last 24 hours. The death toll stands at 138.

13th Aug, 7:27 PM

Portugal keeps Lisbon under stricter Covid-19 curbs until end-August

The Portuguese capital and its surrounding areas will remain under tougher anti-coronavirus restrictions than the rest of the country until at least the end of August, Reuters quoted the government as saying on Thursday.

Portugal has reported 53,223 infections and 1,764 deaths from the coronavirus, much lower than many other European countries including neighbouring Spain, where more than 28,500 have died.

But although the sunny southern European nation initially won praise for its quick response to the pandemic, a steady count of several hundred new cases per day in and around Lisbon in June and July, after the end of a nationwide lockdown, prompted authorities to re-impose some curbs.

Even as the number of infections in Lisbon has fallen again, the government wants to take it slow, especially when some of Europe's top soccer teams are in the city for a special 'Final Eight' UEFA Champions League mini-tournament.

13th Aug, 6:42 PM

Finland reverses policy, recommends mask use

Finnish health authorities recommended Thursday that people begin wearing masks in public places, after months of claiming there was insufficient evidence to justify their use, according to AFP.

Mika Salminen, director of health security at Finland's public health body THL, said “evidence of masks' effectiveness is not particularly strong” but “even small additions to our range of available options are justified.”

After only a trickle at the start of the summer, Finland is now experiencing an increase, with 219 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the last fortnight.

However, the Nordic country still has one of Europe's lowest incidences of the virus according to the WHO.

Earlier in the pandemic, Finnish health authorities rejected the idea of a mask policy, insisting that wearing the face coverings could in fact exacerbate the spread of the virus if they were handled improperly.

13th Aug, 5:04 PM

Sindh reports 360 new cases, 10 deaths from Covid-19

360 new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Sindh, taking the provincial tally to 125,289, according to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Ten more people were reported dead due to the virus, with Sindh's overall death toll rising to 2,307.

A total of 10,754 tests were carried out in the province during the last 24 hours, according to Shah.

13th Aug, 2:40 PM

China port warns public after coronavirus found in Brazilian chicken wings

A sample of frozen chicken wings imported into the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen from Brazil has tested positive for coronavirus, the city government said, raising fears that contaminated food shipments could cause new outbreaks, Reuters reports.

Local disease control centres tested a surface sample taken from the chicken wings as part of routine screenings carried out on meat and seafood imports since June, when a new outbreak in Beijing was linked to the city’s Xinfadi wholesale food centre.

The discovery came a day after traces of the coronavirus were found on the packaging of frozen shrimp from Ecuador. China has been stepping up screenings at ports amid the concerns over food imports.

13th Aug, 2:13 PM

New Zealand races to track outbreak's origin as cases jump

Police man a road block on the outskirts of Auckland as New Zealand's largest city moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 on August 12. — AP
Police man a road block on the outskirts of Auckland as New Zealand's largest city moved to Covid-19 Alert Level 3 on August 12. — AP

New Zealand rushed to track the source of a sudden return of the coronavirus as the number of new cases in its biggest city rose to 17 and officials warned more infections were inevitable, according to AFP.

National health chief Ashley Bloomfield said there were 13 new confirmed infections in Auckland, all linked to four family members, ending the country's record of 102 days without community transmission.

Bloomfield said among the new cases was a student at one of New Zealand's largest high schools, attended by more than 3,000 children.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there were likely to be more cases linked to the recent spike. “As with our first outbreak, things will get worse before they get better,” she said in a televised address.

13th Aug, 12:19 PM

Islamabad, GB and AJK collectively report 54 virus cases, 1 death

Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have collectively reported 54 coronavirus cases and one death, according to the government's Covid-19 portal.

During the past 24 hours, the capital reported 27 cases and one death, AJK recorded seven cases and GB reported 20 cases.

13th Aug, 12:09 PM

Punjab reports 150 coronavirus cases, 2 deaths

Punjab has reported 150 coronavirus cases and two deaths during the past 24 hours, according to the government's Covid-19 portal.

With the new cases, the provincial total has risen to 94,865 while the death toll is 2,179.

13th Aug, 12:09 PM

Pakistan reports 867 Covid-19 recoveries

Pakistan has reported 867 coronavirus recoveries during the past 24 hours, according to the government's portal for tracking the spread of the virus in the country.

With the new recoveries, the total has risen to 264,060.

13th Aug, 11:01 AM

Puzzling New Zealand virus outbreak grows to 17 cases

A puzzling new outbreak of the coronavirus in New Zealand’s largest city has grown to to 17 cases, with officials saying the number will likely increase further.

And a lockdown in Auckland designed to extinguish the outbreak could be extended well beyond an initial three days, according to an AP report.

The source of the new infections continues to stump officials. Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said genome testing has not yet matched the new cluster with any infections that have been caught at the border, although the testing has indicated the strain of the virus may have come from Australia or Britain.

13th Aug, 10:00 AM

Mexico's confirmed coronavirus cases almost at 500,000

Mexico’s health ministry has reported 5,858 new confirmed cases of coronavirus infection and 737 additional fatalities, bringing the total in the country to 498,380 cases and 54,666 deaths.

The government has said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases.

13th Aug, 8:56 AM

Australia on course for lowest one-day rise in Covid-19 cases in more than three weeks

Australia is poised to post its lowest one-day rise in new Covid-19 cases in more than three weeks, stoking hopes that a second wave of new infections gripping Victoria state is finally being brought under control.

According to Reuters, Victoria reported 278 new infections in the past 24 hours, down from 410 a day earlier. Australia’s most populous state, New South Wales (NSW) reported 12 new cases, while Queensland state said it has found no new Covid-19 infections in the past 24 hours.

Medical personnel administer tests for the coronavirus at the Bondi Beach drive-through testing centre, as the state of New South Wales grapples with an outbreak of new cases, in Sydney, Australia. — Reuters/File
Medical personnel administer tests for the coronavirus at the Bondi Beach drive-through testing centre, as the state of New South Wales grapples with an outbreak of new cases, in Sydney, Australia. — Reuters/File

Barring a large rise in cases from states that have a effectively eliminated the virus, that means Australia’s total of 290 cases would be the lowest one-day rise in new coronavirus cases since July 20.

12th Aug, 11:18 PM

Balochistan reports 88 new cases

Balochistan has reported 88 new cases of the novel coronavirus, raising the provincial tally to 12,044.

The daily situation report stated that no new death had been reported due to the virus in the last 24 hours. The death toll stands at 138.

12th Aug, 11:10 PM

WHO keen to review Russian vaccine trials

The World Health Organisation says it is looking forward to reviewing clinical trials of a potential coronavirus vaccine developed in Russia.

Russia's vaccine, developed by the Gamaleya research institute and the defence ministry, is among the 28 in clinical evaluation but is listed by the WHO as only being in Phase 1.

“WHO is in touch with Russian scientists and authorities, and looks forward to reviewing details of the trials,” the United Nations health agency said in a statement.

“WHO welcomes all advances in Covid-19 vaccine research and development.”

12th Aug, 10:31 PM

Bus stop newest front in South Korea's coronavirus battle

South Korea has opened a high-tech new front in the battle against coronavirus, fortifying bus shelters with temperature-checking doors and ultraviolet disinfection lamps, AFP reports.

Ten advanced facilities have been installed in a northeastern district of Seoul, offering protection from monsoon rains, summer heat, and the novel coronavirus.

To enter, passengers must stand in front of an automated thermal-imaging camera, and the door will only slide open if their temperature is below 37.5 degrees Celsius.

A separate camera is installed lower down to test children.

Inside the glass-walled booths — which cost about 100 million Won ($84,000) each — the air-conditioning systems have ultraviolet lamps installed to kill viruses at the same time as cooling the air.

A dispenser provides hand sanitiser, and users are advised to wear face masks at all times, while keeping at least one metre apart from others.

12th Aug, 9:27 PM

Grandmother of Brazil's first lady dies after contracting Covid-19

The grandmother of Brazil's first lady has died after more than a month fighting Covid-19 in a public hospital on the outskirts of Brasilia.

Maria Aparecida Firmo Ferreira, 80, was the grandmother of Michelle Bolsonaro, who is married to Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro. She had been hospitalised since July 1, having tested positive for the coronavirus.

President Bolsonaro and Michelle Bolsonaro were diagnosed with Covid-19 last month. The president, who has recovered, has consistently downplayed the severity of the virus.

12th Aug, 8:47 PM

German institute says Covid-19 vaccine could be available in autumn

Germany's leading infectious disease institute has said a first vaccine against the coronavirus could be available as early as autumn but warned that it may take longer to control the pandemic.

“Preliminary projections make the availability of one or several vaccines seem possible by autumn 2020,” the Robert Koch Institute said in a statement on its website, citing a global effort to bring immunisations to market.

“It would be dangerous at this point to trust that a vaccination from autumn 2020 can control the pandemic,” it cautioned.

The impact of any vaccine could be limited because of viral mutations or because first products to market may offer only short-term immunity, the institute added.

12th Aug, 7:20 PM

Coronavirus found on Ecuador shrimps in China, state media says

A city in China’s eastern Anhui province found the novel coronavirus on the packaging of shrimps from Ecuador, state media reported, in the latest instance of the virus being detected on imported products.

The coronavirus was found on the outer packaging of frozen shrimps bought by a restaurant in Wuhu city when local authorities carried out a routine inspection, CCTV, China’s state television, said.

The news broke a day after a port city in eastern Shandong province said it found the virus on the packaging of imported frozen seafood, although it did not say where it originated.

12th Aug, 6:45 PM

US health chief sceptical of Russia's virus vaccine claim

Washington's health chief expressed scepticism about Russia's claim of developing the world's first safe coronavirus vaccine, pointing to the lack of data from its initial trials, according to AFP.

Moscow said its vaccine offered “sustainable immunity” against the virus, but Western scientists have previously raised concerns about the development speed of Russian treatments, suggesting researchers were cutting corners.

US Health Secretary Alex Azar echoed those concerns as he wrapped up a three-day visit to Taiwan.

“It's important that we provide safe, effective vaccines and that the data be transparent [...] This is not a race to be first,” he told reporters during a conference call.

12th Aug, 4:33 PM

Sindh reports 373 Covid-19 cases, 7 deaths

Sindh has reported 373 coronavirus cases and seven deaths during the past 24 hours, according to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

In a statement, he said that 7,870 tests had been conducted during the past 24 hours. With the new cases, the total has risen to 124,929 while the death toll is 2,297.

The chief minister added that another 335 patients had also recovered during this period.

12th Aug, 4:05 PM

New Zealand considers freight as possible source of new coronavirus cluster

New Zealand officials are investigating the possibility that its first Covid-19 cases in more than three months were imported by freight, as the country’s biggest city plunged back into lockdown.

“We are working hard to put together pieces of the puzzle on how the family got infected,” said Director General of Health Ashley Bloomfield.

Investigations were zeroing in on the potential the virus was imported by freight. Bloomfield said surface testing was underway at an Auckland cool store where a man from the infected family worked.

“We know the virus can survive within refrigerated environments for quite some time,” Bloomfield said during a televised media conference.

Read the full Reuters story here.