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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
  • 253,604 cases reported in Pakistan; 5,320 dead, 170,656 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Latest
3:35 PM

Balochistan hospitals to be provided with all health facilities: NDMA chairman

3:15 PM

Hong Kong to impose most severe social distancing restrictions

3:00 PM

UK in U-turn as it makes face masks mandatory in shops

2:45 PM

India's tech hub, other towns back in lockdown as coronavirus infections surge

2:30 PM

Belgium, once hard-hit, reports zero virus deaths for first time since March

2:15 PM

WATCH: WHO chief sees 'no return to old normal in foreseeable future', urges decisive action

1:55 PM

Swatch sales nearly halved due to coronavirus

1:40 PM

Russia's Covid-19 tally nears 740,000 with more than 6,000 new cases

1:15 PM

Virus-hit UK economy shrinks 19pc in three months to May

1:00 PM

Australia tightens restrictions as Covid-19 cases top 10,000

12:45 PM

Mystery as Argentine sailors infected with virus after 35 days at sea

12:33 PM

VIDEO: India's rescue services face dual challenge — Covid-19 and floods

12:00 PM

WATCH: NDMA chairperson is hopeful people will follow SOPs for cattle markets, Eidul Azha

11:45 AM

Singapore and Malaysia to reopen business travel next month

11:30 AM

VIDEO: 'When you test, you create cases,' says Trump

11:15 AM

'Worst-case' UK winter could see 120,000 virus deaths in second wave

11:00 AM

Beijing reports no new coronavirus cases for eighth consecutive day

10:40 AM

Punjab reports 449 cases, 13 deaths

10:35 AM

173 cases recorded in Islamabad, federal territories collectively

10:26 AM

Pakistan's coronavirus recoveries cross 170,000 as more than 8,500 people recover

10:00 AM

Only 100 MPAs to attend Punjab Assembly session tomorrow

9:30 AM

Pandemic knocks Singapore into recession as GDP plummets 41pc

9:00 AM

NCOC allows more but small cattle markets

8:30 AM

Bolsonaro says 'can't stand' isolation, plans to take another Covid-19 test

Jul 13, 2020
10:50 PM

Huawei sales recover from coronavirus slump

10:35 PM

Portugal keeps various areas around Lisbon under partial lockdown

10:18 PM

Hong Kong to shut down Disneyland as coronavirus cases soar

9:58 PM

KP reports 261 new cases, 7 more deaths

9:35 PM

Balochistan reports 7 Covid-19 cases

9:25 PM

Thiem fires back at Kyrgios in Adria Tour spat

8:50 PM

New US health crisis looms as patients without Covid-19 delay care

8:25 PM

Pfizer, BioNTech's virus vaccine candidates get FDA's 'fast track' status

8:05 PM

Coronavirus crisis may get 'worse and worse and worse', warns WHO

7:50 PM

Virus immunity may disappear within months: study

7:31 PM

World hunger worsening as coronavirus weighs and obesity rises: UN

7:11 PM

Iran says virus death toll tops 13,000

6:54 PM

Sri Lanka shuts schools again as virus cases surge

6:37 PM

Karachi reports lowest single-day tally of Covid-19 infections in over 2 months

6:02 PM

KP govt imposed fines worth over Rs35.2m over SOPs violations: CM's adviser

5:26 PM

'You are not fooling anyone': Bilawal challenges govt claim of falling virus cases

4:55 PM

Action taken against nearly 6,500 violations of SOPs: govt data

4:25 PM

Sindh reports 1,089 cases, 31 new deaths from Covid-19

4:16 PM

Hong Kong patient received blood from donor with coronavirus

4:00 PM

SOPs outlined for setting up cattle markets in Peshawar

3:44 PM

PIA brings back Pakistanis from Tianjin, surrounding areas

3:35 PM

Indonesia reports 1,282 new coronavirus cases, 50 deaths

3:21 PM

Cattle markets outside cities to function from 6am to 7pm, NCOC decides

3:00 PM

Sindh's testing capacity greater than other provinces: Murtaza Wahab

2:30 PM

Turkmenistan orders mask-wearing to combat 'dust'

2:15 PM

Reduced testing by Centre does not mean new cases are decreasing, cautions PPP's Nafisa Shah

Jul 14, 2020 03:35pm

Balochistan hospitals to be provided with all health facilities: NDMA chairman

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Mohammad Afzal has said that all hospitals in Balochistan will be provided with health facilities, Radio Pakistan reported.

He added that the provincial disaster management authority had improved its performance within a "very short time" to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier, the NDMA chairman visited the Fatima Jinnah Hospital in Quetta to review arrangements amid the pandemic.

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Jul 14, 2020 03:15pm

Hong Kong to impose most severe social distancing restrictions

Hong Kong will impose strict new social distancing measures from midnight today, the most stringent in the Asian financial hub since the coronavirus broke out, Reuters reported.

The new measures include:

  • mandatory face masks for people using public transport; violation will lead to a fine of HK$5,000 ($645)

  • restaurants to no longer provide dine-in services and only offer takeaway after 6pm

  • twelve types of establishments including gyms and places of amusement must shut for a week

Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said that the government would limit group gatherings to four people from 50 — a measure last seen during a second wave in March.

Jul 14, 2020 03:00pm

UK in U-turn as it makes face masks mandatory in shops

Face masks will be compulsory in shops and supermarkets in England from next week, the government said, in a U-turn on previous policy, according to AFP.

“The prime minister has been clear that people should be wearing face coverings in shops and we will make this mandatory from July 24,” Boris Johnson's office said.

“There is growing evidence that wearing a face covering in an enclosed space helps protect individuals and those around them from coronavirus,” it said in a statement.

Jul 14, 2020 03:57pm

India's tech hub, other towns back in lockdown as coronavirus infections surge

India’s high-tech hub of Bengaluru will go back into a coronavirus lockdown for a week starting from today after a surge of infections, threatening to derail government efforts to revive a stuttering economy.

According to Reuters, places of worship, public transport, government offices and most shops will shut down again from the evening, and people will be confined to their homes, only allowed out for essential needs.

Schools, colleges and restaurants will stay shut, authorities said.

In all, India has 906,752 cases of the novel coronavirus with 28,498 new infections reported today, according to data from the federal health ministry, the third highest total in the world behind Brazil and the United States.

According to AP, eight of India's 28 states, including the worst-hit Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and New Delhi, account for nearly 90 per cent of cases.

Jul 14, 2020 02:30pm

Belgium, once hard-hit, reports zero virus deaths for first time since March

Belgium, which has reined in the coronavirus after becoming the worst-hit mid-sized country in the world, reported zero new coronavirus-related deaths in 24 hours for the first time since March 10, according to Reuters.

As in many European countries that were hard-hit by the pandemic in March and April, Belgium sharply reduced infections by imposing a lockdown, which is now being lifted.

The total number of deaths reported by the national public health institute remained at 9,787. In the country of 11.5 million people, that works out to around 850 deaths per million, worst in the world apart from the tiny city state of San Marino.

Jul 14, 2020 01:55pm

Swatch sales nearly halved due to coronavirus

Swatch, the world's top watch company, has disclosed that its sales were nearly halved in the first half of the year due to coronavirus lockdowns, but that it has already returned to profitable operations, AFP reported.

It registered a net loss of 308 million francs for the period, against a profit of 415 million for the first six months of 2019.

The company said state-imposed lockdowns to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus had at times shut up to 80 per cent of its sales channels, but by June its operations had already returned to profit. “The Group's management is convinced that the sales and profit situation will improve quickly in the coming months, parallel to the further easing of Covid-19 measures” in countries, it said in an earnings statement.

“A positive operating result is expected for the full year,” it added.

Jul 14, 2020 01:40pm

Russia's Covid-19 tally nears 740,000 with more than 6,000 new cases

Russia has reported 6,248 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing its confirmed national tally to 739,947, the fourth largest in the world.

Officials said 175 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 11,614.

Jul 14, 2020 01:15pm

Virus-hit UK economy shrinks 19pc in three months to May

Britain's economy has slumped almost a fifth in the three months to May compared with the prior December-February period as the coronavirus lockdown ravaged activity, AFP reported while quoting official data.

“GDP fell by 19.1 per cent in the three months to May, as government restrictions on movement dramatically reduced economic activity,” the Office for National Statistics said in a statement, adding however that output grew by 1.8pc in May.

Jul 14, 2020 01:00pm

Australia tightens restrictions as Covid-19 cases top 10,000

Australian states have tightened restrictions on movement as authorities struggle to contain a fresh outbreak of Covid-19 in the country’s southeast that has pushed the national tally of cases beyond 10,000.

With growing fears of a second coronavirus wave nationally, two states extended border restrictions and Australia’s most populous state imposed limits on the number of people allowed in large pubs.

The changes come as scores of new cases were uncovered in Victoria, the country’s Covid-19 hotspot, despite a return to lockdown last week for nearly five million people in state capital Melbourne. “We haven’t turned the corner yet. I hope to see that this week, but there are no guarantees,” Brett Sutton, Victoria’s Chief Medical Officer told reporters, according to Reuters.

Jul 14, 2020 12:45pm

Mystery as Argentine sailors infected with virus after 35 days at sea

Argentina is trying to solve a medical mystery after 57 sailors were infected with the coronavirus after 35 days at sea, despite the entire crew testing negative before leaving port, AFP reported.

The Echizen Maru fishing trawler returned to port after some of its crew began exhibiting symptoms typical of Covid-19. According to the health ministry, 57 sailors, out of 61 crew members, were diagnosed with the virus after undergoing a new test.

However, all of the crew members had undergone 14 days of mandatory quarantine at a hotel in the city of Ushuaia. Prior to that, they had negative results, the ministry said in a statement.

“It's hard to establish how this crew was infected, considering that for 35 days, they had no contact with dry land and that supplies were only brought in from the port of Ushuaia,” said Alejandra Alfaro, the director of primary health care in Tierra del Fuego.

Jul 14, 2020 11:45am

Singapore and Malaysia to reopen business travel next month

Singapore and Malaysia are to resume essential business and official travel between their countries, they have said, letting people cross their border for the first time since most movements were suspended because of the coronavirus in March.

The neighbours are also putting in place travel arrangements for their residents who hold long-term immigration passes for business and work in the other country, their foreign ministries said in a joint statement, according to Reuters.

They hope to launch the exchanges on Aug 10, they said, adding that they had also agreed to develop other schemes for cross-border movements, including for daily commutes by workers.

Jul 14, 2020 11:15am

'Worst-case' UK winter could see 120,000 virus deaths in second wave

With Covid-19 more likely to spread in winter as people spend more time together in enclosed spaces, a second wave of the pandemic “could be more serious than the one we’ve just been through,” said Stephen Holgate, a professor and co-lead author of a report by Britain’s Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS).

“This is not a prediction, but it is a possibility,” Holgate told an online briefing. “Deaths could be higher with a new wave of Covid-19 this winter, but the risk of this happening could be reduced if we take action immediately.”

Jul 14, 2020 11:00am

Beijing reports no new coronavirus cases for eighth consecutive day

China has reported five new coronavirus cases for July 13, compared with eight cases a day earlier, the health authority said.

All of the new infections were imported cases, the National Health Commission said in a statement. There were no new deaths. Beijing, which saw a surge in new coronavirus cases a few weeks ago, reported no new cases for the eighth consecutive day.

Jul 14, 2020 10:40am

Punjab reports 449 cases, 13 deaths

Punjab has reported 449 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, taking its provincial tally to 87,492, according to the government's Covid-19 portal.

It has also reported 13 additional fatalities, taking the death toll to 2,026 — the highest among all provinces. According to the portal, 63,977 people have recovered from the virus in the province so far.

Jul 14, 2020 10:35am

173 cases recorded in Islamabad, federal territories collectively

Islamabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan have collectively recorded 173 new coronavirus cases and three fatalities.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Islamabad: 94 cases, 2 deaths
  • AJK: 56 cases, 1 death
  • GB: 23 cases
Jul 14, 2020 10:26am

Pakistan's coronavirus recoveries cross 170,000 as more than 8,500 people recover

The government's database on coronavirus shows that 8,713 more people have recovered from Covid-19 in the country.

This takes the total number of recoveries to 170,656.

Jul 14, 2020 10:00am

Only 100 MPAs to attend Punjab Assembly session tomorrow

Not more than 100 lawmakers from the treasury and opposition parties will attend the Punjab Assembly session starting tomorrow.

It has been decided that the new session would be held at the assembly chambers, but not more than 52 members of the treasury and 48 of the opposition would join the proceedings. The remaining members could only see live coverage of the proceedings on large TV screens while sitting in the cafeteria and/or committee rooms.

Read the full story here.

Jul 14, 2020 09:30am

Pandemic knocks Singapore into recession as GDP plummets 41pc

Singapore's economy has suffered a record contraction in the second quarter, tipping it into recession and putting the trade-reliant city-state on course for its worst-ever slump this year as the coronavirus outbreak extracts a heavy toll on business, Reuters reported.

GDP plunged by a record 41.2 per cent in the three months ended March, on a quarter-on-quarter annualised basis, preliminary data from the Ministry of Trade and Industry showed, worse than economists' expectations for a 37.4pc decline in a Reuters poll.

“We were expecting these numbers to look quite dismal, although this is worse than what we had expected,” said Steve Cochrane, economist at Moody's Analytics.

Jul 14, 2020 09:00am

NCOC allows more but small cattle markets

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has decided to increase the number of cattle markets across the country but shrink their size and implement strict standing operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of Covid-19 during Eidul Azha whose payers will be organised on the pattern of Eidul Fitr ensuring social distancing.

At its maiden meeting in Lahore, the NCOC decided that some 700 cattle markets would be established on the outskirts of cities across the country. No cattle market will be allowed inside any city. The markets will be opened from 6am to 7pm and local administrations will be responsible for ensuring that visitors are screened and SOPs are followed.

Read the full story here.

Jul 13, 2020 10:50pm

Huawei sales recover from coronavirus slump

Telecom giant Huawei has reported double-digit revenue growth for the first half of the year as it appeared to have recovered from a sales slump seen after the coronavirus pandemic broke out in its home country China.

The 454 billion yuan ($64.9 billion) first-half revenue figure — up 13.1 per cent year-on-year — pointed to a sharp uptick in sales for the second quarter, after first-quarter revenue came in at just 182.2 billion yuan, a mere 1.4pc increase year-on-year.

Analysts had blamed the slowdown in the first three months of 2020 on the virus fallout on business, as well as on US-led efforts to contain the company's involvement in foreign telecom networks.

Jul 13, 2020 10:35pm

Portugal keeps various areas around Lisbon under partial lockdown

Portugal's government said on Monday that five areas on the outskirts of Lisbon will remain under a partial lockdown, two weeks after it was put in place there to tackle a worrying wave of coronavirus cases, according to Reuters.

“Although the coronavirus incidence rate has improved in these 15 days, it has not yet reached a stage where we would reevaluate measures,” Cabinet Affairs Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva told a news conference.

The areas comprise 19 civil parishes in Greater Lisbon.

Jul 13, 2020 09:58pm

KP reports 261 new cases, 7 more deaths

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has reported 261 coronavirus cases during the past 24 hours, according to the provincial health department.

Seven deaths, including four from previous days, were also recorded, taking the toll to 1,106.

Jul 13, 2020 09:35pm

Balochistan reports 7 Covid-19 cases

Balochistan has reported seven coronavirus cases during the past 24 hours, according to the provincial health department's daily situation report.

With the new cases, the provincial total has climbed to 11,192. However, no new deaths were reported during the past 24 hours; so far 126 deaths have been recorded in Balochistan.

Jul 13, 2020 09:25pm

Thiem fires back at Kyrgios in Adria Tour spat

World number three Dominic Thiem said tennis players “must learn” from the ill-fated Adria Tour and described Nick Kyrgios' criticism of those who took part as “unnecessary”.

“We have to learn from the mistakes and be careful nowadays with this pandemic we are facing. That's what we have to take from the Adria Tour,” Thiem told reporters at an exhibition tournament in Berlin.

Kyrgios has been highly critical of anyone who played in the Adria Tour, which he branded a “boneheaded decision” to hold with such little regard for hygiene.

Jul 13, 2020 08:50pm

New US health crisis looms as patients without Covid-19 delay care

With US coronavirus infections reaching new heights, doctors and hospitals say they are also seeing sharp declines in patients seeking routine medical care and screenings — and a rise in those who have delayed care for so long they are far sicker than they otherwise would be, Reuters reports.

“I had one lady who had delayed for five days coming in with abdominal pain that was getting worse and worse,” said Dr Diana Fite, who practices emergency medicine in Houston. “When she finally came in, she had a ruptured appendix.”

Read the full story here.

Jul 13, 2020 08:05pm

Coronavirus crisis may get 'worse and worse and worse', warns WHO

The raging coronavirus pandemic has the potential to get far worse if all nations do not adhere to basic healthcare precautions, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned.

“Let me be blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains public enemy number one,” Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing from WHO headquarters in Geneva.

“If basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic is going to go, it is going to get worse and worse and worse. But it does not have to be this way.”

Infections have risen above 13 million across the world, according to a Reuters tally, climbing by one million in just five days in a pandemic that has killed more than half a million people.

Jul 13, 2020 07:50pm

Virus immunity may disappear within months: study

Patients who recover from coronavirus infections may lose their immunity to reinfection within months, according to research that experts said could have a “significant” influence on how governments manage the pandemic, AFP reported.

In the first study of its kind, a team led by researchers from King's College London examined the levels of antibodies in more than 90 confirmed virus patients and how they changed over time.

Blood tests showed even individuals with only mild Covid-19 symptoms mounted some immune response to the virus.

Of the study group, 60 per cent showed a “potent” viral response in the first few weeks after infection.

However, after three months only 16.7 per cent had maintained high levels of Covid-19 neutralising antibodies, and after 90 days several patients had no detectable antibodies in their bloodstream.

Jul 13, 2020 07:31pm

World hunger worsening as coronavirus weighs and obesity rises: UN

Nearly one in nine people in the world are going hungry, with the coronavirus pandemic exacerbating already worsening trends this year, according to a United Nations report published today.

Economic slowdowns and climate-related shocks are pushing more people into hunger, while nutritious foods remain too expensive for many, contributing not only to undernourishment, but to growing rates of obesity in adults and children.

“After decades of long decline, the number of people suffering from hunger has been slowly increasing since 2014,” read The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World annual report.

Beyond ensuring enough food, food must be nutritious, the study underlined, citing costly “health and environmental consequences” of sub-par diets.

Jul 13, 2020 07:11pm

Iran says virus death toll tops 13,000

Iran has reported more than 200 new coronavirus fatalities that took the overall toll in the Middle East's deadliest outbreak beyond 13,000.

“Unfortunately, in the past 24 hours, we have lost 203 of our compatriots due to the Covid-19 disease,” said health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari.

“Based on this figure, the total number of victims has reached 13,032,” she told a televised news conference.

Lari said another 2,349 people had tested positive for the virus, raising the overall figure in the country's outbreak to 259,652.

Jul 13, 2020 06:54pm

Sri Lanka shuts schools again as virus cases surge

Sri Lanka has ordered government schools across the nation to shut, just a week after they re-opened, following a surge in new coronavirus cases.

The country has reported just 2,617 cases with 11 deaths, but army chief Shavendra Silva said nearly half the 1,100 residents and staff at a drug rehab facility near the capital had tested positive in the past week, and some visitors may also have been infected.

At least 16 cases had emerged in villages elsewhere across the nation, officials said, most in the central-northern region.

Jul 14, 2020 12:07am

Karachi reports lowest single-day tally of Covid-19 infections in over 2 months

Karachi registered 422 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, according to the provincial health ministry — the city's lowest single-day total of new infections in over two months.

The last time the metropolis had reported this low a daily figure of new cases was on May 7, when it recorded 358 infections.

Daily cases have been on the decline in Karachi, the country's worst-affected city, since last month, when it reported daily numbers well above 2,000 cases.

A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on

An earlier version of this story cited a CM House statement as saying that 312 new cases were reported in Karachi. The correct figure, according to the health department, has been updated.

Jul 13, 2020 06:02pm

KP govt imposed fines worth over Rs35.2m over SOPs violations: CM's adviser

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has issued directions to take "strict action" against people found violating the government's coronavirus SOPs, his newly appointed adviser on information Kamran Khan Bangash said.

Addressing a press conference, he said tens of thousands of businesses had been fined and thousands of industrial units were sealed for not following the health guidelines. The provincial government has collected more than Rs35.2 million in fines since June, according to Bangash.

Jul 13, 2020 05:26pm

'You are not fooling anyone': Bilawal challenges govt claim of falling virus cases

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has accused the government of lowering the coronavirus testing capacity under a "conspiracy" to show that infections in the country are falling.

"[PM] Imran Khan and his ministers make a mockery of themselves when they say our graph is going down ... if you stop testing then the graph will go down; you will not see patients, but the same amount of people will fall ill and die," he said at a press conference.

He said the government by allegedly not doing enough tests is putting the lives and health of people in more danger. "This is a conspiracy against the people. You are not fooling anyone," he added, addressing the government.

Jul 13, 2020 04:55pm

Action taken against nearly 6,500 violations of SOPs: govt data

As many as 6,498 violations of the coronavirus health guidelines issued by the government were recorded across the country in the last 24 hours, according to the National Command and Operation Centre.

Taking action over the violations, more than 441 shops and markets were sealed, 1,231 transport vehicles were stopped and fines were imposed on them.

Among the total, 2,227 violations were recorded in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2,845 in Punjab, 586 in Balochistan, 551 in Sindh, 48 in Islamabad, 221 in Azad Kashmir and 120 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Jul 13, 2020 04:25pm

Sindh reports 1,089 cases, 31 new deaths from Covid-19

Another 1,089 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Sindh, taking the provincial tally to 106,622, according to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

The province also recorded 31 new deaths, with its overall death toll from the virus rising to 1,826.

A total of 8,929 tests were carried out during the last 24 hours, Shah said.

Jul 13, 2020 04:16pm

Hong Kong patient received blood from donor with coronavirus

Hong Kong authorities say a patient had received blood from a donor who later tested positive for the coronavirus.

Officials were scrambling to trace what happened to the blood after it emerged that a man who donated on July 5 was later found to be carrying the virus.

“The blood transfusion service has been tracing the blood he donated and for now found that a patient in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital received a platelet transfusion,” Lau Ka-hin, from the city's Hospital Authority told reporters.

It was not clear whether the 35-year-old male recipient had contracted the virus.

Jul 13, 2020 04:00pm

SOPs outlined for setting up cattle markets in Peshawar

The Peshawar deputy commissioner has issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) for setting up cattle markets for Eidul Azha and made it mandatory for all to wear face masks, in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

According to the notification, cattle markets and trading of animals will not be allowed within municipal limits/urban areas.

"The contractor/manager of each mandi will be responsible for ensuring the layout of the market, ensuring the observance of SOPs/guidelines, ensuring cleanliness and hygiene and ensuring disinfectant sprays for Covid-19 and Congo fever."

Children below 10 years of age, and elderly [citizens] above 50 years of age shall not be allowed to enter the mandi for their own health and safety, it added.

"This order is issued in public interest, and shall remain in force with immediate effect for a period of twenty days, unless modified earlier," the statement said, adding that action will be taken against those found violating the above directives.

13th Jul, 3:44 PM

PIA brings back Pakistanis from Tianjin, surrounding areas

PIA’s special flight 6852 left Tianjin Binhai International airport on Sunday night, bringing back citizens from Tianjin Municipality and adjoining areas to Pakistan, APP reported.

It was PIA’s fourth special flight from China to transport Pakistani nationals back home.

The returning citizens continued staying in China after the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and will undergo screening at the airport in Pakistan.

13th Jul, 3:35 PM

Indonesia reports 1,282 new coronavirus cases, 50 deaths

Indonesia has reported 1,282 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total count to 76,981, Health Ministry official Achmad Yurianto told a televised news briefing.

Deaths from Covid-19 rose by 50, he said, bringing the total in the Southeast Asian nation to 3,656, the highest in East Asia outside China.

13th Jul, 3:21 PM

Cattle markets outside cities to function from 6am to 7pm, NCOC decides

A meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has decided that cattle markets will be set up outside city limits for Eidul Azha.

They will function between 6am and 7pm while following SOPs to contain the spread of the coronavirus, Radio Pakistan reported.

13th Jul, 3:00 PM

Sindh's testing capacity greater than other provinces: Murtaza Wahab

Sindh Government Spokerperson Murtaza Wahab said the testing capacity of other provinces was far less than that of Sindh which had conducted 12,004 tests per million.

In a statement, he said that in comparison, Punjab conducted 5,427 tests per million, KP conducted 4,952 and 4,348 were carried out in Balochistan.

"The Sindh government is working hard to prevent the spread of the virus. Meanwhile, the other provinces have a lesser testing capacity and are reporting fewer cases.

"We need concerted efforts to prevent the spread of the virus as the pandemic has taken a global toll," he said.

13th Jul, 2:30 PM

Turkmenistan orders mask-wearing to combat 'dust'

Turkmenistan has recommended that residents wear masks because of “dust” even as the government insists the country is coronavirus-free, according to AFP.

The announcement came after a World Health Organisation delegation arrived in the country last week for a 10-day mission examining the response to the pandemic. Turkmenistan is one of a handful of countries yet to declare coronavirus cases.

In a statement published by the state information agency, the health ministry said people should wear masks because of “high concentrations of dust” in the air. “It is strongly recommended that everyone use personal protective equipment to protect the upper respiratory tract,” the ministry said.

It also asked residents to maintain social distancing of at least one metre but gave no explanation

13th Jul, 2:15 PM

Reduced testing by Centre does not mean new cases are decreasing, cautions PPP's Nafisa Shah

PPP's Central Information Secretary Nafisa Shah has cautioned that a reduction in the number of tests being conducted by the Centre should not be taken to mean that coronavirus cases in the country are decreasing.

In a statement, Shah said that there was a "rush in the country's hospitals and patients were facing difficulties".

"People in the country have recovered but new cases are also emerging in large numbers." she claimed.

She warned that the federal government taking credit for a reduction in the number of cases by reducing testing could "prove to be destructive" and alleged that the Centre was making "misleading statements" in front of the country and international community.

She called on the federal government to make an "effective policy" for the protection of the public and those fighting on the frontlines.