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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
  • 242,740 cases reported in Pakistan; 5,032 dead, 145,311 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Jul 09, 2020
11:20 PM

India’s cases jump, transmission rate increases

11:08 PM

Another 75 Pakistanis stranded in India return home via Wagah

10:53 PM

Romania coronavirus patients discharge themselves from hospital

10:41 PM

WATCH: How Pakistan came about manufacturing ventilators at home

10:25 PM

More grim job losses as US hits record high on new Covid-19 cases

10:12 PM

Turkey reports 1,024 more coronavirus cases in last 24 hours

9:45 PM

Swedish city launches app to stop crowding at beaches

9:30 PM

Despite politics, Centre and provinces 'working together' to fight Covid-19: Asad Umar

9:15 PM

WATCH: In the absence of spectators, robots cheer on baseball team in Japan

9:00 PM

US charges man and sons who peddled bleach as virus cure

8:50 PM

KP reports 354 Covid-19 cases, 9 deaths

8:45 PM

Reports show that the number of Covid-19 cases in England is falling: BBC

8:30 PM

WHO says airborne transmission of virus can occur during medical procedures

7:54 PM

UK toll from confirmed Covid-19 cases rises to 44,602, up 85

7:37 PM

Covid-19 patients declining in country due to effective and timely measures: NDMA chief

7:20 PM

UK pharmacy Boots says to cut over 4,000 jobs

7:05 PM

Asia Cup postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic

6:43 PM

Fazl criticises 'lack of uniform policy' in govt's Covid-19 response

6:30 PM

WHO launches pandemic response probe

6:19 PM

Another 1.3 million workers file for US jobless benefits

6:00 PM

GRAPH: A province-wise breakdown of Covid-19 deaths in Pakistan

5:45 PM

Over Rs152bn cash assistance provided to more than 12.5m working-class people: Sania Nishtar

5:18 PM

VISUALISATION: Pakistan's Covid-19 death toll crosses 5,000 mark

5:00 PM

Sindh's tally crosses 100,000 after reporting 1,538 Covid-19 cases

4:43 PM

Iran hits record one-day virus death toll of 221

4:20 PM

Hong Kong tightens social distancing to combat new virus outbreak

4:15 PM

Global coronavirus cases surge past 12 million

4:00 PM

Tokyo coronavirus cases hit record daily high of 224

3:46 PM

LIVE: Chairman NDMA briefing media in Islamabad

3:30 PM

Coronavirus 'Class of 2020': Europe's lost generation?

3:15 PM

Chocolate no lockdown comfort for Swiss cocoa giant

3:00 PM

Punjab's virus cases decreased after imposing 'smart lockdowns', says health minister

2:45 PM

Indonesia records biggest single-day rise with 2,657 cases

2:35 PM

Africa's CDC urges more Covid-19 tests, masks, as continent's cases top 500,000

2:20 PM

South Korea finds just one case of coronavirus antibodies out of 3,000 tested

1:52 PM

KP CM inaugurates 58-bed hospital for virus patients

12:41 PM

Educational institutions will be allowed to hold examinations in July

12:36 PM

Schools may call in staff to give SOPs training ahead of opening, says education minister

12:26 PM

Educational institutions to open from Sept 15 'if health indicators improve', says Shafqat Mahmood

12:21 PM

LIVE: PM Imran urges people not to repeat last Eid's mistakes

12:05 PM

Survey of coronavirus-tested people launched across Pakistan to build ‘confirmative database’

11:50 AM

California governor says Covid-19 hospitalisations have increased by 44pc: CNN

11:32 AM

LIVE: PM Imran inaugurates isolation hospital in Islamabad

11:30 AM

Gilead begins testing inhalable form of remdesivir for Covid-19

11:15 AM

Mexico posts new case record to overtake Spain; official says virus 'slowing'

10:50 AM

Pakistan's coronavirus recoveries reach 145,311

10:45 AM

Punjab's tally rises to 84,587 with 988 more cases

10:40 AM

Islamabad, federal territories collectively record 131 cases

10:30 AM

PM Imran to inaugurate 250-bed hospital in Islamabad, says Asad Umar

10:00 AM

PM orders holding NCOC meetings in provincial capitals

Jul 09, 2020 11:20pm

India’s cases jump, transmission rate increases

India has reported nearly 25,000 new coronavirus infections and its transmission rate is increasing for the first time since March, AP reported.

India’s infection numbers have skyrocketed since lockdown restrictions were eased. At the same time, testing has ramped up to more than 200,000 samples a day, compared to just a few hundred in March. Research by the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai shows that India’s virus reproduction rate ticked up in the first week of July to 1.19 after steadily falling from peak transmission of 1.83 in March.

Health experts say the true extent of the virus’s spread in India is unknown and more testing must be done, given its population of nearly 1.4 billion people.

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Jul 09, 2020 11:08pm

Another 75 Pakistanis stranded in India return home via Wagah

Another 75 Pakistanis who were stranded in India due to the coronavirus lockdown have been repatriated home through the Attari-Wagah border, according to a statement issued by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi.

They were stranded in different Indian cities after the Attari-Wagah border was closed for regular movement and due to the lockdown imposed by the government.

Since March 20, nearly 500 Pakistanis who were stranded in India have returned home, the press release said.

Jul 09, 2020 11:27pm

Romania coronavirus patients discharge themselves from hospital

Hundreds of Romanian coronavirus patients have discharged themselves from hospital following a court ruling against mandatory hospitalisation as the country grapples with a surge in infections.

A total of 624 patients, who tested positive for the virus, have asked to leave hospital and now risk transmitting the disease in their communities, Health Minister Nelu Tataru told a private TV channel late Wednesday.

In addition, more than half of 50,000 people, undergoing mandatory self-isolation after returning from abroad, have left their homes in defiance of doctors' recommendations, Tataru said.

Jul 09, 2020 10:25pm

More grim job losses as US hits record high on new Covid-19 cases

As the number of new coronavirus cases in the United States rose to a single-day record, fresh government data on Thursday showed another 1.3 million Americans filed for jobless benefits, highlighting the pandemic’s devastating impact on the economy, Reuters reported.

More than 60,000 new Covid-19 infections were reported on Wednesday and US deaths rose by more than 900 for the second straight day, the highest since early June.

Florida on Thursday announced nearly 9,000 new cases and 120 new coronavirus deaths, a record daily increase in lives lost. Positive test rates reached a new daily high of 18 per cent, up from 12pc-13pc two weeks ago. California and Texas, the most populous states, announced record increases in Covid-19 deaths on Wednesday.

The grim US numbers come on top of extraordinarily high jobless figures, although they came in lower than economists had forecast.

Jul 09, 2020 09:45pm

Swedish city launches app to stop crowding at beaches

The Swedish city of Helsingborg launched a “treasure hunt” smartphone app to prevent congestion at tourist beaches by touting lesser known spots, according to AFP.

Named “Badplatsjakten” (the hunt for swimming spots), the app encourages sun worshippers to discover different bathing spots around the city and avoid crowding in the best known spots.

Jul 09, 2020 09:30pm

Despite politics, Centre and provinces 'working together' to fight Covid-19: Asad Umar

Planning Minister Asad Umar has played down differences between the federal government and Sindh over measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Responding to a question about the issue, Umar while speaking on Geo News' programme Capital Talk said: "There is no need to worry about [politics]. A lot of politics is done on TV over corona, but I want to tell the nation that all sides are working jointly in the practical sense."

The minister said cases of the virus are declining in Pakistan not because the pandemic is subsiding globally, but because of people following SOPs and administrative measures.

Jul 09, 2020 09:00pm

US charges man and sons who peddled bleach as virus cure

US authorities have charged the leader of a fake church and his three sons with conspiracy and contempt for selling a toxic bleach as a cure for Covid-19.

The Florida man, Mark Grenon, had seized in April on remarks by President Donald Trump — who touted the possibility that injecting disinfectant could kill the virus — to flog a product he called the Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS).

The US attorney for southern Florida said in a document Wednesday that federal health authorities had “received reports of people requiring hospitalisations, developing life-threatening conditions, and dying after drinking MMS.”

Jul 09, 2020 08:30pm

WHO says airborne transmission of virus can occur during medical procedures

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus can occur during medical procedures that generate aerosols, according to Reuters.

The agency said some outbreak reports related to indoor crowded spaces have suggested the possibility of aerosol transmission, combined with droplet transmission, such as during choir practice, in restaurants or in fitness classes.

Jul 09, 2020 07:54pm

UK toll from confirmed Covid-19 cases rises to 44,602, up 85

The United Kingdom's death toll from confirmed cases of Covid-19 has risen to 44,602, up 85 since yesterday, the government said.

Including suspected cases, more than 55,000 people have died, according to a recent Reuters tally of official data sources.

Jul 09, 2020 07:20pm

UK pharmacy Boots says to cut over 4,000 jobs

UK pharmacy giant Boots says it will cut more than 4,000 jobs after the country's coronavirus lockdown slashed sales, especially affecting its opticians.

US-owned Boots said it planned “significant restructuring across its head office, store teams and opticians ... resulting in a reduction of its headcount of more than 4,000 and the closure of 48 Boots Opticians stores”.

Boots UK managing director Sebastian James said cutting the workforce by seven per cent would allow the pharmacy “to continue its vital role as part of the UK health system, and ensure profitable long-term growth”.

Jul 09, 2020 07:05pm

Asia Cup postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) announced that this year's Asia Cup, scheduled to be held in Pakistan in September, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Travel restrictions, country-specific quarantine requirements, fundamental health risks and social distancing mandates have posed as substantial challenges to holding the tournament," the ACC said, adding that it was hoping to stage the Twenty20 competition, which will feature six countries including India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, in June next year.

Jul 09, 2020 06:43pm

Fazl criticises 'lack of uniform policy' in govt's Covid-19 response

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has criticised what he called a "lack of uniform policy" in the government's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to reporters after a multi-party conference hosted by him in Karachi, he said neither the state and the state institutions are "on the same page", nor is there congruence between the federal government and the provinces regarding measures to fight the pandemic.

"In such a situation, what has happened until now [regarding rising virus cases] was inevitable," he said, also accusing the World Health Organisation of changing its stance "every fortnight".

He said like the government's decision concerning educational institutions, the JUI-F is proposing the reopening of madressahs after Eidul Azha.

Jul 09, 2020 06:30pm

WHO launches pandemic response probe

The World Health Organisation (WHO), which faced fierce US criticism over its handling of the coronavirus crisis, launched an independent panel to review its response to the pandemic, AFP reported.

The Independent panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response will be headed by former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

“Through you, the world will understand the truth of what happened and also the solutions to build our future better as one humanity,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the UN agency's headquarters in Geneva.

Jul 09, 2020 06:56pm

Another 1.3 million workers file for US jobless benefits

Another 1.3 million US workers filed for unemployment benefits last week, continuing the slowdown in the pace of layoffs, the government has reported.

The four-week moving average slowed to 1.44 million in the week ended July 4, the Labour Department reported, showing a steady decline as the economy reopens from the coronavirus-imposed shutdowns, but still far higher than any pre-pandemic week.

However, nearly 19 million remain on the jobless rolls, according to the data through June 27.

Jul 09, 2020 05:00pm

Sindh's tally crosses 100,000 after reporting 1,538 Covid-19 cases

Sindh's tally crossed the 100,000 mark after the province reported 1,538 cases during the past 24 hours.

In a statement, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that 9,860 tests were conducted during the last 24 hours. With the new cases, the provincial total has risen to 100,900.

He added that another 40 people also died during this time period, taking the death toll to 1,677.

Jul 09, 2020 04:43pm

Iran hits record one-day virus death toll of 221

Iran has reported a new single-day record death toll of 221 from the novel coronavirus, after weeks of rising numbers in the Middle East's worst-hit country.

“Unfortunately in the past 24 hours, we have lost 221 of our compatriots to the Covid-19 disease,” health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told a televised news conference. “The death toll has now reached 12,305.”

“The number of [new] cases identified [since Wednesday] is 2,079,” Lari said, bringing the total number of infections to 250,458.

Jul 09, 2020 04:20pm

Hong Kong tightens social distancing to combat new virus outbreak

Hong Kong tightened social distancing measures to combat a fresh coronavirus outbreak in a city that had largely managed to quash local transmissions in recent months, according to AFP.

“Now that the pandemic is coming back, I appeal to everyone to reduce outings, gatherings and dining together,” Health Minister Sophia Chan told reporters.

Authorities announced a reintroduction of limits to how many people can gather together, a repeat of measures taken earlier in the year that helped stifle the coronavirus outbreak.

Jul 09, 2020 04:15pm

Global coronavirus cases surge past 12 million

More than 12 million coronavirus infections have now been recorded across the world, over half in the United States and Latin America, according to an AFP tally of official sources.

At least 12,063,425 cases and 549,451 deaths have been recorded, with the number of infections doubling since May 31. About half of those who caught the virus have recovered.

The tallies probably reflect only a fraction of the number of infections as many countries test only the most serious cases.

Jul 09, 2020 04:00pm

Tokyo coronavirus cases hit record daily high of 224

Tokyo has confirmed 224 new cases of coronavirus infection, marking a record high for the Japanese capital in a single day as authorities focused testing on the city’s night-life districts.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has attributed the recent uptick partly to an increase in testing, 3,400 of which resulted in today’s confirmed cases. Koike, who won re-election as governor on Sunday, has promised to boost testing capacity to 10,000 a day.

“Although the increase in (testing) is a contributing factor, we need more vigilance in monitoring the trend in infected people,” she said in remarks streamed online.

According to Reuters, today's tally surpassed the previous high of 206 on April 17 when Tokyo and other major population centres were under a state of emergency.

Jul 09, 2020 03:15pm

Chocolate no lockdown comfort for Swiss cocoa giant

Chocolate may be a go-to comfort food for many but Swiss chocolate giant Barry Callebaut has revealed that sales tumbled during its latest quarter when many consumers were confined to their homes as part of measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, AFP reported.

Sales at the world's top manufacturer of high-quality chocolate and cocoa products slumped 14.3 per cent by volume in its third quarter that ran from from March through May.

“As anticipated in April, Covid-19 lockdowns across the globe impacted our sales volume in the third quarter,” said the firm which supplies major confectionery makers such as Nestle, Unilever and Mondelez.

Lockdowns have seen some consumers spending more on groceries as they ate more at home, but not all food products have benefitted, and gains at supermarkets have not always compensated for sales lost through other channels.

Jul 09, 2020 03:00pm

Punjab's virus cases decreased after imposing 'smart lockdowns', says health minister

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said the number of coronavirus cases in the province significantly decreased after imposing 'smart lockdowns', Radio Pakistan reported.

The health minister urged the public to take precautionary measures when celebrating Eidul Azha, warning that infections may increase once again, as they did after Eidul Fitr, if citizens failed to follow SOPs for curbing the spread of the virus.

Jul 09, 2020 02:45pm

Indonesia records biggest single-day rise with 2,657 cases

Indonesia has reported its biggest single-day increase in new coronavirus cases, with 2,657 infections, taking the case total to 70,736.

The country has also reported 58 new coronavirus-related deaths, bringing the total number of fatalities in the country to 3,417, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.

Jul 09, 2020 02:35pm

Africa's CDC urges more Covid-19 tests, masks, as continent's cases top 500,000

African countries urgently need to scale up coronavirus testing and the use of face masks, a regional disease control body has said, as the epidemic gains traction across the continent with confirmed cases topping half a million.

John Nkengasong, head of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said new cases were up 24 per cent in Africa in the past week.

“The pandemic is gaining full momentum,” he told a virtual news conference from Addis Ababa, according to Reuters.

“We must adopt an aggressive and bold approach: #maskonallfaces, ramp up Test, Trace, and Treat, strengthen community response. This will save lives and save (the) economy,” he added on Twitter.

Jul 09, 2020 02:20pm

South Korea finds just one case of coronavirus antibodies out of 3,000 tested

Just one person in a South Korean survey of more than 3,000 people showed neutralising antibodies to the novel coronavirus, health authorities said, indicating the virus has not spread widely in the community.

While the sample size is small, it is believed to be a reliable indicator of a low infection rate among the 51 million people of a country held up as a coronavirus mitigation success story, Reuters reported.

“The results indicate that each citizen has taken an active participation in tough social distancing,” Kwon Jun-wook, the deputy director of the Korea Centres for Disease and Prevention (KCDC), told a briefing.

Jul 09, 2020 01:52pm

KP CM inaugurates 58-bed hospital for virus patients

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan addresses a ceremony. — DawnNewsTV
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan addresses a ceremony. — DawnNewsTV

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has inaugurated a 58-bed hospital in Peshawar that will only treat Covid-19 patients.

Addressing a ceremony, the chief minister said that another hospital with a capacity of 210 beds will be built in PIC with the help of the National Disaster Management Authority. The hospital will be made operational by the end of this month, he said. The chief minister added that the new facilities will ease the burden of existing hospitals.

Additionally, he urged the people to observe the standard operating procedures set by the government so that economic activities in the country can continue.

Jul 09, 2020 12:41pm

Educational institutions will be allowed to hold examinations in July

Educational institutions that had to delay examinations due to the virus will be allowed to schedule tests that are pending in July, Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood said.

He added that standard operating procedures (SOPs) will have to be followed or the government will cancel the examinations.

The SOPs would include arranging tests in open air and ensure that there is distance between desks.

Jul 09, 2020 12:36pm

Schools may call in staff to give SOPs training ahead of opening, says education minister

Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood has said that since the government is considering the opening of educational institutions, schools will be allowed to call in staff.

He said that staff will have to be trained and briefed about the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Jul 09, 2020 12:26pm

Educational institutions to open from Sept 15 'if health indicators improve', says Shafqat Mahmood

Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood has said that educational institutions across the country will open from September 15 if "health indicators improved".

The opening of schools would be delayed if the crisis persists, he said in a press conference.

He further said the government will lay out the standard operating procedures that will be followed after educational institutions are opened.

Jul 09, 2020 12:05pm

Survey of coronavirus-tested people launched across Pakistan to build ‘confirmative database’

The fraternity of medical scientists, key public health institutions and leading healthcare professionals has launched a national survey of people tested for the coronavirus in Pakistan that the experts said would build “confirmative database” of the pandemic in the country, leading to immediate and drastic measures while helping the decision-makers to devise their strategy in line with trends and numbers.

They said the survey of Covid-19 tested people would help understand symptomology of the viral disease in relation to age, gender, and comorbidities. It would also bring the course of the disease with its implications into the knowledge of healthcare professionals while highlighting the psychological impact of the disease on various age groups.

“More importantly it would help in determining ultimate outcomes of the disease,” said Dr Zakiuddin Ahmed of HealthRab. “Around the world and mostly in the developed countries, we have seen that the numbers, data and consistent research on the virus helped them in devising their strategy which proved successful. We are making the same effort here to gather the numbers, build the strong and authentic database and then help our policymakers to go for the decision in line with the existing trend.”

Read more here.

Jul 09, 2020 11:50am

California governor says Covid-19 hospitalisations have increased by 44pc: CNN

California Governor Gavin Newsom has said that hospitalisations due to Covid-19 have gone up by 44 per cent over the last two weeks, CNN reported.

He added that the number of patients in intensive care units (ICUs) have gone up by 34pc. The total number of cases in the state has risen to nearly 290,000.

Newsom said that the state was averaging more than 100,000 coronavirus tests per day and the seven-day positivity rate stands at around eight per cent.

Read more here.

Jul 09, 2020 11:30am

Gilead begins testing inhalable form of remdesivir for Covid-19

Gilead Sciences Inc has said that it has started an early-stage study of its antiviral Covid-19 treatment remdesivir that can be inhaled, for use outside of hospitals.

The company said the trial, which will enroll about 60 healthy Americans aged between 18 and 45, will test the drug particularly in those cases where the disease has not progressed to require hospitalisation.

Jul 09, 2020 11:15am

Mexico posts new case record to overtake Spain; official says virus 'slowing'

Mexico has posted a fresh record for new coronavirus cases reported on a single day, with 6,995 infections, overtaking Spain to register the world’s eighth highest case count, according to a Reuters tally.

Despite the soaring figures, Mexico’s coronavirus czar, Hugo Lopez-Gatell, said the pandemic was “slowing”.

The figures pushed Mexico’s overall tally of infections to 275,003 cases. Mexico also recorded 782 additional fatalities, bringing its overall death toll to 32,796, the world’s fifth-highest total.

Jul 09, 2020 10:50am

Pakistan's coronavirus recoveries reach 145,311

Pakistan's coronavirus recoveries have reached 145,311 after 4,346 more people recovered from the coronavirus during the last 24 hours, according to the government's Covid-19 portal.

Jul 09, 2020 10:45am

Punjab's tally rises to 84,587 with 988 more cases

Punjab's coronavirus tally has risen to 84,587 after it reported 988 new cases, according to the government's Covid-19 portal.

The province also reported 26 additional fatalities, taking the death toll to 1,955. More than 51,000 people have recovered from the virus in the province, according to the portal.

Jul 09, 2020 10:40am

Islamabad, federal territories collectively record 131 cases

Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have collectively recorded 131 cases and three fatalities in the last 24 hours.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Islamabad: 81 cases, 2 deaths
  • GB: 10 cases, 1 death
  • AJK: 40 cases
Jul 09, 2020 10:00am

PM orders holding NCOC meetings in provincial capitals

Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the Centre and provinces to have better coordination among them to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and directed that meetings of the NCOC be held in all the provincial capitals.

“It will further improve administrative measures in coordination and cooperation of the provincial governments and the administrations concerned with regard to containing coronavirus,” the prime minister said while presiding over a meeting held to review the coronavirus situation in the country.

The prime minister has also directed authorities concerned to ensure strict implementation of the standard operating procedures and all precautionary measures on the occasion of Eidul Azha and during Muharram.

Read the full story here.