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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 32 million infected globally; more than 980,000 dead, over 22 million recovered
  • 309,257 cases reported in Pakistan; 6,448 dead, 294,740 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Sep 25, 2020
11:19 PM

Two charged in deadly Covid-19 outbreak at Massachusetts veterans' home

8:52 PM

Japanese researcher trial early warning test for acute Covid-19 cases

7:35 PM

Spain locks down one million as Europe battles regional surge

7:16 PM

Over 80pc of Britons not heeding Covid-19 self-isolation rules, study finds

6:40 PM

WHO gave blessing for coronavirus vaccine emergency use programme, says China

5:53 PM

Sindh reports 242 new cases, 4 deaths

5:19 PM

Covid-19 outbreak hits EU patrol boat docked in Italy

5:01 PM

Iran records 207 new Covid-19 deaths, the highest since August 1

4:10 PM

British police raid drug gangs as Covid-19 fuels child trafficking fears

3:24 PM

VIDEO: 'Last call' in UK pubs, restaurants earlier than usual as govt struggles to contain Covid-19

3:00 PM

UK's Tesco blocks bulk buying of toilet roll and flour

2:32 PM

Israel restricts outgoing flights to bolster virus lockdown

1:10 PM

South Korea to tighten social distancing curbs during two holiday weeks

12:36 PM

North Korea regrets killing South Korean to control coronavirus

11:53 AM

Islamabad, GB and AJK collectively report 91 Covid-19 cases, 1 death

11:51 AM

Punjab reports 178 Covid-19 cases, 1 death

11:48 AM

Pakistan reports 348 coronavirus recoveries

10:02 AM

Rio postpones world-famous carnival over Covid-19

9:10 AM

Virus cases falling in Australia's hotspot state, restrictions may ease further

8:00 AM

US coronavirus cases surpass 7 million as Midwest outbreak flares up

Sep 24, 2020
10:55 PM

Sindh CM says virus still there, urges public to ensure preventive measures

10:30 PM

Dogs used to detect coronavirus in pilot project at Helsinki airport

10:00 PM

UK records 6,634 new Covid-19 cases, up from 6,178

9:32 PM

Putin tells Russians to obey rules as Covid-19 cases tick higher

8:35 PM

IMF says global economic outlook better than June prediction

8:11 PM

European Commission urges EU member states to enforce social distancing, hygiene measures

7:53 PM

Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic tests positive for Covid-19

7:18 PM

Putin tells Russians to obey rules as Covid-19 cases tick higher

5:05 PM

Sindh reports 401 coronavirus cases, 6 deaths

4:20 PM

England Test and Trace reports tripling of Covid-19 cases since late August

3:56 PM

Iran's coronavirus death toll rises above 25,000

3:20 PM

Finland says pandemic spread points to 'accelerating phase'

2:50 PM

UK to host 'human challenge' trials for Covid-19 vaccines: report

2:27 PM

New virus cases in Moscow climb to June levels

1:50 PM

Myanmar’s ‘maximum containment’ Covid plan pushed to brink as virus surges

1:13 PM

Russia to supply 17 more countries with Covid-19 drug

11:45 AM

Covid-19 positivity rate continues to be stable, below 2pc: Asad Umar

11:26 AM

Islamabad, GB and AJK collectively report 97 Coivd-19 cases, 1 death

11:22 AM

Punjab reports 84 virus cases, 2 deaths

11:20 AM

Pakistan reports 476 coronavirus recoveries

10:01 AM

France tightens virus measures, unveils new 'danger zones' map

9:00 AM

Daily coronavirus cases near three-month low in Australia's Covid-19 hotspot

Sep 23, 2020
10:56 PM

India's coronavirus infections spike again after dip

8:15 PM

French lawmakers move to allow larger crowds into stadiums

7:52 PM

Sindh CM orders strict action against schools disregarding SOPs

6:43 PM

J&J kicks off final study of single-shot Covid-19 vaccine in 60,000 volunteers

6:14 PM

Dengue may provide some immunity against Covid-19, says study

5:33 PM

Madrid to extend virus restrictions to more areas

4:17 PM

Sindh records 408 new cases, 2 deaths

3:37 PM

VIDEO: Kamala Harris criticises Trump for 'convincing' his supporters not to wear masks

Sep 25, 2020 11:19pm

Two charged in deadly Covid-19 outbreak at Massachusetts veterans' home

Two people have been indicted for their alleged role in a Covid-19 outbreak at a Massachusetts veterans’ home that contributed to the deaths of at least 76 residents, the state’s attorney general announced.

A grand jury indicted superintendent Bennett Walsh and David Clinton, the former medical director of the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, on charges of criminal neglect related to their work at the facility.

“We allege that the actions of these defendants during the Covid-19 outbreak at the facility put veterans at higher risk of infection and death and warrant criminal charges,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement.

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Sep 25, 2020 08:52pm

Japanese researcher trial early warning test for acute Covid-19 cases

Japanese researchers have developed a blood test they say appears to serve as an early warning system for serious cases of Covid-19, and deployed 500 prototype machines to trial its effectiveness nationwide, Reuters reports.

Researchers from the National Center for Global Health and Medicine initially tested for five compounds in the blood of 28 patients, finding that low readings of the serum CCL17 were predictive of serious coronavirus infections.

The results suggested that early tests for the serum could help determine which patients will need hospitalisation, they said in a paper published this month.

Sep 25, 2020 07:35pm

Spain locks down one million as Europe battles regional surge

Spanish officials have expanded a lockdown in and around Madrid to cover one million people, as European nations faced up to a sustained spike in virus cases, AFP reported.

Madrid's health authority said new rules largely banning tens of thousands from leaving their districts — in addition to the 850,000 already living under similar restrictions — would be enforced from Monday.

New spikes are springing up across the continent, with Poland and France the latest to register record figures — France's daily cases soared past 16,000 for the first time in a stark indicator of the virus's resurgence.

Sep 25, 2020 07:16pm

Over 80pc of Britons not heeding Covid-19 self-isolation rules, study finds

The research, led by King’s College London, found that only 18.2 per cent of people who reported having symptoms of Covid-19 in the last seven days had not left home since the symptoms developed, and only 11.9pc requested a Covid-19 test.

A majority were also unable to identify the symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The research raises major questions about the effectiveness of England’s Test and Trace programme as Prime Minister Boris Johnson seeks to keep a lid on rising infection numbers with new restrictions.

Sep 25, 2020 06:40pm

WHO gave blessing for coronavirus vaccine emergency use programme, says China

The World Health Organisation has given China its support and understanding to start administering experimental coronavirus vaccines to people while clinical trials were still underway, Reuters reported quoting a Chinese health official.

China launched its emergency programme in July, having communicated with the WHO in late June, according to Zheng Zhongwei, a National Health Commission official.

Hundreds of thousands of essential workers and other limited groups of people considered at high risk of infection have been given the vaccine, even though its efficacy and safety had not been fully established as Phase 3 clinical trials were incomplete.

Sep 25, 2020 05:53pm

Sindh reports 242 new cases, 4 deaths

Sindh has reported 242 new coronavirus cases and four deaths, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said.

The total number of cases in the province is now 135,488, while the death toll is 2,481.

Sep 25, 2020 05:19pm

Covid-19 outbreak hits EU patrol boat docked in Italy

Some 51 out of 186 crew members of a European Union naval vessel have tested positive for the coronavirus, Reuters reported, quoting a statement by the EU's Irini military mission. The statement added the infections were discovered following routine testing.

The Margottini frigate is docked in the southern Italian port of Augusta for logistic reasons after 15 days of activity at sea, the statement said. The majority of those who tested positive were Italian nationals.

Irini said it would now repeat the test for all the personnel on board to check whether there were even more infections.

Sep 25, 2020 05:01pm

Iran records 207 new Covid-19 deaths, the highest since August 1

Iran's death toll from the novel coronavirus has risen by 207 to 25,222, with the total number of identified cases spiking to 439,882, a health ministry spokeswoman said.

It is the highest single-day death toll since the ministry registered 216 deaths on August 1.

Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 3,563 new cases were identified in the last 24 hours in Iran, the hardest-hit by the pandemic in the Middle East.

Iran's health officials have voiced alarm over a surge in infections, urging the nation to respect health protocols to control the spread of the disease.

Sep 25, 2020 04:10pm

British police raid drug gangs as Covid-19 fuels child trafficking fears

More than 1,000 people have been arrested and dozens of suspected victims of modern slavery identified in a crackdown on the drug trade in Britain, Reuters reported while quoting the police.

Police said 69 possible trafficking victims were referred to government bodies for support following a series of raids this month to disrupt the so-called County Lines drug trade, by which criminal gangs move drugs from cities into rural areas.

The operation was the biggest of its kind to-date and led to the seizure of more than 1 million pounds worth of drugs and at least 500,000 pounds in cash, police said.

Concerns are growing about a rise in child trafficking during the coronavirus pandemic.

Sep 25, 2020 03:00pm

UK's Tesco blocks bulk buying of toilet roll and flour

Britain's biggest supermarket Tesco will prevent customers from bulk buying flour, pasta, toilet roll and anti-bacterial wipes to prevent a re-run of the Covid-19 stockpiling that stripped shelves bare earlier this year.

With Covid cases rising once again in Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people to work from home if they can earlier this week, prompting Tesco to join smaller rival Morrisons in reimposing restrictions.

Both chains have also placed staff at the entrance to stores to ensure that face coverings are worn. “We have good availability, with plenty of stock to go round, and we would encourage our customers to shop as normal,” a spokeswoman said, Reuters reported.

Sep 25, 2020 02:32pm

Israel restricts outgoing flights to bolster virus lockdown

The Israeli government has slapped restrictions on outgoing flights as part of a slew of measures to bolster a second virus lockdown imposed last week.

“The arrangement agreed upon enables leaving the country for whoever bought an airplane ticket prior to the beginning of the lockdown (September 25)," Transport Minister Miri Regev said in a statement.

“People who buy a ticket beyond then won't be able to use it,” she said, noting Israelis would be able to return to the country “without limitations,” AFP reported.

Sep 25, 2020 01:10pm

South Korea to tighten social distancing curbs during two holiday weeks

South Korea said it would impose tighter restrictions during the Chuseok autumn holiday weeks when people traditionally reunite with families, flagging the risks of new clusters of coronavirus infections.

The new curbs apply to at least 11 high risk facilities in the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, including nightclubs and bars.

Those restrictions are on top of the current so-called phase two social distancing, which limits indoor gatherings to 50 people and outdoor gatherings to 100, and bans spectators from sporting events.

The new measures will be in place from September 28 to October 11. Korea's Hangul holiday, which memorialises when King Sejong introduced the language's unique characters, is on October 9.

A family wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the coronavirus enjoy themselves at a park in Seoul on September 23. — AP
A family wearing face masks to help protect against the spread of the coronavirus enjoy themselves at a park in Seoul on September 23. — AP

Sep 25, 2020 12:36pm

North Korea regrets killing South Korean to control coronavirus

North Korea has expressed regret over the death of a missing South Korean, saying it shot him as part of measures to battle the coronavirus, the South's national security adviser said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a letter to South Korean President Moon Jae-in saying the incident should not have happened, the official told a briefing.

Sep 25, 2020 11:53am

Islamabad, GB and AJK collectively report 91 Covid-19 cases, 1 death

Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have collectively reported 91 coronavirus cases and one death during the last 24 hours.

Here is a breakdown of the cases recorded during this time period:

  • Islamabad: 36 cases, 1 death
  • GB: 36 cases
  • AJK: 19 cases
Sep 25, 2020 11:51am

Punjab reports 178 Covid-19 cases, 1 death

Punjab has reported 178 coronavirus cases and one death during the last 24 hours.

The provincial total has risen to 98,864 while the death toll is 2,229.

Sep 25, 2020 11:48am

Pakistan reports 348 coronavirus recoveries

Pakistan has reported 348 coronavirus during the last 24 hours, according to the government's portal for tracking the spread of the virus in the country.

The total has now risen to 294,740 while the recovery rate is 95.4 per cent.

Sep 25, 2020 10:02am

Rio postpones world-famous carnival over Covid-19

Rio de Janeiro's world-famous carnival parades became the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic as officials announced they were indefinitely postponing the February 2021 edition, with Brazil still reeling from Covid-19.

Meeting again to assess the situation, “we came to the conclusion that the event had to be postponed,” said Jorge Castanheira, the president of the group that organises the annual parades.

“We just can't do it in February. The samba schools won't have the time or financial and organisational resources to be ready,” he told journalists after a plenary meeting by the group's directors.

“It's not a cancellation, it's a postponement. We are looking for an alternative solution, something we can do when it's safe to contribute to the city [...] but we aren't certain enough to set a date.”

Sep 25, 2020 08:00am

US coronavirus cases surpass 7 million as Midwest outbreak flares up

The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States topped 7 million — more than 20 per cent of the world's total — as Midwest states reported spikes in Covid-19 infections in September, according to a Reuters tally.

The latest milestone comes just days after the nation surpassed over 200,000 Covid-19 deaths, the world's highest death toll from the virus. Each day, over 700 people die in the United States from Covid-19.

California leads the country with over 800,000 total cases, followed by Texas, Florida and New York.

24th Sep, 10:30 PM

Dogs used to detect coronavirus in pilot project at Helsinki airport

Dogs trained to detect the novel coronavirus began sniffing passenger samples at Finland's Helsinki-Vantaa airport this week, authorities say, in a pilot project running alongside more usual testing at the airport.

A team of 15 dogs and 10 instructors are being trained for the job in Finland by volunteers, sponsored by a private veterinary clinic.

“What we've seen in our research is that the dogs will find [the disease] five days before they (patients) get any clinical symptoms,” Anna Hielm-Bjorkman, who is Adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki and specialised in clinical research for companion animals, told Reuters.

Coronavirus sniffing dogs named Miika and Titta are introduced at the Evidensia veterinary clinic in Vantaa, Finland, September 2. — Reuters
Coronavirus sniffing dogs named Miika and Titta are introduced at the Evidensia veterinary clinic in Vantaa, Finland, September 2. — Reuters

Know more here.

24th Sep, 10:00 PM

UK records 6,634 new Covid-19 cases, up from 6,178

Britain has recorded 6,634 new cases of Covid-19, Reuters reported while quoting government health body Public Health England (PHE). The recent numbers are up from 6,178 on Wednesday.

PHE also said there had been 40 new deaths, up from 37 the day before.

24th Sep, 9:32 PM

Putin tells Russians to obey rules as Covid-19 cases tick higher

President Vladimir Putin has urged Russians to stick to social distancing rules, saying that he wanted to avoid another strict lockdown, when the daily tally of new Covid-19 cases was the highest in more than two months, Reuters reported.

Guidelines on social distancing remain in place, and people must wear face coverings in shops and on public transport in the Russian capital, though some flout those rules which are not rigorously enforced.

“You have to ask people to observe the necessary rules, including the mask regime,” Putin said in video conference with regional governors. “Of course, this is not always comfortable for people, but falling ill is worse.

“I would really, really not like to return again to the restrictive measures we introduced this spring.”

24th Sep, 8:35 PM

IMF says global economic outlook better than June prediction

The global economic outlook is less bleak than in June, an IMF spokesman has said, signaling that the organisation's forecast will be raised when it is released next month, AFP reported.

“The recent incoming data suggests that the outlook may be somewhat less dire than at the time of the (World Economic Outlook) update on June 24 with parts of the global economy beginning to turn the corner,” the International Monetary Fund spokesman said.

But the spokesman said “the outlook remains very challenging,” with emerging markets other than China facing a “precarious” situation due to the coronavirus.

24th Sep, 7:18 PM

Putin tells Russians to obey rules as Covid-19 cases tick higher

President Vladimir Putin urged Russians to stick to social distancing rules and said he wanted to avoid another strict lockdown on Thursday, when the daily tally of new Covid-19 cases was the highest in more than two months, according to Reuters.

Russia's Covid-19 response centre recorded 6,595 new infections on Thursday, the highest daily count since mid-July. Moscow had 1,050 new cases, more than any other city or region in Russia.

Russia exited lockdown in early June, and many shops, businesses and the transport network in Moscow are now operating as usual, though office occupancy rates remain sharply lower.

Guidelines on social distancing remain in place, and people must wear face coverings in shops and on public transport in the Russian capital, though some flout those rules which are not rigorously enforced.

24th Sep, 5:05 PM

Sindh reports 401 coronavirus cases, 6 deaths

Sindh has reported 401 coronavirus cases and six deaths during the last 24 hours, according to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

In a statement, he said 16,093 tests were conducted during this period. With the new cases, the provincial total has risen to 135,246 while the death toll is 2,477.

This is the second straight day the province has reported more than 400 cases. The last time the province reported more than 400 cases was on August 11, data collected by Dawn.com shows.

24th Sep, 4:20 PM

England Test and Trace reports tripling of Covid-19 cases since late August

Three times as many people have tested positive for Covid-19 in England in latest weekly figures compared to the end of August, Reuters reported quoting NHS Test and Trace.

More people are being referred to the system, though the proportion reached has fallen, NHS added.

The weekly Test and Trace stats showed that 21,268 people were transferred to the system, up 37 per cent on the week before.

However, 77.7pc of those people were reached and asked to provide contacts, down from 83.9pc the week before.

24th Sep, 3:56 PM

Iran's coronavirus death toll rises above 25,000

Iran's death toll from the novel coronavirus has risen by 175 to 25,015, the highest in the Middle East, with the total number of identified cases spiking to 436,319 in the country, according to the health ministry.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 3,521 new cases were identified in the last 24 hours in Iran.

24th Sep, 3:20 PM

Finland says pandemic spread points to 'accelerating phase'

Finland has warned the Covid-19 pandemic is expanding again more rapidly in the country, after several months of relative calm, and is heading in an “alarming” direction.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health said several signs could be seen of the epidemic speeding up again in the country.

“The rise in incidence rate, rising share of positive cases among all samples, increasing difficulties in tracing sources of infection and chains of infections becoming more common all anticipate a transition to an accelerating phase in the epidemic,” it said in a statement.

24th Sep, 2:50 PM

UK to host 'human challenge' trials for Covid-19 vaccines: report

Britain is planning to host clinical trials where volunteers are deliberately infected with the new coronavirus to test the effectiveness of vaccine candidates, the Financial Times has reported, citing people involved in the project.

So-called “challenge trials” are expected to begin in January at a quarantine facility in London, the report said, adding that about 2,000 participants had signed up through a US-based advocacy group, 1Day Sooner.

Britain said it was working with partners on the potential for human challenge trials without commenting on a specific plan, according to Reuters.

“We are working with partners to understand how we might collaborate on the potential development of a Covid-19 vaccine through human challenge studies,” a government spokeswoman said.

“These discussions are part of our work to research ways of treating, limiting and hopefully preventing the virus so we can end the pandemic sooner.”

24th Sep, 2:27 PM

New virus cases in Moscow climb to June levels

New coronavirus cases in Moscow reached the highest level since late June, raising fears of a new wave of cases in the world's fourth most affected country.

The caseload increase had remained relatively stable in the capital at around 700 per day for several months, but the numbers began to climb again from September 15. On Thursday, the capital recorded 1,050 new cases, the highest figure since June 23.

Russia as a whole confirmed 6,595 new cases, the highest figure since July 12. The government virus website said that 24 percent had no clinical symptoms.

The highest numbers of new cases are in Moscow, its surrounding region and the second largest city of Saint Petersburg, according to AFP.

24th Sep, 1:50 PM

Myanmar’s ‘maximum containment’ Covid plan pushed to brink as virus surges

Myanmar has quarantined tens of thousands of people to prevent a coronavirus outbreak from overwhelming its fragile healthcare system but public health experts and doctors say the strategy is on the brink of collapse as infections surge.

The Southeast Asian nation is housing more than 45,000 people, including Covid-19 patients as well as those yet to be tested, their close contacts and returning migrant workers, in buildings from schools and monasteries to government offices and tower blocks, mostly run by volunteers.

But the “maximum containment” strategy pursued by Myanmar since its first cases were confirmed in March could backfire if overburdened facilities put people off quarantine altogether, public health expert Kyaw San Wai told Reuters.

“This strategy was implementable up to mid-August given Myanmar’s low caseloads but as case numbers increased dramatically from late August, especially in Yangon, this approach quickly pushed both the health centres and quarantine centres to the brink,” he said.

24th Sep, 1:13 PM

Russia to supply 17 more countries with Covid-19 drug

Russia's sovereign wealth fund and its partner Chemrar will supply the Covid-19 drug Avifavir to 17 additional countries, the fund said in a statement.

Avifavir gained approval from the Russian health ministry in May and is based on Favipiravir, which was developed in Japan and is widely used there as the basis for viral treatments, according to Reuters.

Avifavir has already been delivered to Belarus, Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

It will now be sent to Argentina, Bulgaria, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Kuwait, Panama, Paraguay, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, the UAE and Uruguay, the the Russian Direct Investment Fund said.

24th Sep, 11:26 AM

Islamabad, GB and AJK collectively report 97 Coivd-19 cases, 1 death

Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have collectively reported 97 coronavirus cases and one death during the last 24 hours.

Here is a breakdown of the cases and deaths recorded:

  • Islamabad: 42 cases, 1 death
  • GB: 30 cases
  • AJK: 25 cases
24th Sep, 11:22 AM

Punjab reports 84 virus cases, 2 deaths

Punjab has reported 84 coronavirus cases and two deaths during the last 24 hours.

The provincial total has risen to 98,686 while the death toll is 2,229.

24th Sep, 11:20 AM

Pakistan reports 476 coronavirus recoveries

Pakistan has reported 476 coronavirus recoveries during the last 24 hours, according to the government's portal for tracking the spread of the virus in the country.

The total has risen to 294,392 while the recovery rate is 95.5 per cent.

24th Sep, 10:01 AM

France tightens virus measures, unveils new 'danger zones' map

France’s health minister has unveiled a map of coronavirus “danger zones” around the country and given the hardest-hit local authorities, including that of Marseille, days to tighten restrictions or risk having a state of health emergency declared there.

Olivier Veran told a news conference the country would be divided into zones by alert level with Marseille, the second-largest city, and the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe for now the only two areas put on the “maximum” alert level.

People wearing protective face masks walk in a busy street in Paris as France reinforces mask-wearing in public places as part of efforts to curb a resurgence of the coronavirus. — Reuters
People wearing protective face masks walk in a busy street in Paris as France reinforces mask-wearing in public places as part of efforts to curb a resurgence of the coronavirus. — Reuters

Paris and its suburbs but also the northern city of Lille, the southwestern town of Toulouse and six other cities were declared “reinforced danger zones”, Veran added.

“Should the sanitary situation worsen further in those areas, then a state of health emergency would be put in place”, the minister said.

24th Sep, 9:00 AM

Daily coronavirus cases near three-month low in Australia's Covid-19 hotspot

Australia’s Victoria state, the epicentre of the country’s Covid-19 outbreak, said the number of new daily infections was close to a three-month low, buoying hopes that restrictions will be eased sooner than expected.

The Victorian government said 12 people had been diagnosed with Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, near a three-month low of 11 cases reported earlier this week.

The two-week average of new infections in state capital Melbourne dropped below 27. If average cases remain below 50 by Sunday, some restrictions may be relaxed, the government has said.

23rd Sep, 10:56 PM

India's coronavirus infections spike again after dip

India’s coronavirus infections surged again a day after falling to their lowest figure in almost a month.

In the last 24 hours, there were 83,347 new cases, with 1,085 deaths, federal health data showed.

India, with a population of about 1.4 billion, has been consistently reporting the world’s highest daily tallies of infections, as it grapples with overstretched health services in the effort to control the pandemic.

Its 5.6 million coronavirus cases rank second only to the United States, and more than 90,000 people have died.

23rd Sep, 8:15 PM

French lawmakers move to allow larger crowds into stadiums

Lawmakers in France have agreed in principle to allow larger crowds into stadiums in areas where the coronavirus is less prevalent and if venues are big enough, in what has been called a “common sense” move, AFP reported.

At the moment attendances at sports events are capped at 5,000, but are limited to 1,000 in areas where there are larger outbreaks of Covid-19, such as in the Mediterranean city of Marseille.

23rd Sep, 7:52 PM

Sindh CM orders strict action against schools disregarding SOPs

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has directed the provincial education department to ensure that educational institutions, both public and private, were following standard operating procedures laid out to curb Covid-19 spread.

“The institutions, public or private, that violate the SOPs must be brought to book,” he declared, while chairing a meeting to review the coronavirus situation in Sindh.

When told that schools had been closed for not observing health guidelines, Shah expressed displeasure and directed Education Minister Saeed Ghani to take action against any institution that was not following SOPs.

23rd Sep, 6:43 PM

J&J kicks off final study of single-shot Covid-19 vaccine in 60,000 volunteers

Johnson & Johnson has kicked off a final 60,000-person trial of a single-shot Covid-19 vaccine that potentially would simplify distribution of millions of doses compared with leading rivals using two doses, Reuters reported.

The company expects results of the Phase III trial by year end or early next year, Dr Paul Stoffels, J&J’s chief scientific officer, said in a joint press conference with officials from the National Institutes of Health and the Trump administration.

Rival vaccines from Moderna Inc, Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca all require two shots separated by several weeks, which make them much more difficult to administer.

23rd Sep, 6:14 PM

Dengue may provide some immunity against Covid-19, says study

A new study that analysed the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil has found a link between the spread of the virus and past outbreaks of dengue fever that suggests exposure to the mosquito-transmitted illness may provide some level of immunity against Covid-19.

The not yet published study led by Miguel Nicolelis, a professor at Duke University compared the geographic distribution of coronavirus cases with the spread of dengue in 2019 and 2020.

Places with lower Covid-19 infection rates and slower case growth were locations that had suffered intense dengue outbreaks this year or last, Nicolelis found.

Read the full story here.

23rd Sep, 5:33 PM

Madrid to extend virus restrictions to more areas

Madrid, the epicentre of an explosion of new infections in Spain, will on Friday extend partial lockdown measures to more areas to try to stem the surge in new coronavirus infections, AFP quoted officials as saying on Wednesday.

The regional government on Monday introduced mobility controls on some 850,000 people in the Madrid region — mostly in densely populated, low-income districts in the south. These neighbourhoods account for 13 per cent of the region's population of 6.6 million — but 24 per cent of virus infections.

The restrictions prevent people from entering or leaving the affected areas, except for work, education or to seek medical care, but they can move around freely within their zone.

23rd Sep, 4:17 PM

Sindh records 408 new cases, 2 deaths

Sindh has recorded 408 new coronavirus cases and two deaths over the past 24 hours, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said.

This is the second time in two weeks that the province has recorded more than 400 cases in a day. The total number of cases in Sindh is now 134,845, while the death toll has reached 2,471.