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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 11.3 million infected globally; more than 538,800 dead, over 6.1 million recovered
  • 233,646 cases reported in Pakistan; 4,818 dead, 131,649 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Latest
9:55 PM

Wear a mask, follow precautionary measures, says Murtaza Wahab after recovering from Covid-19

9:35 PM

KP reports 120 Covid-19 cases, 10 deaths

9:25 PM

White House says masks encouraged as precaution at next Trump rally

8:25 PM

Russia digs trench around Siberian village to enforce Covid quarantine

7:04 PM

WATCH: Bali holds mass prayers for reopening from coronavirus lockdown

6:45 PM

Britain to give $2 billion to virus-hit culture sector

6:32 PM

Indonesia's Lion Air slashes 2,600 jobs as virus bites

6:17 PM

Switzerland awash with ventilators after coronavirus buying spree

6:00 PM

Following SOPs essential for curbing virus spread, says President Alvi

5:47 PM

Israel decides to close bars, clubs, gyms after coronavirus infections rise

5:32 PM

Dutch cull virus-infected mink on 20 farms

5:15 PM

Bali eyes September reopening for foreign tourists

5:00 PM

WATCH: PM inaugurates production facility of first indigenously developed ventilators in Pakistan

4:45 PM

Vietnam reports 14 new Covid-19 cases, all imported

4:30 PM

China detains professor who criticised Xi over coronavirus

4:01 PM

Mona Lisa back at work, visitors limited, as Louvre reopens

3:45 PM

Sindh's Covid-19 tally crosses 96,000 with 1,708 more cases

3:19 PM

French bus driver brain dead after assault for refusing maskless riders

3:00 PM

KP health system has dealt with pandemic splendidly: Ajmal Wazir

3:00 PM

Britain's Pret A Manger to close 30 UK shops and cut jobs

2:50 PM

LIVE: Adviser to KP CM on Information Ajmal Wazir addresses media

2:45 PM

WHO chief recognises Pakistan's positive trend in disease curtailment: Asad Umar

2:27 PM

Balochistan govt working on SOPs for opening educational institutions: Shahwani

2:21 PM

Balochistan's virus situation is improving, says govt spokesperson

2:15 PM

LIVE: Balochistan govt spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani addresses media

1:51 PM

Russia reports more than 6,600 new coronavirus cases

1:35 PM

First batch of locally-produced ventilators handed over to NDMA, says Chaudhry

1:20 PM

Bolivia's health minister tests positive for Covid-19

1:05 PM

VISUAL: Reports of unusual lingering effects of Covid-19

12:47 PM

With nearly 700,000 coronavirus cases, India is third worst-hit country

12:24 PM

The first-hand account of a doctor convalescing from Covid-19

12:04 PM

Punjab CM says 'prominent reduction' in reported cases from areas under lockdown

11:30 AM

Lockdown-hit farmers begin to sow summer crops in South Asia

11:11 AM

SAPM on Health Zafar Mirza isolating at home after testing positive for coronavirus

10:40 AM

Pakistan's Covid-19 recoveries top 131,000

10:34 AM

Punjab records 646 cases, 13 deaths

10:29 AM

Islamabad reports lowest single-day rise in cases since May 30

10:00 AM

VIDEO: Lebanon holds Baalbek concert despite virus, economic crisis

9:30 AM

Saudi Arabia announces Haj health measures for domestic pilgrims

9:00 AM

Australia closes state border for first time in 100 years to halt coronavirus

8:30 AM

Number of active cases in Pakistan drop to 43pc

Jul 05, 2020
11:00 PM

SEE: What are some of the unusual, lingering effects of Covid-19 in patients with mild cases?

10:46 PM

PHOTOS: Droves of citizens flock to pubs to celebrate England's reopening

10:20 PM

British health minister hails responsible behaviour after pubs reopen

9:50 PM

Balochistan reports 48 Covid-19 cases

9:45 PM

South Africa deploys military medics to virus hotspot

9:25 PM

Saudi king orders 3-month free extension of Iqama, re-entry visas of expats

9:00 PM

Kazakhstan imposes 'second wave' of restrictions as coronavirus surges

8:35 PM

Pope hails UN global ceasefire move to fight pandemic

8:19 PM

273 Covid-19 cases, 8 deaths reported in KP

Jul 06, 2020 09:55pm

Wear a mask, follow precautionary measures, says Murtaza Wahab after recovering from Covid-19

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Jul 06, 2020 09:25pm

White House says masks encouraged as precaution at next Trump rally

Donald Trump's re-election campaign made the decision to “strongly encourage” masks at the Republican president's next rally as a precautionary measure, Reuters reported.

In announcing Saturday's rally in Portsmouth, the campaign said, “There will be ample access to hand sanitiser and all attendees will be provided a face mask that they are strongly encouraged to wear.”

The change comes after Trump's indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month drew widespread attention for not imposing coronavirus restrictions, including social distancing and masks.

Jul 06, 2020 08:25pm

Russia digs trench around Siberian village to enforce Covid quarantine

Russian authorities have dug a trench around a remote Siberian village to enforce a quarantine, after dozens of residents contracted the coronavirus, which local officials believe was spread at a traditional shaman ritual, Reuters reported.

The village of Shuluta, located some 30 kilometres south east of Lake Baikal in Siberia's Buryatia region, has 37 confirmed cases of the virus among its 390 residents.

At least 95 other people are believed to have been in contact with those infected and are also required to quarantine, said the head of the local administration, Ivan Alkheyev.

Jul 06, 2020 06:45pm

Britain to give $2 billion to virus-hit culture sector

The British government announced a nearly $2 billion package to help theatres, museums, heritage sites and live music venues survive the coronavirus crisis, but faced accusations of acting too late, AFP reported.

The mix of grants and loans worth $1.96 billion was unveiled after increasingly desperate warnings that thousands of jobs and many cultural bodies were at risk.

“This is a much needed injection of cash but for many it's too little too late,” said Jo Stevens, culture spokeswoman for the main opposition Labour party.

Jul 06, 2020 06:32pm

Indonesia's Lion Air slashes 2,600 jobs as virus bites

Indonesia's Lion Air Group is slashing 2,600 jobs as the coronavirus pandemic hammers Southeast Asia's biggest carrier, a company spokesman said.

The layoffs — about nine per cent of the airline's 29,000 employees — would mainly affect contract workers, he said.

The job cuts come after Lion earlier reduced management and staff salaries.

Jul 06, 2020 06:17pm

Switzerland awash with ventilators after coronavirus buying spree

Swiss authorities are trying to figure out what to do with a potential surplus of ventilators which they snapped up in the scramble for equipment to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The Swiss stockpile of hygienic masks has also swollen to more than 200 million, with more on the way, the defence ministry said, confirming a SonntagsZeitung newspaper report.

The paper cited minutes from a government coronavirus task force as saying that cantonal authorities were sending excess ventilators back to the federal government, which did not have the resources to store and maintain them.

That meant cantons could keep them, sell them to other countries or donate them, perhaps to developing countries, the paper said.

Jul 06, 2020 05:47pm

Israel decides to close bars, clubs, gyms after coronavirus infections rise

Israel's government has reimposed a series of restrictions to fight a spike in coronavirus infections, deciding on the immediate closure of bars, night clubs, gyms and event halls, Israel Radio said.

At a special cabinet session that decided on the measures, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had to reverse course in the coronavirus crisis to avoid a wider lockdown.

Jul 06, 2020 05:32pm

Dutch cull virus-infected mink on 20 farms

Dutch authorities culled thousands of mink on two more farms infected with the new coronavirus, bringing the total to 20, AFP reported.

The outbreaks were reported in Gemert, in the same area in southern Netherlands were the previous infections took place.

“All mink on 18 infected farms previously reported have been culled, with two more farms following today,” the health ministry said in a statement.

Jul 06, 2020 05:15pm

Bali eyes September reopening for foreign tourists

Bali says foreign tourists will be allowed to return by September as the Indonesian holiday island scrambles to repair its crippled vacation sector even as coronavirus cases mount, AFP reported.

The island will reopen beaches, temples and other tourism spots for domestic visitors by the end of July, the governor said, and welcome foreign holidaymakers from September 11.

“We must continue to make the best efforts to handle Covid-19, while at the same time we must begin to carry out activities for the sake of community life,” said Bali Governor Wayan Koster.

Jul 06, 2020 04:45pm

Vietnam reports 14 new Covid-19 cases, all imported

Vietnam's health ministry has reported 14 new coronavirus infections, all among Vietnamese citizens held in quarantine upon their arrival from overseas.

The Southeast Asian country has been 81 days without a domestically transmitted infection due to successful programmes to contain the virus.

It has yet to report any deaths from the coronavirus and has confirmed 369 cases in total, over 90 per cent of which have recovered.

Jul 06, 2020 04:30pm

China detains professor who criticised Xi over coronavirus

Chinese authorities detained a law professor who published essays criticising President Xi Jinping over the coronavirus pandemic and accusing him of ruling “tyrannically”, AFP reported.

Xu Zhangrun, a rare outspoken critic of the government in China's heavily censored academia, was taken from his home in suburban Beijing by more than 20 people, one of his friends said on condition of anonymity.

Xu published an essay in February blaming the culture of deception and censorship fostered by Xi for the spread of the coronavirus in China.

China's “leader system is itself destroying the structure of governance”, Xu wrote in the essay that appeared on overseas websites, adding the chaos in the virus epicentre of Hubei province reflected systemic problems in the Chinese state.

Jul 06, 2020 04:01pm

Mona Lisa back at work, visitors limited, as Louvre reopens

The Mona Lisa is back in business.

Paris' Louvre Museum, which houses the world's most famous portrait, has reopened after a four-month coronavirus lockdown and without its usual huge throngs.

Face masks were a must and visitor numbers were limited, with reservations required.

About 70 per cent of the giant museum — 484,000 square feet of space, or the equivalent of 230 tennis courts — housing 30,000 of the Louvre’s vast trove of works is again accessible to visitors starved of art in lockdown.

A visitor wearing face mask takes a picture in front of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece "Mona Lisa" also known as "La Gioconda" at the Louvre Museum in Paris on July 6. — AFP
A visitor wearing face mask takes a picture in front of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece "Mona Lisa" also known as "La Gioconda" at the Louvre Museum in Paris on July 6. — AFP

Jul 06, 2020 03:45pm

Sindh's Covid-19 tally crosses 96,000 with 1,708 more cases

Sindh's Covid-19 tally has crossed 96,000 cases with 1,708 more cases reported during the last 24 hours. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that 12,479 tests were conducted, out of which 1,708 came back positive, taking the provincial total to 96,236.

Shah said that 46 more people lost their lives to the virus, taking the total number of fatalities to 1,572. He added that 679 patients recovered.

The total number of recovered people in the province has risen to 53,855. The province's recovery rate is 56 per cent, the chief minister said.

Jul 06, 2020 03:19pm

French bus driver brain dead after assault for refusing maskless riders

A bus driver in France has been declared brain dead after being attacked by several people he refused to let aboard because they were not wearing face masks as required during the coronavirus outbreak.

A police source in Bayonne, near the ritzy Atlantic resort of Biarritz in southwestern France, said one person was in custody and other suspects were being sought.

When the driver, in his 50s, tried to prevent the individuals' entry on Sunday night, he was repeatedly punched in an assault that resulted in serious head injury.

Jul 06, 2020 03:31pm

KP health system has dealt with pandemic splendidly: Ajmal Wazir

Adviser to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Information Ajmal Wazir has said that the provincial health system dealt with the influx of patients due to the Covid-19 pandemic "splendidly".

Ajmal Wazir addressing the media. — DawnNewsTV
Ajmal Wazir addressing the media. — DawnNewsTV

Addressing the media in Peshawar, he said: "The province's recovery rate is 58 per cent. We have seen very good results of smart lockdown. If we don't follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) our cases will go back up again."

Wazir said that the chief minister has specifically directed the district administration to take action against hoarders. "We will have zero tolerance for [hoarding], we will take immediate action and seal businesses [doing this]."

He also thanked frontline media workers who he said had stood next to the government and spread public awareness. "We are expecting very positive results from the way people are adopting SOPs and because of our smart lockdown policy."

Jul 06, 2020 03:00pm

Britain's Pret A Manger to close 30 UK shops and cut jobs

British coffee and sandwich chain Pret A Manger has said that 30 UK shops will no longer reopen after the coronavirus lockdown and it would cut jobs across its remaining outlets to reflect the major hit to customer demand the crisis has caused, Reuters reported.

It said sales across UK shops were 74 per cent down year-on-year.

Jul 06, 2020 03:32pm

Balochistan govt working on SOPs for opening educational institutions: Shahwani

Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said that the provincial government was in the process of drafting standard operating procedures (SOPs) for reopening educational institutions.

:iaquat Shahwani addressing the media in Quetta. — DawnNewsTV
:iaquat Shahwani addressing the media in Quetta. — DawnNewsTV

Speaking at a press conference, he said: "We are looking at whether we can open them in phases. We are trying to disinfect all educational buildings before Eidul Azha.

"If cases don't increase from now till Eid, then the government will not face any difficulty in opening educational institutes."

Jul 06, 2020 02:21pm

Balochistan's virus situation is improving, says govt spokesperson

Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani has said that the province's coronavirus situation has improved.

"The percentage of positive cases in the first week of June was 32 per cent. Now, it is 16pc," he said.

"This is good news for the government [...] that the public has shown an improvement in following standard operating procedures for curbing the spread of the virus, causing a drop in the number of cases.

"There has been an almost 50pc reduction in hospitalisations and the number of critical patients has also reduced."

Jul 06, 2020 01:51pm

Russia reports more than 6,600 new coronavirus cases

Russia’s official coronavirus case tally, the fourth largest in the world, has risen to 687,862 after officials reported 6,611 new infections in the last 24 hours.

Reuters reported that 135 people died overnight, bringing Russia’s official death toll to 10,296.

Jul 06, 2020 01:20pm

Bolivia's health minister tests positive for Covid-19

Bolivia’s Health Minister María Eidy Roca has tested positive for Covid-19 though she is in stable condition, Reuters reported, quoting the country's health ministry.

A sharp rise in cases of the novel coronavirus has strained hospitals and cemeteries in the South American country.

The landlocked Andean nation of over 11.5 million people has registered some 38,000 confirmed cases of the disease and 1,378 deaths. Its daily burden of cases makes Bolivia currently one of the worst affected countries per capita in the world.

Jul 06, 2020 12:47pm

With nearly 700,000 coronavirus cases, India is third worst-hit country

India has over-taken Russia with the world’s third-highest number of novel coronavirus cases, at nearly 700,000, according to the latest data, as the outbreak shows no sign of slowing.

Health ministry data on Monday showed more than 23,000 new cases reported in the previous 24 hours, down slightly from Sunday’s record increase of almost 25,000.

There have been almost 20,000 deaths in India since the first case was detected there in January.

India is now the world’s third worst-affected country, behind only the United States and Brazil.

Read more here.

Jul 06, 2020 12:24pm

The first-hand account of a doctor convalescing from Covid-19

What is it like to work on the frontline in a Covid-19 ICU? Dr Rifah Zia explains in today's Dawn.

I am a doctor, working as an anesthesiologist and a frontline worker in one of the leading tertiary care hospitals in Lahore. Continuing to fulfill my oath and moral obligation towards health care and society, I too was part of the Covid ICU for two months. I say ‘was’ because I started writing this piece while still being quarantined after testing positive for the coronavirus.

As a doctor, I was living in isolation even before I was diagnosed with the Covid-19 [...] Unfortunately, after two months of the Covid ICU duty, one fine day, the first symptoms of the virus started appearing in the form of intense fatigue and fever that did not allow me to get out of bed in the morning. A dozen thoughts rushed through my mind; thoughts about the coronavirus, my parents and dozens of people I had met on duty the day before.

After observing my symptoms in home isolation for a day, I decided to get tested for Covid-19 whose result came as positive. My heart sank. No matter how strong you may be as a doctor, the word “DETECTED” does take a while to sink in.

Read her full account here.

Jul 06, 2020 12:04pm

Punjab CM says 'prominent reduction' in reported cases from areas under lockdown

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has said that there has been a "prominent reduction" in the number of coronavirus cases reported from areas placed under smart lockdown.

In a tweet, he said that 10 to 15 coronavirus hotspots were sealed according to the prime minister's 'smart lockdown strategy' which had resulted in lower number of infections. "Random sampling also showed encouraging results. Many areas have been completely reopened."

The chief minister said that it has been "proven" that the spread of the virus is reduced in areas where people follow SOPs issued by the government .

Jul 06, 2020 11:30am

Lockdown-hit farmers begin to sow summer crops in South Asia

The southwest monsoon has arrived in most parts of South Asia and farmers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal have started planting the summer crop. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the already distressed agriculture sector in these countries in different ways, and the stakes couldn’t be higher for farmers in this cropping season.

With growth shrinking in the industrial and services sectors, hope is now pinned on adequate monsoon rainfall and farmers gathering a good harvest to breathe life back into the battered economies.

As the pandemic-forced lockdowns disrupted labour mobility and vehicular transportation, farmers have struggled to harvest and sell the winter crop, leading to widespread losses across the subcontinent. "In the past few months, I have fed vegetables from the farm to the livestock as I couldn’t sell them," said Ishwar Acharya, a farmer from Morang district in eastern Nepal.

Read more here.

Jul 06, 2020 10:40am

Pakistan's Covid-19 recoveries top 131,000

Pakistan's Covid-19 recoveries have topped 131,000 after 1,819 more people recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours.

According to the government's Covid-19 portal, the total number of recoveries have risen to 131,649.

Jul 06, 2020 10:34am

Punjab records 646 cases, 13 deaths

Punjab has recorded 646 new Covid-19 cases, according to the government's database on coronavirus, taking the provincial tally to 81,963.

The province has also reported 13 more deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 1,884. More than 45,000 people have recovered from the virus in Punjab, according to the portal.

Jul 06, 2020 10:29am

Islamabad reports lowest single-day rise in cases since May 30

Islamabad has reported 85 new cases — the lowest single-day rise since May 30 when it reported 92 infections, according to the government's Covid-19 portal. The capital's total has risen to 13,494.

Azad Jammu and Kashmir reported 54 new cases, down from 74 a day earlier, while Gilgit Baltistan confirmed 16, taking their tallies to 1,342 and 1,561, respectively.

Islamabad also recorded three more deaths from the virus while AJK confirmed one additional fatality.

Jul 06, 2020 10:00am

VIDEO: Lebanon holds Baalbek concert despite virus, economic crisis

A philharmonic orchestra has performed to spectator-free Roman ruins as the Baalbek International Festival was downsized to a single concert.

According to AP, organisers dubbed the move an act of cultural resilience to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the country's unprecedented economic meltdown.

Held amid soaring Roman columns, the Baalbek International Festival was founded in 1956. This year, it's being broadcast on local and regional TV stations and livestreamed on social media in an effort to spread unity and hope.

Jul 06, 2020 09:30am

Saudi Arabia announces Haj health measures for domestic pilgrims

Saudi Arabia has announced health protocols to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in the 2020 Haj season, banning gatherings and meetings between pilgrims, Reuters reported.

Touching the holy Kaaba will be banned during Haj this year, and a social distancing space of a metre and a half between each pilgrim during the rituals including mass prayers and while in the Kaaba circling area will be imposed, a statement by the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) elaborated.

Also, access to holy Haj sites at Mona, Muzdalifah and Arafat will be limited to those with Haj permits and wearing masks all the time will be mandatory for both pilgrims and organisers.

Jul 06, 2020 09:00am

Australia closes state border for first time in 100 years to halt coronavirus

Australian officials are closing the border between Australia’s two most populous states — Victoria and New South Wales — for an indefinite period as they scramble to contain an outbreak of the coronavirus in the city of Melbourne.

Officials last blocked movement between the two states in 1919 during the Spanish flu pandemic.

The number of Covid-19 cases in Melbourne, Victoria’s capital, has surged in recent days, prompting authorities to enforce strict social-distancing orders in 30 suburbs and put nine public housing towers into complete lockdown.

Jul 06, 2020 08:30am

Number of active cases in Pakistan drop to 43pc

The number between active Covid-19 cases in the country is continuing to drop as the government takes coordinated measures to curb the disease. According to figures released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Covid-19, as many as 57pc of the patients have recovered and only 43pc cases are active.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) Sajid Shah said that the federal and provincial governments did make efforts, the smart lockdown policy, proposed by Prime Minister Imran Khan, has played a major role in narrowing the gap. It was due to smart lockdowns in different parts of the country that the number of new cases decreased whereas the pace of recoveries remained the same.

Read the full story here.

Jul 05, 2020 10:46pm

PHOTOS: Droves of citizens flock to pubs to celebrate England's reopening

People gather in Soho as restrictions are eased following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in London on July 4. — Reuters
People gather in Soho as restrictions are eased following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in London on July 4. — Reuters

Police on patrol as people gather in Soho as restrictions are eased following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in London on July 4. — Reuters
Police on patrol as people gather in Soho as restrictions are eased following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in London on July 4. — Reuters

People gather in Soho as restrictions are eased following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in London on July 4. — Reuters
People gather in Soho as restrictions are eased following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in London on July 4. — Reuters

A general view shows people at a bar in Clapham, after the reopening of commercial activities following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, in London. — Reuters
A general view shows people at a bar in Clapham, after the reopening of commercial activities following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, in London. — Reuters

5th Jul, 10:20 PM

British health minister hails responsible behaviour after pubs reopen

People in England appear to have broadly behaved themselves as pubs reopened this weekend, Britain’s health minister Matt Hancock said after the latest step towards a return to normality from the coronavirus lockdown, Reuters reported.

“From what I’ve seen, although there’s some pictures to the contrary [...] largely people have acted responsibly,” health minister Matt Hancock told Sky News.

“Overall, I’m pleased with what happened yesterday. It was really good to see people out and about, and largely socially distancing.”

5th Jul, 9:50 PM

Balochistan reports 48 Covid-19 cases

Balochistan has reported 48 coronavirus cases during the past 24 hours, taking the provincial total to 10,814, according to the health department's daily situation report.

No new deaths were reported during the past 24 hours; 123 deaths have been reported in the province so far.

5th Jul, 9:45 PM

South Africa deploys military medics to virus hotspot

Dozens of military medics were deployed to help combat the coronavirus pandemic in South Africa's third most affected province, where there has been a surge in infections, AFP reported.

The deployment to East Cape province comes a day after South Africa recorded more than 10,800 new Covid-19 cases, its biggest single-day jump during the pandemic, taking the cumulative infections to 187,977.

“The province is not coping. They have personnel and equipment problems,” defence force spokesman Thabo Sello, told AFP.

5th Jul, 9:00 PM

Kazakhstan imposes 'second wave' of restrictions as coronavirus surges

Kazakhstan imposed a second round of nationwide restrictions to counter a huge surge in coronavirus cases since the previous lockdown, which has overwhelmed the oil-rich country's healthcare system, AFP reported.

Shopping centres, gyms, swimming pools, hairdressers and beauty salons have all closed down for the next two weeks, a measure that authorities may choose to extend.

The new restrictions are notably less stringent — travel between most cities remains possible and citizens can fly in and out of the country.

A healthcare worker gives a Covid-19 test to a medical staff near Halyk Arena in Almaty on July 5. — AFP
A healthcare worker gives a Covid-19 test to a medical staff near Halyk Arena in Almaty on July 5. — AFP

5th Jul, 8:35 PM

Pope hails UN global ceasefire move to fight pandemic

Pope Francis threw his support behind a UN Security Council resolution calling for a halt to conflicts to facilitate the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, AFP reported.

The UN Security Council had unanimously adopted the resolution after more than three months of negotiations calling for “an immediate cessation of hostilities in all situations” on the Security Council's agenda.

“The request for a global and immediate ceasefire, which would allow that peace and security necessary to provide the needed humanitarian assistance is commendable,” the pope said after his weekly Angelus prayer at St Peter's in Rome.