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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 43.9 million infected globally; more than 1.1 million dead, over 30 million recovered
  • 331,581 cases reported in Pakistan; 6,784 dead, 311,814 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Oct 29, 2020
10:18 PM

Sindh govt issues code of conduct for Eid Miladun Nabi to curb Covid-19

9:15 PM

Roche to make hundreds of millions of Covid-19 rapid tests monthly

8:50 PM

Nature loss means deadlier future pandemics, UN warns

8:30 PM

'Covid has started hitting new highs again,' says Murad as detection rate doubles

8:00 PM

SAPM Dr Faisal warns of lockdown to slow down 2nd wave transmission unless public takes precautions

7:35 PM

Coronavirus cases in the Netherlands remain above 10,000 in past 24 hours

7:15 PM

Spain's Catalonia region closes its borders to contain pandemic

6:54 PM

Sindh reports 473 new cases, highest daily jump since August

3:57 PM

Record US third-quarter growth expected; healing from COVID-19 still a long way

3:45 PM

Poland's total coronavirus cases top 300,000 after new daily record

2:03 PM

England's Covid-19 infections doubling every nine days: study

11:55 AM

Pakistan records 824 recoveries from coronavirus

11:50 AM

Punjab reports 273 Covid-19 cases, 5 deaths

11:45 AM

Islamabad reports more than 100 cases for third straight day

9:26 AM

India passes bleak landmark of 8 million coronavirus infections

9:09 AM

National Covid positivity rate above 3pc after more than 70 days: Asad Umar

8:17 AM

Australia's Covid-19 hotspot state reports one case after four month city lockdown lifted

Oct 28, 2020
10:52 PM

Spain's coronavirus tally rises by nearly 20,000; deaths up 168

9:00 PM

Iran reports record 415 Covid-19 deaths, the second daily record toll in a row

8:35 PM

NCOC announces new restrictions for cities with more than 2pc Covid positivity

7:54 PM

Covid-19 case Ronaldo left out by Juventus for Barcelona game

6:50 PM

Sweden sets new daily Covid-19 case record as infections surge

6:33 PM

Sindh reports 316 new cases, 7 deaths

5:53 PM

'Country still fighting battle against corona': PM Imran urges citizens to be cautious

4:25 PM

Section 144 imposed on wearing of masks in Islamabad; violators could be arrested

3:24 PM

UK vaccine chief says impact of early Covid-19 jabs may be limited

2:39 PM

Indian capital records highest daily virus caseload

1:20 PM

Canada's Trudeau predicts 'tough winter' as deaths top 10,000

12:35 PM

Pakistan records 374 recoveries from Covid-19

12:30 PM

Punjab reports more than 200 infections for second day in a row

12:26 PM

Islamabad, federal territories collectively report 168 cases, 2 fatalities

10:35 AM

Mexico passes 900,000 confirmed coronavirus cases

9:45 AM

Russia applies for WHO emergency use tag for its Covid-19 vaccine

8:30 AM

China reports highest daily Covid-19 cases in more than two months

8:04 AM

WATCH: Stores reopen in Melbourne as months-long coronavirus lockdown ends

Oct 27, 2020
11:03 PM

Almost half a million Americans contract Covid-19 in past week as infections surge

10:30 PM

Belgium becomes EU nation with highest rate of Covid-19 infections

10:00 PM

Covid's cognitive costs? Some patients' brains may age 10 years

9:35 PM

Greece exceeds 1,200 daily Covid-19 infections for first time

9:13 PM

EU warns not enough Covid vaccines for all in Europe until 2022

8:35 PM

UN in New York cancels in-person meetings due to Covid-19 infections

7:59 PM

Czech government seeks to extend emergency powers to battle Covid-19 surge

7:15 PM

Iran says public too lax over Covid-19 rules, as cases, deaths hit records

6:39 PM

Pandemic has slashed international tourism by 70 pc: UN

5:32 PM

Dr Faisal warns of new restrictions in light of increasing cases, deaths

4:12 PM

Sindh reports 335 cases, 5 deaths from Covid-19

3:41 PM

German minister expects 20,000 new daily coronavirus cases at end of week

3:31 PM

India’s daily infections at lowest in 3 months

2:55 PM

Hong Kong to further relax restrictions on bars and restaurants, reopen beaches

2:30 PM

France ponders new restrictions as cases soar

Oct 29, 2020 11:31pm

Sindh govt issues code of conduct for Eid Miladun Nabi to curb Covid-19

The Sindh home department has issued a code for safe conduct of Eid Miladun Nabi celebrations in the province in light of the SOPs issued by the National Command and Operation Centre.

According to the code of conduct, the venues for Mehfil-i-Milad and Seerat conferences should be open and ventilated, and social distancing and wearing of masks should be ensured. The entry and exit of participants should be strictly regulated, while the elderly, children and people with comorbidities should be encouraged to attend the events through live streaming.

The SOPs mandate that the number of participants in Rabiul Awwal processions be kept "reasonable" and procession timings should be curtailed.

As per the code, in view of "consistently increasing positivity" in various cities and districts, the district administrations in consultation with health authorities may limit Eid Miladun Nabi celebrations.

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Oct 29, 2020 09:15pm

Roche to make hundreds of millions of Covid-19 rapid tests monthly

Swiss drugmaker Roche plans to boost production of rapid Covid-19 tests to hundreds of millions monthly, including possible saliva tests, Reuters reported, quoting Chief Executive Severin Schwan, who acknowledged that the fierceness of the pandemic's second wave took him by surprise.

“The market is totally sold out,” Schwan said on Thursday on a call with journalists of the rapid antigen tests that governments are increasingly turning to as global Covid-19 cases skyrocket and swamp test centres that until now have relied on more-accurate but slower PCR tests.

Oct 29, 2020 08:50pm

Nature loss means deadlier future pandemics, UN warns

Future pandemics will happen more often, kill more people and wreak even worse damage to the global economy than Covid-19 without a fundamental shift in how humans treat nature, the United Nations' biodiversity panel has warned.

The UN panel known as IPBES, according to an AFP report, said that there are up to 850,000 viruses which, like the novel coronavirus, exist in animals and may be able to infect people. IPBES added that pandemics represented an “existential threat” to humanity.

Authors of the special report on biodiversity and pandemics said that habitat destruction and insatiable consumption made animal-borne diseases far more likely to make the jump to people in future.

“There is no great mystery about the cause of the Covid-19 pandemic — or any modern pandemic,” said Peter Daszak, president of the Ecohealth Alliance and chair of the IPBES workshop that drafted the report.

The panel said that Covid-19 was the sixth pandemic since the influenza outbreak of 1918 — all of which had been “entirely driven by human activities”.

Oct 29, 2020 08:30pm

'Covid has started hitting new highs again,' says Murad as detection rate doubles

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has urged citizens to follow Covid-19 SOPs, warning that the virus "has started hitting new highs again" in the province.

He said out of the 11,504 samples tested during the last 24 hours, 473 returned positive, which constituted a 4.1 per cent detection rate. “Our detection rate has started increasing from 2pc to over [4pc] which needs to be contained,” he added.

Shah said infections were increasing in the province because people were not following the health guidelines.

“For God's sake be careful; protect yourself and your families,” he urged residents.

Oct 29, 2020 07:35pm

Coronavirus cases in the Netherlands remain above 10,000 in past 24 hours

The number of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands remained above 10,000 over the past hours, near a record high, data released by the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) shows.

Quoting the RIVM, Reuters reported that the number of confirmed new cases of Covid-19 was 10,264, just below a high of 10,343 on October 26. The number is being closely watched by the Dutch government, which is weighing tighter curbs.

Oct 29, 2020 07:15pm

Spain's Catalonia region closes its borders to contain pandemic

Catalonia has announced a 15-day ban on entering and exiting its territory, the latest in a series of restrictions taken by Spanish regions to try and contain rampant Covid-19 contagion, Reuters reported.

It announced the new measures as the parliament in Madrid debated a nationwide state of emergency, which the central government wants to last until May to give regions legal backing for taking such restrictive measures.

“The government is aware that citizens are tired after months of effort and sacrifices, of not being able to do what they used to do before, to hug people, our family and friends,” Health Minister Salvador Illa told parliament.

“But it is not the time to relax measures, we have very tough weeks and months ahead of us.”

Catalonia, home to the city of Barcelona, is one of the virus' hotspots and has already some of the toughest measures in place in the country, including a 15-day shutdown of bars and restaurants, which will also be extended.

Oct 29, 2020 07:31pm

Sindh reports 473 new cases, highest daily jump since August

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah says Covid-19 has "started hitting new highs again", with 473 new infections reported in the province in the last 24 hours, the highest daily increase since the first week of August.

The province's total infections now stand at 145,238. Nine more people also lost their lives due to the virus, with Sindh's overall death toll rising to 2,620.

A total of 11,504 tests were conducted in the province in the last day.

Oct 29, 2020 03:57pm

Record US third-quarter growth expected; healing from COVID-19 still a long way

The US economy has likely experienced record growth in the third quarter as more than $3 trillion in federal pandemic relief spending fueled historic consumer spending, but the deep scars from the Covid-19 recession could take a year or more to heal, Reuters reported.

With five days remaining to Election Day and trailing in most national opinion polls, President Donald Trump will probably seize on the stunning rebound in GDP as a sign of recovery following the deepest decline in at least 73 years.

No one disputes that the Commerce Department’s report Thursday on gross domestic product - one of the last major economic scorecards before next week’s presidential election - will be one for the history books. Nonetheless, it will do little to mitigate the human tragedy inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, with tens of millions Americans still unemployed and more than 222,000 dead.

Oct 29, 2020 03:45pm

Poland's total coronavirus cases top 300,000 after new daily record

Poland reported another daily record of coronavirus infections and deaths with new 20,156 cases and 301 deaths related to Covid-19.

The health ministry said the total number of confirmed coronavirus infections has tripled in less than a month, exceeding 300,000, Reuters reported.

Government officials have warned infections could rise fast due to massive protests sweeping Poland following a Constitutional Court ruling that has introduced a near total ban on abortions.

Oct 29, 2020 02:03pm

England's Covid-19 infections doubling every nine days: study

The spread of the coronavirus continues to increase across all parts of England with cases doubling every nine days, according to a new study by Imperial College, putting pressure on the government to introduce more drastic lockdown restrictions.

The infection rate is rising in all age groups with the highest spread of the disease in the northwest of England and Yorkshire and the Humber region, Imperial found.

The researchers calculated the reproduction “R” number of Covid-19 infections in England, which measures how many people an infected person will pass the disease to, is at 1.6, indicating the epidemic is growing.

Oct 29, 2020 11:55am

Pakistan records 824 recoveries from coronavirus

The government's database on coronavirus shows that 824 more people have recovered, taking the total number of recoveries to 312,638.

According to the database, 624 virus patients are in critical condition.

Oct 29, 2020 11:50am

Punjab reports 273 Covid-19 cases, 5 deaths

Punjab has reported 273 new Covid-19 cases and five additional fatalities, taking its provincial tally of cases to 103,587 and total fatalities to 2,347.

According to the government's coronavirus portal, 97,410 people have recovered in the province so far.

Oct 29, 2020 11:45am

Islamabad reports more than 100 cases for third straight day

Islamabad has reported 154 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, according to the government's Covid-19 portal. This is the third straight day the capital has recorded more than 100 infections, taking its total to 19,454.

Islamabad has also reported two more deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 215.

Gilgit Baltistan has reported 11 cases while Azad Jammu and Kashmir confirmed 49, taking their tallies to 4,211 and 3,938, respectively.

AJK also confirmed one more death, taking the total to 88.

Oct 29, 2020 09:26am

India passes bleak landmark of 8 million coronavirus infections

India has crossed a grim milestone of 8 million coronavirus cases, with a daily rise of 49,881 infections, health ministry data showed.

The world's second most populous nation also has the second highest tally of infections after the United States, which has recorded 8.8 million, according to Reuters.

Cases in India have dipped sharply from September's peak, but experts warn the current festival season could bring another spike. The death toll has been low relative to infections, with 517 new deaths in the last 24 hours carrying the total to 120,527, the ministry said.

Oct 29, 2020 08:17am

Australia's Covid-19 hotspot state reports one case after four month city lockdown lifted

Australia's Covid-19 hotspot state Victoria reported only one new infection, a day after it lifted a four month lockdown in the city of Melbourne.

Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said that while there were three positive cases of Covid-19 detected in the past 24 hours, two may be old infections.

“This is another good day,” Andrews told reporters in Melbourne, according to Reuters.

Victoria, which accounts for more than 90 per cent of the 905 deaths nationally, did not record any new deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours.

28th Oct, 10:52 PM

Spain's coronavirus tally rises by nearly 20,000; deaths up 168

Spain's coronavirus tally has risen by 19,765 cases, slightly more than recorded yesterday, bringing the total to 1,136,503 infections since the onset of the pandemic, health ministry data showed.

The cumulative death toll increased by 168 to 35,466, the data showed, following Tuesday's steep rise of 267, which was the largest one-day jump of the second wave of the pandemic.

28th Oct, 8:35 PM

NCOC announces new restrictions for cities with more than 2pc Covid positivity

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has announced new non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) that must be implemented in cities and districts where the Covid-19 positivity rate has exceeded two per cent.

The measures, effective from tomorrow, are:

  • Strict enforcement of "compulsory mask-wearing" rule in confined spaces including indoor venues, public transport, bus and train stations, markets and other crowded spots
  • Implementation of broad-based smart lockdowns in areas identified as hotspots
  • Closure of commercial activities by 10pm
  • Closure of amusement and public parks by 6pm
28th Oct, 7:54 PM

Covid-19 case Ronaldo left out by Juventus for Barcelona game

Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo has been left off Juventus' team for today's Champions League clash against Barcelona in Turin, two weeks after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The 35-year-old, the top scorer in the history of the competition with 130 goals, needed to test negative 24 hours before the game against his great rival Lionel Messi's Spanish team.

The two footballing legends will now all being well meet in the reverse Group G fixture in Barcelona on December 8.

28th Oct, 6:50 PM

Sweden sets new daily Covid-19 case record as infections surge

Sweden, whose light-touch pandemic strategy has gained global attention, registered 1,980 new coronavirus cases on October 27, the highest since the start of the pandemic, Reuters reported, quoting Health Agency statistics.

The country also registered nine new deaths, taking the total to 5,927 deaths. Sweden's death rate per capita is several times higher than Nordic neighbours but lower than some larger European countries, such as Spain and Britain.

The increase compares with a high of 1,870 daily cases recorded on October 23. The Health Agency has said the peak during the spring probably ran far higher but went unrecorded due to a lack of testing at the time.

28th Oct, 6:33 PM

Sindh reports 316 new cases, 7 deaths

Sindh has reported 316 new Covid-19 cases and seven deaths over the past 24 hours, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said.

The province has so far reported 144,765 cases while the death toll stands at 2,611. According to the provincial government, 137,656 patients have already recovered.

About 4,498 patients are currently under treatment, the chief minister said, adding that 165 were in critical condition.

28th Oct, 5:53 PM

'Country still fighting battle against corona': PM Imran urges citizens to be cautious

Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged Pakistanis to follow health precautions in the next two months in view of a possible second wave of Covid-19. He said the country was still fighting a "big battle against corona".

"We fear a second wave could come and there are some indications that our cases are rising a little bit," he told a doctors' convention in Lahore.

He said the residents of cities that experience pollution and smog in the winter will have to be extra careful in the coming weeks so healthcare workers don't come under pressure.

28th Oct, 4:25 PM

Section 144 imposed on wearing of masks in Islamabad; violators could be arrested

The Islamabad district magistrate has imposed Section 144 of the CrPC to order the wearing of face masks/covers in public places in the capital. Anyone not wearing a mask in public could be arrested by police.

28th Oct, 3:24 PM

UK vaccine chief says impact of early Covid-19 jabs may be limited

The woman in charge of procuring possible Covid-19 treatments for Britain has said a fully effective vaccine might never be developed, and that any early versions that do get approved might not work at all for some people, Reuters reported.

There is no clinically proven vaccine against the coronavirus, though nearly 200 candidates are in development worldwide, and late-stage trial results are expected for the first of them by the end of 2020.

“However, we do not know that we will ever have a vaccine at all. It is important to guard against complacency and over-optimism”, Kate Bingham, the chair of the UK Vaccines Taskforce, wrote in an article published overnight in The Lancet medical journal.

“The first generation of vaccines is likely to be imperfect, and we should be prepared that they might not prevent infection but rather reduce symptoms and, even then, might not work for everyone or for long.”

28th Oct, 2:39 PM

Indian capital records highest daily virus caseload

India's tally of confirmed coronavirus cases is moving closer to eight million, with 43,893 new cases recorded for the latest 24-hour period

The total reported includes the highest single-day number of cases for the Indian capital of New Delhi at 4,853.

According to AP, the Health Ministry also reported 508 fatalities from Covid-19 across India in the past 24 hours, raising the total for the pandemic to 120,010.

India's caseload is second in the world behind the United States, which has over 8.7 million positive cases.

28th Oct, 1:20 PM

Canada's Trudeau predicts 'tough winter' as deaths top 10,000

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has predicted a “tough winter” in the face of a second wave of Covid-19 infections engulfing much of the country, and called it a horrific national tragedy as deaths topped the 10,000 mark.

Canada’s case numbers have been rising, triggering new restrictions on public gatherings and indoor activities in several provinces. On Tuesday, Canada recorded 2,674 new cases, while there are now 10,001 deaths and a total of 222,887 cases.

“This sucks. It really, really does,” Trudeau told a news conference when asked about the fatigue Canadians feel after living amid the pandemic for more than seven months.

28th Oct, 12:35 PM

Pakistan records 374 recoveries from Covid-19

Pakistan has recorded 374 more recoveries from Covid-19, taking the total number of recoveries to 311,814, according to the government's database for tracking the spread of the coronavirus.

The database shows that 611 virus patients are in critical condition.

28th Oct, 12:30 PM

Punjab reports more than 200 infections for second day in a row

Punjab has reported more than 200 infections for the second day in a row as 232 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the government's coronavirus portal. This has taken the provincial caseload to 103,314.

It has also reported six additional fatalities compared to one death a day earlier, taking the total number of fatalities to 2,342.

According to the portal, 97,384 people have recovered in the province so far.

28th Oct, 12:26 PM

Islamabad, federal territories collectively report 168 cases, 2 fatalities

Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have collectively reported 168 new coronavirus cases and two more deaths.

The breakdown is as follows:

  • Islamabad: 119 cases, 1 death
  • GB: 9 cases, 1 death
  • AJK: 40 cases
28th Oct, 10:35 AM

Mexico passes 900,000 confirmed coronavirus cases

Mexico’s health ministry has reported 5,942 additional cases of the novel coronavirus and 643 more deaths in the country, bringing the official number of cases to 901,268 and the death toll to 89,814.

Health officials have said the real number of infected people is likely significantly higher than the confirmed cases. On Sunday, the ministry said the true death toll from Covid-19 may be around 50,000 higher.

28th Oct, 9:45 AM

Russia applies for WHO emergency use tag for its Covid-19 vaccine

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) has submitted applications to the World Health Organisation for an Emergency Use Listing and prequalification of its coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik V, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said.

According to Reuters, Russia was the first country to grant regulatory approval for a novel coronavirus vaccine, and did so before large-scale trials were complete, stirring concerns among scientists and doctors about the safety and efficacy of the shot.

An Emergency Use Listing (EUL) is meant to make a vaccine available globally faster, while a WHO prequalification is a global quality tag that ensures vaccines are safe and effective. The procedures would allow Sputnik V to be included in the list of medical products that meet leading quality, safety and efficacy standards, RDIF CEO Kirill Dmitriev said in a statement.

28th Oct, 8:30 AM

China reports highest daily Covid-19 cases in more than two months

China has reported 42 new Covid-19 cases, the highest daily toll in more than two months due to a rise in infections in the northwestern Xinjiang region, the country’s health authority said.

Of the new cases, 22 in the city of Kashgar in Xinjiang were previously asymptomatic patients. The region’s health authorities also reported another 19 symptomless infections, which China does not recognise as confirmed Covid-19 cases, which accounted for half the new asymptomatic cases reported.

The daily toll marks the highest since 44 confirmed infections were reported on Aug 10, though it remains far off the peaks in February at the height of the outbreak in mainland China that forced the country into a virtual standstill.

27th Oct, 11:03 PM

Almost half a million Americans contract Covid-19 in past week as infections surge

Nearly half a million people in the United States have contracted the novel coronavirus in the last seven days, according to a Reuters tally, as cases and hospitalisations set fresh records in hot spots in the Midwest.

More than 5,600 people died from the virus nationwide in the last week, with hospitalisations shooting up 13 per cent, a Reuters analysis showed.

Illinois, which has emerged as a hot spot in recent weeks, reported over 31,000 new cases in the last seven days, more new infections than any other state except Texas.

27th Oct, 10:30 PM

Belgium becomes EU nation with highest rate of Covid-19 infections

The Belgian government will convene on Friday to decide on a potential new national lockdown with the country now suffering the highest rate of coronavirus infections per 100,000 citizens, according to official data, Reuters reported.

The nation of 11 million people had 1,390 new Covid-19 infections per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks, data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control showed.

The Czech Republic is next with 1,379 per 100,000, while many other European countries are reporting soaring infection rates in a second wave of the global pandemic abetted by the onset of cold, damp winter weather.

27th Oct, 10:00 PM

Covid's cognitive costs? Some patients' brains may age 10 years

People recovering from Covid-19 may suffer significant brain function impacts, with the worst cases of the infection linked to mental decline equivalent to the brain ageing by 10 years, researchers have warned.

“Our analyses [...] align with the view that there are chronic cognitive consequences of having Covid-19,” the researchers wrote in a report of their findings. “People who had recovered, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits.”

27th Oct, 9:35 PM

Greece exceeds 1,200 daily Covid-19 infections for first time

Greece has recorded a new daily peak of 1,259 confirmed coronavirus infections, Reuters reported quoting health authorities.

Tuesday's jump followed 715 new cases recorded on Monday. The country has been steadily recording an increase in cases since early October. Twelve people died of the virus on Tuesday.

27th Oct, 9:13 PM

EU warns not enough Covid vaccines for all in Europe until 2022

Only a share of the European Union population can be inoculated against the new coronavirus before 2022, should an effective vaccine be available, EU officials said in an internal meeting, as governments remain split on vaccination plans, according to a Reuters report.

The warning comes in spite of the fact that the 27-nation bloc, with a population of 450 million, has secured more than a billion doses of potential Covid-19 vaccines from three drugmakers. It is negotiating the booking of another billion vials with other companies.

As a global scramble to secure shots accelerates, experts caution that not every potential vaccine may prove to be effective.

27th Oct, 8:35 PM

UN in New York cancels in-person meetings due to Covid-19 infections

United Nations has cancelled all in-person meetings at its New York headquarters after five people in Niger's UN mission were infected with the coronavirus, Reuters reported quoting diplomats.

In a letter to member states late on Monday, UN General Assembly President Volkan Bozkir said the body's medical unit had recommended cancelling in-person meetings on Tuesday, pending contact tracing with those infected.

Niger is a member of the 15-member Security Council, which last met in person on Thursday. Diplomats said people who attended Thursday's meeting were being tested for Covid-19, and an in-person meeting on Syria planned for Tuesday was instead held virtually.

27th Oct, 7:59 PM

Czech government seeks to extend emergency powers to battle Covid-19 surge

The Czech government will ask lawmakers to extend its emergency powers until December 3, Reuters quoted Prime Minister Andrej Babis as saying on Tuesday, as it tries to stem one of the strongest surges in Covid-19 infections in Europe.

The government has strictly tightened restrictions this month, including shutting restaurants and most retail shops, along with public places like pools, fitness centres, cinemas and theatres.

Schools are closed and the government said on Tuesday students would not return as planned next week.

Starting on Wednesday, people will face a 9pm curfew with few exceptions and those shops allowed to open will have to close by 8pm and completely on Sunday.

The government had been expected to seek an extension for its powers, which run out on November 3.

27th Oct, 7:15 PM

Iran says public too lax over Covid-19 rules, as cases, deaths hit records

Iranians are being too lax in complying with Covid-19 restrictions, Reuters quoted the government as saying on Tuesday, as the hardest-hit Middle Eastern country faced new daily records of infections and deaths.

A record daily death toll of 346 pushed the total toll to 33,299, health ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state media. New cases set a record of 6,968, bringing the total to 581,824 in a third big wave of infections this year.

“According to the latest figures, the rate of compliance with health protocols is 57.7 per cent, which is very low. We need to raise compliance during this epidemic ... More than ever, we need national strength and empathy,” said Lari, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.

The authorities have ordered residents in Tehran to wear masks in public. Many public sector workers in the capital have been told to stay home every second day.

27th Oct, 6:39 PM

Pandemic has slashed international tourism by 70 pc: UN

International tourists arrivals plunged by an annualised 70 per cent during the first eight months of 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, AFP reported while quoting World Tourism Organisation (WTO).

The Northern Hemisphere's peak summer season was ravaged by travel restrictions, with tourist arrivals down by 81pc in July, and by 79pc in August, the Madrid-based UN body said in a statement.

“This unprecedented decline is having dramatic social and economic consequences, and puts millions of jobs and businesses at risk,” WTO head Zurab Pololikashvili said in the statement.

27th Oct, 5:32 PM

Dr Faisal warns of new restrictions in light of increasing cases, deaths

SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan has said that due to growing number of cases and deaths in the country, the imposition of more restrictions was becoming "unavoidable".

SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan addresses a press conference. — DawnNewsTV
SAPM on Health Dr Faisal Sultan addresses a press conference. — DawnNewsTV

Addressing a press conference, the premier's aide said that the number of daily cases as well as deaths has increased over the past few days along with the country's positivity rate.

"It is clear that as a nation we are not taking the precautions that we should in order to curb the spread of this virus," he said and added that the government's approach would be to "tackle this from a local level". The SAPM said that government may impose new restrictions or introduce more strictness in the imposition of existing ones.

The matter was under discussion in the National Command and Operation Centre and guidelines would be announced after talks with provincial governments, he said.

27th Oct, 4:12 PM

Sindh reports 335 cases, 5 deaths from Covid-19

335 new cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Sindh, taking the provincial tally to 144,449, according to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.

Five more people lost their lives from the virus, with Sindh's overall death toll rising to 2,604.

A total of 8,860 tests were carried out during the last 24 hours in Sindh, Shah said.

27th Oct, 3:41 PM

German minister expects 20,000 new daily coronavirus cases at end of week

The number of new coronavirus infections in Germany is likely to reach 20,000 a day at the end of this week, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said.

“We are dealing with exponential growth,” Altmaier told a German-French economic conference via video link in Berlin. “In Germany the number of new infections is rising by 70-75 per cent compared to the week before.”

Altmaier's forecast shows that Germany is contending with a faster upswing in coronavirus cases than previously expected. At the end of September, Chancellor Angela Merkel said there could be 19,200 cases per day by Christmas, Reuters reported.

27th Oct, 3:31 PM

India’s daily infections at lowest in 3 months

Authorities in India have reported 36,470 newly confirmed coronavirus infections — the lowest one-day tally in more than three months in a continuing downward trend.

According to AP, the Health Ministry also listed 488 new fatalities from Covid-19 in the previous 24 hours, raising the overall death toll to 119,502.

The case number reported today is the lowest since India had 35,065 newly confirmed infections on July 17. Last month, the country hit a peak of nearly 100,000 cases in a single day, but daily infections have been decreasing since then.

27th Oct, 2:55 PM

Hong Kong to further relax restrictions on bars and restaurants, reopen beaches

Hong Kong will reopen public beaches and increase the number of people allowed to sit together in bars and restaurants starting Friday as the city continues to unwind strict Covid-19 rules put in place in July.

Sophia Chan, the Chinese special administrative region's health secretary, said that six people would be allowed to sit together in restaurants, up from four. Bars will be able to seat four people together, up from two, according to Reuters.

All dining facilities will be able to stay open until 2am, later than the current midnight closing time.

27th Oct, 2:30 PM

France ponders new restrictions as cases soar

France’s government is holding emergency virus meetings and warning of possible new lockdowns, as hospitals fill up with new Covid patients and doctors plead for backup, according to AP.

French President Emmanuel Macron is convening top ministers and Prime Minister Jean Castex is meeting with lawmakers, unions and business lobbies as the government weighs its next steps in the fight against surging infections. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told France-Inter radio that “we should expect difficult decisions.”

Among possible new measures for the hardest-hit areas are lengthening existing curfews, full confinement on weekends or all week, and closing non-essential businesses.