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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
  • 330,200 cases reported in Pakistan; 6,759 dead, 311,814 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Latest
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

2:07 PM

Belgium asks doctors with Covid-19 to keep working as cases surge

12:20 PM

Islamabad, AJK and GB collectively report 183 cases, 2 deaths

12:18 PM

Punjab reports 207 virus cases, 1 death

12:16 PM

Pakistan reports 365 Covid-19 recoveries

9:03 AM

France sees highest number of Covid-19 patients going into hospital since April

8:09 AM

Czechs tighten measures against Covid-19 with curfew, retail curbs

Oct 26, 2020
11:00 PM

Coronavirus deaths are rising again in the US, as feared

10:30 PM

Norway tightens rules on gatherings and foreign workers as Covid-19 spreads

9:54 PM

Merkel plans 'lockdown light' for Germany to tackle coronavirus

9:23 PM

Spain declares fresh state of emergency as infections soar

8:40 PM

Wales faces backlash over lockdown retail rules

7:45 PM

French doctor warns his country has 'lost control' of virus

7:20 PM

Vaccine hopes rise as Oxford jab prompts immune response among old and young adults

6:58 PM

Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia toughen anti-coronavirus measures

6:20 PM

Balochistan CM says he has tested positive after 14 days

5:45 PM

Spain's Catalonia mulls weekend virus lockdowns

4:49 PM

Sindh reports 278 new cases, one more death

3:47 PM

Iran reports Covid-19 death every five minutes, hospitals struggle

3:05 PM

New French Covid cases could be 100,000 per day: government medical advisor

2:09 PM

India reports lowest daily death toll in nearly 4 months

1:49 PM

Russia's new coronavirus cases hit new record high of 17,347

1:20 PM

Saudi Arabia to receive foreign pilgrims from Sunday

12:59 PM

China reports surge of asymptomatic coronavirus cases in Xinjiang

12:29 PM

Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trials produce robust immune response in elderly: report

11:23 AM

Findings on potential vaccine expected by early Dec: top US infectious disease expert

10:35 AM

Islamabad, GB and AJK collectively report 162 virus cases, 3 deaths

10:31 AM

Punjab reports 198 Covid-19 cases

Oct 28, 2020 01:20pm

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.

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Oct 28, 2020 12:35pm

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.

Oct 28, 2020 12:30pm

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.

Oct 28, 2020 12:26pm

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
Oct 28, 2020 10:35am

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.

Oct 28, 2020 09:45am

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.

Oct 28, 2020 08:30am

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.

Oct 27, 2020 11:03pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 10:30pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 10:54pm

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.”

Oct 27, 2020 09:35pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 09:13pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 08:35pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 07:59pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 07:15pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 06:39pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 05:32pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 04:12pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 03:41pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 03:31pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 02:55pm

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.

Oct 27, 2020 02:30pm

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.

27th Oct, 12:20 PM

Islamabad, AJK and GB collectively report 183 cases, 2 deaths

Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have collectively reported 183 coronavirus cases and two deaths.

Here is a breakdown of the cases and death recorded:

  • Islamabad: 169 cases, 1 death
  • GB: 11 cases, 1 death
  • AJK: 3 cases
27th Oct, 12:18 PM

Punjab reports 207 virus cases, 1 death

Punjab has reported 207 coronavirus cases and one death during the last 24 hours.

The provincial total has risen to 103,082 while the death toll is 2,336.

27th Oct, 12:16 PM

Pakistan reports 365 Covid-19 recoveries

Pakistan has reported 365 coronavirus recoveries during the last 24 hours, according to the government's portal for tracking the spread of the disease in the country.

The total number of recoveries has risen to 311,440.

27th Oct, 9:03 AM

France sees highest number of Covid-19 patients going into hospital since April

French hospitals registered 1,307 new coronavirus patients in the highest one-day increase since April 2, which saw 1,607 new patients, as the health system comes under increasing stress from a runaway infection rate.

According to a Reuters report, French health ministry data showed that France now has a total of 17,784 coronavirus patients in its hospitals, compared with a record 32,292 on April 14, at the height of the March-May lockdown.

The ministry also reported 26,771 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, from 52,010. The death toll went up by 257, taking the cumulative total since the start of the epidemic to 35,018.

27th Oct, 8:09 AM

Czechs tighten measures against Covid-19 with curfew, retail curbs

The Czech government has ordered a 9pm curfew and will limit retail sales on Sundays as part of tighter measures to curb the spread of novel coronavirus infections, ministers said.

The government’s curfew will be in place Oct 28-Nov 3 and will last until 5am each day. Exemptions include travel for work or family visits.

Retail shops still running under current restrictions must also close by 8pm and on Sundays, with exceptions for gas stations, pharmacies or shops at train stations and other travel points.

26th Oct, 11:00 PM

Coronavirus deaths are rising again in the US, as feared

Deaths per day from the coronavirus in the United States are on the rise again, just as health experts had feared, and cases are climbing in nearly every state, despite assurances from President Donald Trump over the weekend that "we’re rounding the turn, we’re doing great", an AP report said.

With Election Day just over a week away, average deaths per day across the country are up 10 per cent over the past two weeks, from 721 to nearly 794 as of Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Confirmed infections per day are rising in 47 states, and deaths are up in 34.

Health experts had warned that it was only a matter of time before deaths turned upward, given the record-breaking surge in confirmed cases engulfing the country. Deaths are a lagging indicator — that is, it generally takes a few weeks for people to sicken and die from the coronavirus.

26th Oct, 10:30 PM

Norway tightens rules on gatherings and foreign workers as Covid-19 spreads

Norway will tighten restrictions on gatherings and foreign workers entering the country after a rise in coronavirus infections, Reuters quoted Prime Minister Erna Solberg as saying on Monday.

Cases are up across large parts of the Northern Hemisphere and authorities have also reported increases in Oslo and other parts of Norway which has long had one of Europe's lowest rate of infections.

“We need to do more to control the spread of the infection,” Solberg told a news conference.

Indoor public gatherings will be limited to 50 people, down from 200, and people will be only be able to invite up to five guests to their house, down from having 20 gathered in one home.

26th Oct, 9:54 PM

Merkel plans 'lockdown light' for Germany to tackle coronavirus

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is planning a “lockdown light” which would mainly focus on the closure of bars and restaurants to slow down a second wave of coronavirus infections, Reuters quoted newspaper Bild as reporting on Monday.

Shops could remain open with certain restrictions under Merkel's plan, which she will discuss with Germany's 16 state premiers on Wednesday, the report said.

26th Oct, 8:40 PM

Wales faces backlash over lockdown retail rules

Wales has said it would review regulations and guidance after a public outcry at a ban on the sale of items deemed non-essential during the country's coronavirus lockdown, AFP reported.

All non-essential retailers were shut on Friday and supermarkets were told only to sell essential items to discourage people from spending more time than necessary in shops.

But the rule has proved highly unpopular, as details emerged of clothing, books and paper roped off or covered up. More than 65,000 people signed a petition calling the restrictions “disproportionate and cruel”, and for them to be reversed.

Another row blew up after one shopper complained on Twitter she had been unable to purchase female sanitary products after initially being told there were “not essential”.

Supermarket giant Tesco initially told the woman it had been “told by the Welsh Government not to sell” period products during the shutdown.

It then deleted the tweet and apologised for the error.

26th Oct, 7:45 PM

French doctor warns his country has 'lost control' of virus

A French doctor has warned that his country has lost control of the epidemic, a day after health authorities reported more than 52,000 new coronavirus cases as nations across Europe enact more sweeping restrictions to try to slow surging infection rates, AP reported.

Dr Jean-Franois Delfraissy, president of the scientific council that advises the French government on the virus, said the country is in a "very difficult, even critical situation".

"There probably are more than 50,000 new cases every day. Our estimate at the Scientific Council is closer to 100,000 twice as many," Delfraissy told RTL radio.

Between those who aren't tested and asymptomatic patients, were close to that number of cases. This means the virus is spreading extremely fast."

26th Oct, 7:20 PM

Vaccine hopes rise as Oxford jab prompts immune response among old and young adults

One of the world's leading Covid-19 experimental vaccines produces an immune response in both old and young adults, raising hopes of a path out of the gloom and economic destruction wrought by the novel coronavirus.

“It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity was lower in older adults, where the Covid-19 disease severity is higher,” an AstraZeneca spokesman said.

“The results further build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222,” the spokesman said, referring to the technical name of the vaccine.

26th Oct, 6:58 PM

Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia toughen anti-coronavirus measures

Croatia has intensified efforts this week to fight the coronavirus after exceeding 2,000 daily cases over the weekend, ordering the use of masks outdoors and recommending work from home wherever possible, Reuters reports.

Also from this week, Slovenia, its northwestern neighbour in the European Union, will allow citizens to leave their municipal areas only in exceptional cases, after having reported 1,675 new infections on Sunday.

On Monday, Croatia, a nation of about 4 million people, reported 828 infections, down from Sunday's daily record of 2,421 new cases. Typically, the number of reported cases falls on Mondays, as a result of less testing over the weekend.

Another Croatian neighbour, Bosnia, also introduced new measures after last week's spike in infections, with active cases rising nearly 70 per cent to 13,950 on Monday and total cases reaching 41,596 in the country of about 3.3 million.

26th Oct, 5:45 PM

Spain's Catalonia mulls weekend virus lockdowns

Spain's Catalonia region said Monday it was studying imposing a lockdown on weekends to fight the spread of the coronavirus, a day after nighttime curfew came into effect across the country, AFP reports.

“It is a scenario which is on the table because it is during the weekend that there are more social interactions,” the spokeswoman for the regional government, Meritxell Budo, told Catalan public radio.

Infections have soared in recent days in the wealthy northeastern region, home to around 7.5 million people, as well as the rest of Spain, which last week became the first European Union nation to surpass one million confirmed Covid-19 cases.

To try to curb the infection rate, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on Sunday declared a national state of emergency, and a curfew covering all of Spain except the Canary Islands where infections are lower.

26th Oct, 4:49 PM

Sindh reports 278 new cases, one more death

Sindh has reported 278 new cases of the novel coronavirus, raising the provincial tally to 144,114.

Moreover, the daily situation report issued by the Chief Minister's Office confirmed the death of one more person. The death toll now stands at 2,599.

26th Oct, 3:47 PM

Iran reports Covid-19 death every five minutes, hospitals struggle

Hospitals in many Iranian provinces are running out of capacity to handle Covid-19 cases, health authorities say, with the novel coronavirus now killing around 300 people a day or one person every five minutes.

Reuters reported that authorities have complained of poor social distancing, and Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi said the pandemic could cause 600 daily deaths in coming weeks if Iranians failed to respect health protocols in the Middle East's hardest-affected country.

A caption that ran on state television news said an Iranian died of novel coronavirus every five minutes, a rate that corresponds to daily death tallies reported by the authorities of just above or below 300 over the past 20 days.

26th Oct, 3:05 PM

New French Covid cases could be 100,000 per day: government medical advisor

France may be experiencing 100,000 new Covid-19 cases per day — twice the latest official figure — Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the scientific council that advises the government on the pandemic, told RTL radio.

“There are probably more than 50,000 cases per day. We estimate, on the scientific committee, that we are more in the region of 100,000 cases per day,” said Delfraissy.

France, the euro zone’s second-biggest economy, is currently examining whether to tighten lockdown measures further to curb the resurgence of the Covid-19 virus, having already imposed night-time curfews on major cities including Paris.

26th Oct, 2:09 PM

India reports lowest daily death toll in nearly 4 months

India’s total coronavirus infections stand at 7.91 million, having risen by 45,148 cases in the last 24 hours, health ministry data showed.

The world’s second-most populous country also has the second-highest number of infections after the United States, which has around 8.1 million.

However, India recorded its lowest death toll in about four months with 480 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, taking total fatalities to 119,014.

26th Oct, 1:49 PM

Russia's new coronavirus cases hit new record high of 17,347

Russia's daily tally of new coronavirus cases has surged to a record high of 17,347, including 5,224 in Moscow, taking the national tally to 1,531,224.

Authorities said 219 people had died in the last 24 hours, pushing the official death toll to 26,269.

26th Oct, 1:20 PM

Saudi Arabia to receive foreign pilgrims from Sunday

Foreign pilgrims between the age of 18 and 50 will be allowed to perform Umrah when Saudi Arabia permits entry of pilgrims from outside the kingdom during the third phase of the gradual relaxation effective from November 1, Saudi Gazette reported.

The pilgrims must remain in quarantine for three days upon their arrival in the kingdom, according to the precautionary measures and preventive protocols issued by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Read more here.

26th Oct, 12:59 PM

China reports surge of asymptomatic coronavirus cases in Xinjiang

China reported the highest number of asymptomatic novel coronavirus infections in nearly seven months following the discovery of a cluster of cases linked to a garment factory in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Health authorities found 137 asymptomatic cases on Sunday during a drive to test 4.75 million people in the Kashgar area triggered by an asymptomatic infection in a 17-year-old female garment factory worker reported on Saturday.

It was not clear how the teenager was infected though the official Xinhua news agency said all of the new cases were linked to another garment factory where the patient's parents work. The parents had not tested positive for the virus, however, it said.

The teenager's infection was discovered during routine weekly testing in Xinjiang for what Xinhua called key groups of people. It did not specify who was in those groups or why she was among those tested, Reuters reported.

In this picture taken on October 25, people wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the coronavirus commute on an escalator in the financial district of Lujiazui in Shanghai. — AFP
In this picture taken on October 25, people wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the coronavirus commute on an escalator in the financial district of Lujiazui in Shanghai. — AFP

26th Oct, 12:29 PM

Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trials produce robust immune response in elderly: report

Early results from tests for a coronavirus vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, show it produces a robust immune response in elderly people, the group at highest risk, Financial Times reported.

It has been discovered that the vaccine triggers protective antibodies and T-cells in older age groups, the newspaper said, citing two people familiar with the finding, encouraging researchers as they seek evidence that it will spare those in later life from serious illness or death from the virus, according to Reuters.

The findings echo data released in July which showed the vaccine generated “robust immune responses” in a group of healthy adults aged between 18 and 55, the newspaper reported, citing people aware of the results from so-called immunogenicity blood tests.

26th Oct, 10:35 AM

Islamabad, GB and AJK collectively report 162 virus cases, 3 deaths

Islamabad, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir have collectively reported 162 coronavirus cases and three deaths during the last 24 hours.

Here is a breakdown of the number of cases and deaths reported:

  • Islamabad: 91 cases, 2 deaths
  • AJK: 58 cases, 1 death
  • GB: 13 cases
26th Oct, 10:31 AM

Punjab reports 198 Covid-19 cases

Punjab has reported 198 coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours, taking the provincial total to 102,875.

Now new deaths were reported during this period and the death toll remains 2,335.