Welfare orgs can distribute rations door to door to follow social distancing policy: Ghani
Senator Saeed Ghani has criticised a welfare organisation's method of distributing rations in Karachi's Quaidabad area. He said welfare organisations can distribute rations door to door to follow the policy of social distancing.
Tommy the robot nurse helps keep Italy doctors safe from coronavirus
Tommy — the robot nurse — is part of a six-member team helping flesh-and-blood doctors and nurses care for coronavirus patients at the Circolo Hospital in Varese, a city in the northern Lombardy region that is the epicentre of the outbreak in Italy.
“It’s like having another nurse without problems related to infection,” said Doctor Francesco Dentali, director of intensive care at the hospital.
The child-size robots with large blinking eyes are wheeled into rooms and left by a patient’s bedside so doctors can look after others who are in more serious conditions. They monitor parameters from equipment in the room, relaying them to hospital staff.
Chinese scientists seeking potential Covid-19 treatment find 'effective' antibodies
A team of Chinese scientists has isolated several antibodies that it says are “extremely effective” at blocking the ability of the new coronavirus to enter cells, which eventually could be helpful in treating or preventing Covid-19.
Zhang Linqi at Tsinghua University in Beijing said a drug made with antibodies like the ones his team have found could be used more effectively than the current approaches, including what he called “borderline” treatment such as plasma.
The team is now focused on identifying the most powerful antibodies and possibly combining them to mitigate the risk of the new coronavirus mutating.
A video has been making rounds on social media showing thousands of people rushing to collect ration in Karachi.
According to Sindh police officials and witnesses, an estimated 7,000 to 8,000 people affected by the lockdown in Sindh gathered on National Highway near Quaidabad today in the morning to collect rations being distributed by Saylani Welfare Trust.
However, the non-profit organisation only had enough to distribute rations among an estimated 2,500-3,000 people.
According to police, people who did not receive the rations stayed there for around half an hour before dispersing peacefully.
Italy sees fewer coronavirus deaths on Wednesday but new cases grow
The death toll from an outbreak of coronavirus in Italy has climbed by 727 to 13,155, the Civil Protection Agency said on Wednesday, a significantly smaller increase than seen on Tuesday and the lowest daily tally since March 26, Reuters reports.
However, the number of new cases rose more sharply than a day earlier, growing by 4,782 against a previous 4,053, bringing total infections since the outbreak came to light on Feb 21 to 110,574.
In Lombardy, the epicentre of the outbreak, the daily tallies of deaths and cases were both up compared with those of the day before, reversing the recent trend.
Italy has registered more deaths than anywhere else in the world and accounts for around 30% of all global fatalities from the virus.
Prime Minister launches Ehsaas Emergency Cash initiative
Prime Minister Imran Khan has launched the Ehsaas Emergency Cash initiative as part of the government's efforts to deal with the problems faced by citizens amid a country-wide lockdown to control the spread of Covid-19.
The Rs144 billion initiative will distribute Rs12,000 to 12 million families across the country.
Social distancing to stay until April 19: German chancellor
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that social distancing measures implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus will be kept in place until April 19 and will be re-evaluated the Tuesday after Easter.
Speaking after a telephone conference with the premiers of Germany’s 16 states, Merkel said it was too soon to talk about easing the measures and added that Europe’s largest economy was still far from achieving what it needed to achieve.
UK to speed up coronavirus testing as criticism grows
Britain’s government said it would ramp up the number of coronavirus tests amid widespread criticism that it was doing far too few, as ministers suggested that shortages of chemicals were partly to blame, Reuters reports.
“I hope on testing ... you will see significant increases this week. We expect to be at 15,000 tests over the course of this week and then moving further forward in the future,” housing minister Robert Jenrick told broadcaster ITV.
DNA make up of locally-transmitted coronavirus may have mutations, say experts
A team of researchers in Pakistan, led by Dow University of Health Sciences Vice Chancellor Professor Mohammad Saeed Quraishy, think that the genetic make up of the novel coronavirus may alter in a locally-transmitted case.
While examining the DNA structure of the virus contracted locally by a young boy, the researchers observed that the sequencing had slight mutations from the one that originated in Wuhan, China.
The study of the virus' genome sequence is being hailed by experts as an important step towards developing a vaccine and treatment modalities.
Restrictions to remain in place till April 14: Asad Umar
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has said that the existing restrictions put in place to control the spread of Covid-19 will remain for two more weeks until April 14.
He added that every province already has its own restrictions in place but based on the National Coordination Committee meeting, all provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) have uniformly decided to implement these measures from this point forward.
Trump warns Americans of a tough two weeks ahead in coronavirus fight
President Donald Trump and his top healthcare advisers urged Americans on Tuesday to follow strict social distancing measures ahead of a “tough two weeks” that could see at least 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the United States, Reuters reports.
“It's absolutely critical for the American people to follow the guidelines for the next 30 days. It's a matter of life and death,” Trump said during a news conference at the White House.
Trump said the next two weeks would be “very, very painful.”
“We want Americans to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,” Trump said, predicting light at the end of the tunnel after that.
Work from home to curb coronavirus, Qatar tells private firms
Qatar's cabinet on Wednesday told private sector companies in the Gulf state to direct 80 per cent of their staff to work from home to help reduce the spread of coronavirus, Reuters reports.
Effective on Thursday for an initial two weeks, the step allows exceptions in some vital sectors, state news agency QNA reported. These include the military and security, the ministry of foreign affairs and diplomatic missions, healthcare, oil and gas, plus some government employees and workers on national flagship projects.
The working day will be cut to six hours, from 7am to 1pm, excluding grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants. Household cleaning services will be suspended, QNA reported, and the number of workers transported by bus halved.
Special PIA flight leaves for Beijing to bring relief supplies
A special Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight has left for Beijing, China on the government's directives.
A PIA spokesperson said the flight will depart from Beijing at 1am tomorrow for Islamabad. It will bring back 52 tonnes of relief supplies including personal protective equipment (PPE), masks and testing kits.
121 pilgrims to leave for their homes tomorrow: Ajmal Wazir
Adviser to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Information Ajmal Wazir has said that 121 pilgrims who had been under quarantine at Gomal Medical College in Dera Ismail Khan will leave for their homes tomorrow.
He added that the pilgrims have completed the quarantine period and have tested negative for Covid-19.
Karachi has detected 33 new coronavirus cases, all of them locally transmitted, Meeran Yousuf, media coordinator to the health and population welfare minister, said. The total number of cases in Sindh is now 709.
Furthermore, three patients have made a complete recovery, she said.
21pc of coronavirus patients have recovered completely, says Dr Mirza
SAPM Dr Zafar Mirza has said that 21 per cent of the infected people have recovered completely. In the past 24 hours, 24 people have tested negative for the novel coronavirus after being infected by it before.
Govt to allow special flight on April 4 to bring back stranded Pakistanis
Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar has said that the government will allow a special flight on April 4 to bring back stranded Pakistani citizens from foreign countries.
He added that the flight will land in Islamabad. The passengers will be tested and quarantined and will be allowed to leave after they test negative for Covid-19. However, domestic flights will remain suspended until further review, he said.
He also said that the lockdown will continue for two more weeks until April 14.
Workers in Karachi factory stitch protective gear, medical clothing
These photos show workers stitching face masks, protective gear and medical clothing at a factory in Karachi as the country remains in lockdown. Pakistan, like many other countries, is facing a shortage of protective gear.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar has confirmed that registrations for Prime Minister Imran Khan's Corona Tigers Force have started through the Pakistan Citizens Portal.
He added that some 90,000 youth from all across the country have registered through the portal so far.
Dar also said that a control room has been set up at the Prime Minister's Office and monitoring teams have been formed. He added that he himself has also registered for the Corona Tigers Force.
Preliminary study finds UK lockdown is slowing spread of Covid-19
Lockdown and social distancing measures introduced by the British government to slow the spread of Covid-19 may already be working, according to preliminary research findings, and could soon see Britain’s epidemic of infections declining, Reuters reported.
151 people held for violating Section 144 of CrPC in Sindh
Sindh police have arrested 151 people for violating Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. According to the police, the arrested persons were found violating the restrictions imposed by the Sindh government during lockdown and hoarding of masks and sanitisers.
About 14 people were detained in Karachi and Hyderabad each, nine arrests were made in Mirpurkhas, 60 in Sukkur and 54 in Larkana range.
First meeting of Parliamentary Committee on Coronavirus Disease to be held on April 6
The first meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Coronavirus Disease will be held on April 6.
According to a notification issued by the National Assembly Secretariat, the agenda for the meeting includes a briefing by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production, and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on an economic and business plan for the revival of the economy.
The meeting's agenda also includes briefings by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal on Covid-19.
Japan 'on the brink' as it struggles to hold back coronavirus
Japan is struggling to hold the line against the coronavirus and is on the brink of crisis with medical experts particularly worried about preparations in Tokyo, officials said, raising the prospect of emergency lockdowns.
New infections are appearing relentlessly, with 105 reported in the past 24 hours, 65 of them in the capital, where cases are closely watched as increasing numbers there add to pressure on the government to take drastic steps.
Moscow unveils coronavirus tracking app as national lockdown widens
Authorities in Moscow have unveiled a smartphone app designed to keep tabs on people who have been ordered to stay at home because of the coronavirus as Russia expanded its lockdown to cover more of its sprawling territory.
The app is still in testing, a city official, Eduard Lysenko told the Ekho Moskvy radio station.
Moscow is also preparing to roll out a city-wide QR-code system where each resident that registers online will be assigned a unique code that they can show to police officers if stopped when going to the shop or the chemist, the official said.
READ: Pakistanis unite to assist the less fortunate during Covid-19 outbreak
Like many nations, Pakistan has imposed strict containment measures in response to the global coronavirus pandemic, including closing schools, banning public gatherings and shuttering all businesses that don’t sell groceries or medicine.
Amid the pandemic, Pakistanis are bonding together to assist the less fortunate in a unique and inspiring way.
Specifically, many are offering Zakat for daily-wage earners who have no paid leave, health insurance or financial safety net.
Buzdar visits 1,000 bed field hospital built in Lahore's Expo Centre
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar paid a visit to a field hospital built in the Expo Centre in Lahore. The hospital houses 1,000 beds and was built in nine days, a tweet by the Punjab government's Twitter account said.
Since it is situated at a distance from residential areas, coronavirus patients will be admitted to the field hospital.
Shehryar Afridi urges nation to promote brotherhood, ignore fake news
Shehryar Afridi has urged the nation to "promote brotherhood and turn away from fake news".
"Tableeghi Jamaat has done a lot for peace around the world, the pilgrims are our Pakistani brothers. police, personnel of law enforcement agencies, doctors, paramedics — they are all working for the state and are the state's responsibility," he said.
Germany reports 5,453 additional cases, another 149 deaths
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany has risen to 67,366 and 732 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed, according to Reuters.
Cases rose by 5,453 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 149, the tally showed.
Europe death toll crosses 30,000 as UN warns of humanity's worst crisis since WWII
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 30,000 lives in Europe alone, a global tally showed Wednesday, in what the head of the United Nations has described as humanity's worst crisis since World War II.
Nasir Shah urges Centre to rename Corona Tiger Force to something neutral
Sindh Information Minister Nasir Hussain Shah has requested the government to change the name of the Corona Tigers Force to something neutral, during a video conference with provincial information ministers and SAPM on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan.
At the same time, Shah assured that the Sindh government will cooperate with Centre in every way and follow any advisory issued by the premier.
Awan, in response, said that the "cause was more important than the name" and that the Sindh chief minister can discuss this with the prime minister during the National Coordination Committee meeting. Both Shah and Awan agreed that the aim was to overcome the coronavirus health crisis.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the media also needed to focus on positive Covid-19 news in an effort to dispel the panic that has gripped the nation.
The PM's aide stated: "Hearing negativity all day, constantly seeing numbers increasing, can have a negative impact on people's mental health.
"By giving airtime to recovered patients, we can reduce the stigma against them," she said.