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CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Key points

  • Covid-19 emerges in China in Dec '19, declared a pandemic on March 11
  • WHO names Europe new epicentre; Italy surpasses China's death toll (Read more)
  • 1,274,923 infected globally; more than 69,000 dead, 260,484 recovered
  • 3,662 cases reported in Pakistan; 52 dead, 257 recovered
  • Click here for Dawn's coronavirus coverage
Latest
8:45 PM

4 new cases take Balochistan's tally to 202

8:29 PM

WATCH: Washington DC residents use teddy bears to bond during coronavirus confinement

8:24 PM

Scramble for masks as Italian region orders coronavirus cover-up

8:00 PM

Bilawal lashes out at govt for violence against Quetta doctors

7:52 PM

English coronavirus death toll rises 403 to 4,897

7:44 PM

Balochistan confirms six more cases of coronavirus

7:40 PM

Pakistan's forex reserves slump 12% in just weeks

7:32 PM

Germany draws up plans to relax lockdown after April 19

7:26 PM

Emirates, Etihad airlines resume limited passenger flights

6:51 PM

Accused of 'piracy', US denies diverting masks bound for Germany

6:38 PM

132 new cases confirmed in Punjab, tally rises to 1,816

6:23 PM

Coronavirus hammers UK consumers, construction and car sales

5:49 PM

Thousands of Pakistanis in UAE seek to return home

5:38 PM

As infections balloon, coronavirus squeezes Europe's armed forces

5:36 PM

India to deploy interactive robot 'Zafi' in corona isolation wards

5:28 PM

Muzaffargarh police distribute rations among lower-income people

5:14 PM

Asad Qaiser inquires after health of Iranian speaker diagnosed with Covid-19

5:01 PM

Lahore CCPO distributes money among families of infected police officials

4:31 PM

166 people arrested in Sindh for violating Section 144 of CrPC

4:13 PM

Tableeghi Jamaat members in KP to be sent back to respective provinces after being tested: Wazir

4:04 PM

Indian PM Modi, top ministers to take 30pc cut in salaries as country battles virus

4:01 PM

PIA agrees to provide protective gear to pilots

3:59 PM

2 more Covid-19 deaths reported in Sindh

3:55 PM

Protective of religious beards, Israel to produce fitted face masks

3:53 PM

Punjab extends partial lockdown till April 14

3:52 PM

Protesting doctors arrested in Quetta

3:49 PM

128 Pakistanis flown in from Uzbekistan by PIA

3:47 PM

Spain's pace of coronavirus deaths slows again

3:42 PM

3,800 ventilators available in Pakistan, says NDMA chairman

3:10 PM

Sindh detects 51 new cases, tally reaches 932

2:53 PM

Donkey King characters assemble against coronavirus

2:51 PM

2 Covid-19 deaths reported in Punjab

2:28 PM

Punjab reports 191 new cases, total rises to 1,684

2:18 PM

Punjab CM inaugurates Covid-19 testing lab in Lahore

2:00 PM

Punjab schools directed to give 20pc concession in tuition fee

1:54 PM

Buzdar says various field hospitals will be made operational today

1:42 PM

'Nothing's being done on ground': CJP criticises govt measures to combat Covid-19

1:42 PM

Sindh CM directs officials to set up ICUs at 6 hospitals in Karachi

1:16 PM

Ready to become part of PM Imran's Corona Tiger Relief Force: Waqar Younis

1:01 PM

Chaman, Torkham borders opened for Afghan nationals to return

12:58 PM

109 deaths in India so far

12:53 PM

Punjab govt outlines rules for philanthropic activities in province

12:50 PM

SEE: The hilltop fortress town that cut itself off from the world — and coronavirus

12:47 PM

Sindh govt issues SOPs for burying Covid-19 patients

12:46 PM

UAE citizens in Pakistan have returned to 'homeland', announces ambassador

12:31 PM

Tokyo medical staff say Japan's 'state of emergency' already here

12:27 PM

Saudi Arabia reports 61 new cases, reports media

12:17 PM

UK official expects PM Johnson to return home 'shortly'

12:02 PM

New Zealand to stick with virus curbs despite signs of improvement

12:00 PM

WATCH: Dr Sania Nishtar explains how Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme works

Apr 06, 2020 08:45pm

4 new cases take Balochistan's tally to 202

Four new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Balochistan, taking the provincial tally to 202, according to a situation report issued by the Balochistan health department.

The province has so far reported one death while 63 people have recovered from the virus.

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Apr 06, 2020 08:24pm

Scramble for masks as Italian region orders coronavirus cover-up

Residents in Lombardy, the Italian region worst hit by the coronavirus, have been forced to scrounge scarce protective face masks or to improvise solutions of their own after authorities ordered anyone moving outside to cover their nose and mouth, Reuters reports.

Regional governor Attilio Fontana said the masks, which will be less elaborate than the top grade medical masks used in hospitals, would begin to be distributed this week, a month after Italy imposed a strict lockdown on March 9.

A man wearing a face mask sits at a bus stop, as the spread of Covid-19 continues in Milan, Italy, April 6. — Reuters
A man wearing a face mask sits at a bus stop, as the spread of Covid-19 continues in Milan, Italy, April 6. — Reuters

Apr 06, 2020 08:00pm

Bilawal lashes out at govt for violence against Quetta doctors

PPP co-chair Bilawal Bhutto Zardari lashed out at the government for the violence against young doctors in Quetta, terming the act “state thuggery”.

“Instead of providing them with the requisite protective gear, the government has sent them to jail. At a time when they are needed in hospitals doctors have been sent to jails. What kind of justice is this?” questioned Bilawal.

He said rather than fulfilling their deserving demands, the PTI government is quashing their basic human rights.

“The PPP is standing with you. Do not consider yourself alone,” he said in his message to Quetta's doctors.

Bilawal lamented that while doctors all around the world were being praised and supported for being on the frontlines in the war against the virus, “Pakistan’s state is sending them to jails.”
Bilawal lamented that while doctors all around the world were being praised and supported for being on the frontlines in the war against the virus, “Pakistan’s state is sending them to jails.”

Apr 06, 2020 08:13pm

English coronavirus death toll rises 403 to 4,897

England’s hospital death toll from the coronavirus rose by 403 to 4,897, Reuters quoted the National Health Service (NHS) as saying.

Apr 06, 2020 07:44pm

Balochistan confirms six more cases of coronavirus

Balochistan has confirmed six more cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the provincial tally to 198.

According to the provincial government's spokesperson, Liaquat Shahwani, as many as 126 persons were tested for the virus on Monday, of whom 6 tested positive.

The patients will be shifted to hospitals, he said.

Apr 06, 2020 07:40pm

Pakistan's forex reserves slump 12% in just weeks

Pakistan's foreign exchanges reserves plunged more than 12 per cent or $1.6 billion over just three weeks in March as the coronavirus outbreak roiled global financial markets, the latest data from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) showed.

As on March 27, forex reserves totalled $11.2 billion, down from $12.8 billion as on March 6, Reuters reports.

Apr 06, 2020 07:32pm

Germany draws up plans to relax lockdown after April 19

Germany has drawn up a list of steps, including mandatory mask-wearing in public, limits on gatherings and the rapid tracing of infection chains, to help enable a phased return to normal life after its coronavirus lockdown is set to end on April 19, Reuters reports.

A draft action plan compiled by German Interior Ministry and seen by Reuters, says the measures should be enough to keep the average number of people infected by one person below 1 even as public life is allowed gradually to resume.

An almost empty street is pictured as the spread of Covid-19 continues in Ruedesheim, Germany, April 5.— Reuters
An almost empty street is pictured as the spread of Covid-19 continues in Ruedesheim, Germany, April 5.— Reuters

Apr 06, 2020 07:26pm

Emirates, Etihad airlines resume limited passenger flights

UAE carriers Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways have resumed limited passenger flights two weeks after authorities grounded airlines as part of wider shutdowns to combat the coronavirus.

The flights are open to foreign citizens who wish to leave the United Arab Emirates, but no incoming passengers are allowed. Foreign residents of the oil-rich Gulf state are banned from re-entering until at least mid-April.

An Emirates aircraft takes off from Dubai International Airport on April 6. — AFP
An Emirates aircraft takes off from Dubai International Airport on April 6. — AFP

Apr 06, 2020 06:51pm

Accused of 'piracy', US denies diverting masks bound for Germany

The United States had no knowledge of a shipment of face masks bound for Germany that officials in Berlin have accused it of diverting from an airport in Bangkok, a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Thailand said.

“The United States Government did not take any action to divert any 3M supplies that were destined to Germany nor did we have any knowledge of such a shipment,” Jillian Bonnardeaux, the spokeswoman for the US embassy in Bangkok, told Reuters.

Read more here.

Apr 06, 2020 07:16pm

132 new cases confirmed in Punjab, tally rises to 1,816

132 new coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Punjab, taking the provincial tally to 1,816, according to a spokesperson for the Punjab health department.

Among the total, 577 cases were reported from quarantine centres housing pilgrims, 527 in people associated with Raiwind, 49 inmates and 663 other citizens.

The spokesperson said detailed SOPs have been issued to the home department to look after the patients in jails. A strategy has also been made to prevent other inmates from contracting the virus, they added.

Apr 06, 2020 05:49pm

Thousands of Pakistanis in UAE seek to return home

More than 20,000 Pakistani workers stuck in the United Arab Emirates are seeking to return home, as the Gulf Arab state tightens restrictions due to the coronavirus outbreak, Reuters reports.

The UAE, which has reported 1,799 coronavirus cases and 10 deaths, has gradually increased curbs, including imposing a nationwide curfew, suspending passenger flights and putting Dubai in a lockdown.

Read more here.

Apr 06, 2020 05:38pm

As infections balloon, coronavirus squeezes Europe's armed forces

Military forces across Europe have scaled back operations and imposed stricter rules on personnel to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus among staff who often live and work in close quarters, making them more vulnerable to infection, Reuters reported.

Preventing the virus’ proliferation among the military is important both for national security and because specialist army, navy and airforce units are being drafted in to help governments tackle the virus in many countries.

Read more here.

Soldiers patrol an empty Saint Mark's Square on Palm Sunday, following Covid-19 outbreak in Venice, Italy, April 5. — Reuters
Soldiers patrol an empty Saint Mark's Square on Palm Sunday, following Covid-19 outbreak in Venice, Italy, April 5. — Reuters

Apr 06, 2020 05:36pm

India to deploy interactive robot 'Zafi' in corona isolation wards

A medical staff walks past the interactive robot 'Zafi', which will be deployed at Covid-19 isolation wards, during a demo at Stanley Medical Hospital on April 6, 2020. — AFP
A medical staff walks past the interactive robot 'Zafi', which will be deployed at Covid-19 isolation wards, during a demo at Stanley Medical Hospital on April 6, 2020. — AFP

Apr 06, 2020 05:28pm

Muzaffargarh police distribute rations among lower-income people

Muzaffargarh police distributed rations among the needy in the district as the country's fight against Covid-19 intensifies.

According to spokesman of the city's police, ration bags containing supplies for 15 days were distributed among more than 700 lower-income people.

The police had earlier collected around Rs1.5 million for the purpose of helping out poor people.

Apr 06, 2020 05:14pm

Asad Qaiser inquires after health of Iranian speaker diagnosed with Covid-19

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has written a letter to Iran's parliament speaker Ali Larijani, who was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus last week.

Qaiser inquired after Larijani's health and said that it was important that the world stands together to face the health challenge, which "poses a threat to the well-being of the entire humanity". The NA speaker said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had called for the lifting of sanctions from Iran so that the country can access resources to fight the disease.

Apr 06, 2020 05:01pm

Lahore CCPO distributes money among families of infected police officials

Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Zulfiqar Hamid has distributed money among families of five police officials who have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

The CCPO inquired after the health of the sick officials and was told that they were getting better. The families expressed satisfaction over the treatment provided to the police officials.

Apr 06, 2020 04:31pm

166 people arrested in Sindh for violating Section 144 of CrPC

Sindh police claimed to have arrested 166 people for violating Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The charges against the arrested also include hoarding of masks and sanistisers.

According to police, a total of 1,464 people have been arrested in the province for violating Section 144 since March 23, when the Sindh government imposed the ongoing lockdown.

Apr 06, 2020 04:13pm

Tableeghi Jamaat members in KP to be sent back to respective provinces after being tested: Wazir

Adviser to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister on information, Ajmal Wazir, stated that there are currently around 5,000 Tableeghi Jamaat members in the province, of which 30 per cent are from KP.

He stated that the CM had directed officials to provide those members that had tested positive for Covid-19 all possible medical facilities and resources.

"They will all be tested before being sent to their respective provinces," he said.

Apr 06, 2020 04:04pm

Indian PM Modi, top ministers to take 30pc cut in salaries as country battles virus

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other top government figures will take a 30 per cent salary cut this year, Reuters reported while quoting a government minister.

The decision has been taken as the country tackles the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the economy.

The federal cabinet has approved a decree under which Modi, along with President Ram Nath Kovind, state governors and members of parliament, will take the salary cut as part of their social responsibility, cabinet minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters.

Apr 06, 2020 04:01pm

PIA agrees to provide protective gear to pilots

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has agreed to provide pilots and plane crew members with personal protective equipment, including gloves and N-95 masks, which were recently brought from China.

Planes will also be sprayed thrice with a disinfectant spray before they take off, the PIA spokesperson said.

Pakistan Airline Pilots Association had earlier demanded the government to look into safety measures taken for pilots.

Apr 06, 2020 03:59pm

2 more Covid-19 deaths reported in Sindh

Two more coronavirus deaths have been reported in Sindh, according to provincial government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab, bringing the total number of deaths in the province to 17.

Apr 06, 2020 03:53pm

Punjab extends partial lockdown till April 14

The Punjab government has extended the partial lockdown in the province till April 14, according to Radio Pakistan.

According to a notification issued, the provincial government has asked citizens to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Apr 06, 2020 03:52pm

Protesting doctors arrested in Quetta

Police has arrested protesting doctors near Red Zone in Quetta.

According to Young Doctors Association (YDA) president Dr Yasir Achakzai, YDA and paramedical staff in Balochistan staged a protest against the unavailability of Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) in their fight against Covid-19.

They were later baton-charged by security forces and dozens of them were arrested near Red Zone, he alleged.

"Yes, the police arrested dozens of protesting doctors today," Razzaq Cheema, Quetta deputy inspector general police, confirmed, not commenting on the allegations of high-handedness.

The president of YDA also announced a boycott of young doctors' services from government hospitals. "We suspend all our services following highhandedness of police," Dr Yasir Khan said.

A video, allegedly of the protest, has also been making rounds on social media.

Apr 06, 2020 03:47pm

Spain's pace of coronavirus deaths slows again

Spain’s pace of new coronavirus deaths has slowed for the fourth day as the government contemplated a gradual easing of a lockdown since mid-March in the country with the second highest death toll from the pandemic, Reuters reported.

Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez said it was crucial going forward to widen testing to enable restrictions to be lifted.

“We are preparing ourselves for de-escalation for which it is important to know who is contaminated,” she said.

Read more here.

Apr 06, 2020 03:42pm

3,800 ventilators available in Pakistan, says NDMA chairman

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal said that there are over 3,800 ventilators available in the country, while an additional 2,000 will be imported from China, reported Radio Pakistan.

Briefing a meeting of the parliamentary committee in Islamabad, he said that 500 ventilators will reach Pakistan by Thursday while 29,000 protective kits for doctors and paramedical staff have been distributed to the provinces.

Apr 06, 2020 02:53pm

Donkey King characters assemble against coronavirus

The characters of animated film Donkey King have made a united comeback to fight against the novel coronavirus with a brand new anthem, Darna Nahi, Larna Hai.

Read more here.

Apr 06, 2020 02:51pm

2 Covid-19 deaths reported in Punjab

At least two more deaths have been reported in Punjab, according to provincial primary and secondary health department spokesperson Qaiser Asif, taking the provincial death toll to 15.

Of these deaths, seven have been reported in Lahore, four in Rawalpindi, one in Rahim Yar Khan, one in Faisalabad and one in Gujrat, he added.

Apr 06, 2020 02:28pm

Punjab reports 191 new cases, total rises to 1,684

Punjab has reported another 191 cases, according to provincial primary and secondary health department spokesperson Qaiser Asif, taking the provincial total to 1,684.

Apr 06, 2020 02:00pm

Punjab schools directed to give 20pc concession in tuition fee

Punjab government has directed private schools in the province to give 20 per cent concession in tuition fee in addition to collecting the fees of the following two months separately.

Furthermore, no employee shall lose their job, Buzdar said.

Apr 06, 2020 02:21pm

Buzdar says various field hospitals will be made operational today

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has said that multiple field hospitals in various cities of the province will become operational.

Apr 06, 2020 01:42pm

'Nothing's being done on ground': CJP criticises govt measures to combat Covid-19

CJP Gulzar Ahmed has criticised measures taken by government, says "everyone is talking about funds". — PID/File
CJP Gulzar Ahmed has criticised measures taken by government, says "everyone is talking about funds". — PID/File

Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed has berated the government's efforts to combat the novel coronavirus, saying that "nothing is being done on ground".

While hearing an appeal against Islamabad High Court's verdict regarding the release of under-trial prisoners due to the coronavirus outbreak, the chief justice said that the government had closed OPDs of all hospitals, leaving no place for patients to seek treatment.

"Hospitals have been closed when we need them. Up till now, 10 hospitals with 1,000 beds each should have been made operational.

"Everyone is talking about funds, no one is doing anything. The public has been left at the mercy of God," he remarked. The chief justice also criticised government's efforts to encourage people to stay indoors in order to curb the spread of the disease.

Apr 06, 2020 01:42pm

Sindh CM directs officials to set up ICUs at 6 hospitals in Karachi

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has directed officials to establish intensive care units (ICUs) at six hospitals in Karachi.

Chairing a meeting of the provincial health department, the chief minister said that the ICUs will be set up at Civil Hospital, Jinnah Hospital, Lyari General Hospital, Trauma Centre, Dow Ojha Campus and Services Hospital.

"We are preparing wards in advance so that there isn't an issue in the future in case of an emergency," the chief minister said.

Apr 06, 2020 01:16pm

Ready to become part of PM Imran's Corona Tiger Relief Force: Waqar Younis

Pakistan national cricket team's bowling coach Waqar Younis said that he is ready to become a part of Prime Minister Imran Khan's Corona Tiger Relief Force.

Addressing a video conference in Karachi, Younis said: "I have known Imran for a long time. He is taking decisions — regarding the coronavirus situation in the country — after careful deliberation."

Apr 06, 2020 01:01pm

Chaman, Torkham borders opened for Afghan nationals to return

Pakistan government has decided to open the Chaman and Torkham border points for four days, starting from today so that Afghan nationals who wish to return to their country can travel, Radio Pakistan reported.

According to the Foreign Office, the borders were opened on Afghan government's request.

Read full story here.

Apr 06, 2020 12:53pm

Punjab govt outlines rules for philanthropic activities in province

The Punjab government has issued a notification outlining the rules under which welfare activities can be carried out in the province.

"Any individual, organisation or any other entity that intends to undertake philanthropic activity on its own, shall have to submit an application to the deputy commissioner [...] who shall determine the mode, area and extent of the activity," the statement reads.

Apr 06, 2020 12:47pm

Sindh govt issues SOPs for burying Covid-19 patients

The Sindh health department has issued guidelines for burying those who have died due to the coronavirus.

According to the guidelines, the deceased but not be touched and those performing the burial must maintain distance and minimise exposure.

Apr 06, 2020 12:31pm

Tokyo medical staff say Japan's 'state of emergency' already here

Japan's medical staff say a shortage of beds and a rise in cases linked to hospitals are pushing Tokyo’s medical system to the brink of collapse, Reuters reported.

The crisis has already arrived at Eiju General Hospital, a pink, 10-storey building in central Tokyo, which has reported 140 cases of Covid-19 in the past two weeks. Of those, at least 44 are doctors, nurses and other medical staff.

On a recent weekday, the glass doors of Eiju General were plastered with posters saying the hospital was closed until further notice.

Japan is facing a fresh wave of coronavirus infections and the government is preparing for a state of emergency.

Apr 06, 2020 12:17pm

UK official expects PM Johnson to return home 'shortly'

In response to questions if UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson — who is hospitalised due to continuing symptoms of the coronavirus — should temporarily step back, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said that the premier "remains in charge of the government", Reuters reported.

Jenrick added that he expects Johnson to return to Number 10, Downing Street shortly.

Apr 06, 2020 12:02pm

New Zealand to stick with virus curbs despite signs of improvement

New Zealand will stick to its tough curbs to combat the coronavirus, despite some early signs the spread of the illness has been stabilising, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“Our actions for the remainder of the period in level four will be about doubling down to ensure the gains made in the first half are not squandered in the second,” Ardern told reporters in Wellington, according to Reuters.

“I don't want New Zealand to be at level four for a minute longer than needed, but equally there is no plan to move from level four early,” Ardern added.