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Coronavirus Live Updates April 17, 2020: Pakistan cases surpass 7,000

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI/LAHORE/PESHAWAR: The novel coronavirus continues to take hold of Pakistan and the entire world, as the number of confirmed cases across the country rose to 7, 035 on Friday after new infections were confirmed in the country.

According to the National Command and Command Center, overall 135 people have succumbed to the disease while 1765 have made full recovery.

In the last 24 hours, 497 new cases have been reported from across Pakistan.

Total confirmed cases: 7,025

• Sindh: 2,008

• Punjab: 3,276

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 9993

• Balochistan: 303

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 154

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 245

• AJK: 46

Deaths: 135

At least 143,744 people globally have died from COVID-19 and 2,141,854 have been infected by the novel coronavirus that causes it, following an outbreak that started in Wuhan, China, in early December. The World Health Organization referred to it as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.

86,220 new cases of COVID-19 and 7,077 deaths were reported in the previous day.

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LIVE UPDATES

7:00pm: US to contribute $8.4m to help Pakistan combat Covid-19

The United States Ambassador to Pakistan Paul Jones has announced that the country will contribute $8.4 million to help Pakistan combat the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some $3m from the contribution will be used to provide three new mobile labs in Pakistan’s coronavirus hotspots to increase its testing and monitoring capacity while high-tech emergency operations centres will be established in Islamabad, Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Part of the contribution will also be used to train healthcare workers to reach people in their homes so that burden on hospitals can be reduced.

6:45pm: Sindh inks MoU with AKU

Sindh Health Department signed an MoU with AKU Global for training of healthcare professionals working in public sector for #Covid_19 critical care.

This is a free of cost training & technical assistance provided by AKUH. #SindhHealth

6:30pm: UK hospital COVID-19 death toll rises 847 to 14,576

The United Kingdom’s hospital death toll from COVID-19 rose 847 to 14,576, as of 1600 GMT on April 16, the health ministry said.

“341,551 people have been tested of which 108,692 tested positive,” the health ministry said.

5:51pm – Karachi, Pakistan — PPP chairman hits out at govt

Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has hit out at the government for its failure to announce a major relief package for doctors, nurses, frontline fighters and daily wage earners.

“In the middle of global pandemic, we have not announced major relief packages for our doctors, nurses, frontline fighters or even daily wage earners who have been hardest hit by lockdown,” said the PP chairman. He noted that Pakistan has announced a major relief for construction industry during the coronavirus pandemic.

7:25pm: Germany to extend lockdown

Germany wants to extend social distancing rules by an additional two weeks until May 3, according to a draft proposal agreed between Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of the country’s 16 states seen by Reuters.

The proposals include reopening schools gradually starting May 4, with priority given to primary and secondary pupils in final years, while daycare centres will remain shut. Schools must prepare a hygiene plan before they reopen their doors.

Religious gatherings will remain banned while some retailers will be allowed to open.

6:25pm: There is no time to waste, says WHO boss

WHO head Tedros Adhanom: “There is no time to waste. WHO’s singular focus is on working to serve all people to save lives and stop the #COVID19 pandemic. One of the main things we’ve learned in the past months about #COVID19 is that the faster all cases are found, tested, isolated & cared for, the harder we make it for the virus to spread. This principle will save lives & mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic.”

3:25pm: Karachi, Sindh — KU announces start of online classes

As the on-campus activities have come to a grinding halt due to the ongoing pandemic the Covid-19, many universities are trying to conduct the online classes, the University of Karachi, the largest university of Pakistan, is also gearing itself to conduct online classes.

“We need to ensure that the learning process continues. Given the number of students at the University of Karachi, we need to make sure that our house is in order before we start online classes. We do not want to go for any misadventure in this regard. What we need is a well thought out strategy to enable each and every student to learn and meet the course learning objectives.” This was stated by the KU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi in a high level meeting held in this regard at the Vice Chancellor Secretariat on Wednesday.

2:25pm: Karachi, Sindh — Getz Pharma donates 15,000 kits to Sindh government

1:30pm: New Delhi, India — India announces easing restrictions next week in rural areas

India will permit several activities in rural areas starting next week, including manufacturing and infrastructure building, to provide relief to workers impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown, the government said.

The Home Ministry guidelines came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a nationwide lockdown to May 3.

The easing of the lockdown would start next Monday and take place only in those rural areas where there were no COVID-19 containment zones or hotspots, a Home Ministry release said.

1:05pm: Karachi, Sindh — 133 persons recover from coronavirus in Sindh over the past 24 hours

1:00pm: Wellington, New Zealand — Prime Minister Ardern takes 20% pay cut 

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, ministers in her government and public service chief executives will take a 20% pay cut for the next six months amid the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported.

New Zealand’s offices, schools and non-essential services have been closed for the last three weeks, and economic activity is at a standstill as the country undertakes one of the strictest lockdowns globally.

12:00: Tokyo, Japan — Japan estimates deaths of over 400,000 if containment measures are not taken

Japan’s death toll from the novel coronavirus could reach 400,000 without measures to stem the contagion, according to a health ministry projection reported by local media.

A ministry team studying clusters of the disease estimated that serious cases needing ventilator intervention could reach 850,000, Kyodo and the Asahi newspaper reported.

The projections are based on research from Hokkaido University professor Hiroshi Nishiura, one of the infectious disease experts guiding the government’s response to the outbreak.

The health ministry could not immediately confirm the report.

11:00: Karachi, Sindh — CM Sindh presides meeting to enforce SOPs on businesses allowed to open

April 15, 10:00AM — CM Punjab announces Punjab to carry out 10,000 tests per day

Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar has announced that the province will soon be capable of carrying out 10,000 tests per day.

The CM stated that Punjab has so far carried out 43,000 tests, adding that field hospitals with the capacity to keep 4,500 patients have been set up.

The CM also announced that the bed capacity of the field hospitals can reach 10,000.

April 13: The number of Coronavirus infection cases in the country has reached 5,374.

These include 2594 in Punjab, 1411 in Sindh, 744 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 230 in Balochistan, 224 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 131 in Islamabad, and 40 in Azad Kashmir.

1,095 patients have recovered and 93 have died.

Meanwhile, worldwide death toll from coronavirus pandemic has risen to 112,510 and more than one point eight million declared cases have been registered in over 190 countries and territories.

9:00AM: Avoid unnecessary use of N95 masks

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr. Zafar Mirza has advised the people to avoid unnecessary use of N95 mask and strictly follow the social distancing and other precautionary measures to combat coronavirus effectively.

At a daily news briefing in Islamabad, he said that N95 mask is relevant to only frontline health teams and should not be used by citizens in wake of prevailing increasing demand and supply situation.

Dr Zafar Mirza said important decisions regarding the next strategy are likely to be announced by the Prime Minister Imran Khan after meeting of National Coordination Committee today.

1:10, April 11: US becomes first country to record over 2000 coronavirus deaths

The US becomes the first country to record more than 2,000 coronavirus deaths in one day, with 2,108 fatalities in the past 24 hours, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally

1:00, April 11: WHO issues dire warning

The WHO issued a dire warning that prematurely lifting lockdown restrictions could spark a dangerous resurgence of the disease

10:42pm — Karachi, Pakistan — CAA says general flight operations to remain suspended till April 21

3:03pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — KP’s focal person on coronavirus shares ‘success story of targeted lockdown’

07:38pm —  Islamabad, Pakistan — Jump in city’s tally by 16 leads to shutting down of Taramari Chowk area

The deputy commissioner of Islamabad has notified the closure of the area around Taramari Chowk in Islamabad after it was found people were violating social distancing directives.

Sixteen more cases have surfaced in Islamabad as a result of ignoring the government’s calls to exercise “maximum social distancing”.

06:35pm — Karachi, Pakistan — More than 70% cases in Karachi local transmissions

The Sindh health department spokesperson has warned Karachi citizens to “Stay at home!”, saying that more than 70% of the city’s cases are local transmissions.

“Tell [your] friends and family of stay at home! If you can’t do it for others at least do it for yourself!” she has pleaded.

4:47pm – Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran to hold telethon on Friday: PTI senator

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Senator Faisal Javaid announced that Prime Minister Imran Khan will do a telethon for the corona relief fund on Friday.

The senator stated that the telethon will be broadcast live on at 5pm tomorrow.


4:42pm – Sukkur, Pakistan — Police arrest four for robbing needy in name of Ehsaas Programme

Sukkur Police on Thursday booked four for deceiving needy in name of Ehsaas Kifalat Program – which was launched to provide aid to the impoverished segment of the society.

“The alleged culprits, who were working as machine operators in the government camps, were arrested after few women filed complaint against them,” said SSP Irfan Samo.

The accused used to demand money ranging from Rs400-500 from the needy with a promise to get them quick aid through the program, the police official said, adding that around Rs40,000 were also obtained from the accused.


4:29pm – Islamabad, Pakistan — Foreign ministry donates N-95 and surgical masks to  PIMS

The foreign ministry handed over 1,000 N-95 masks and 1,000 surgical masks to the officials in PIMS Islamabad. The spokesperson stated that the relief equipment was handed over to the PIMS management by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.


4:04pm – Islamabad, Pakistan — Medical professionals seeking to become part of tiger force to be deployed immediately

The civil and military leadership has decided to seek help from the medical professionals who have registered to become a part of the corona tiger force.

The forum decided to deploy more than 10,000 people associated with the medical field at once, it also decided that the medical professionals will be sent across the province. The forum also tasked Special Assistant to Prime Minister Usman Dar to increase the registration of more paramedics and doctors.


3:02pm – Madrid, Spain — Spain’s daily coronavirus deaths decrease as toll surpasses 15,000

Spain’s number of daily coronavirus deaths slowed on Thursday after two days of increases as 683 people succumbed in 24 hours, taking the total to 15,238, the health ministry said.

Overall detected cases rose to 152,446 from 146,690 on Wednesday, it added


2:51pm – Karachi, Pakistan — Seven of a family test positive in Sindh: CM Murad Ali Shah

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah on Thursday urged citizens to be more vigilant for adapting preventive measures after seven members of the same family contracted coronavirus in Sindh.

“This local transmission of cases is what we had feared since always”, he said, adding that the needy should actively participate in ration drives but should not take the virus home.


2:48pm – DI Khan, Pakistan — Quarantine centre to emptied soon

Deputy Commissioner of D I Khan stated that the quarantine centre set up in the district will be emptied soon. He added that a total of 282 people were brought in the centre set up in Gomal Medical college.

The DC shared that 253 pilgrims completed their isolation period and have returned to their homes, while 29 people left will soon return home after completing their time.

2:00pm: Woman passes away in Kurram District

A 70 year old woman passed away in Kurram District after becoming infected with coronavirus – now 4 new cases have emerged there – all of them are her family members: a 49-year-old man, a 50-year-old woman & two teenaged girls – the area of about 90 houses is under lockdown

1:00pm: Sindh CM strict enforcement of lockdown

Expressing alarm at rapid increase in local transmission of coronavirus cases in the province, Sindh CM orders police and Rangers to enforce lockdown stringently

12:00pm, April 8: Sindh announces  20 percent reduction in school fee

Following in Punjab’s footsteps, Sindh government has directed private schools in the province to reduce fee for the month of April and May by 20 percent to facilitate parents during the coronavirus pandemic.

9:00pm, April 7: Imran Khan phones Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan

Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephone conversation with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today. The Prime Minister offered condolences to the people and the Government of Turkey over the loss of precious lives as a result of COVID-19. Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed Pakistan’s abiding support and solidarity with Turkey, including in Turkey’s efforts to combat the pandemic. The Prime Minister also conveyed thanks for facilitation of stranded Pakistanis by Turkish authorities in the aftermath of discontinuation of flight operations. The two leaders agreed that Pakistan and Turkey must work together and reinforce each other’s efforts in the fight against COVID-19.

1:00pm: SC to be briefed on coronavirus situation

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Special Assistant to Prime  Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza will brief the Supreme Court about coronavirus victims and distribution of funds and rations today. Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and other SC judges would attend the briefing.

12:00pm: Rouhani urges IMF to give Tehran its requested loan

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani urged the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday to give the country its requested $5 billion emergency funding to help Tehran fight the coronavirus outbreak.

“I urge international organisations to fulfill their duties…we are a member of the IMF…There should be no discrimination in giving loans,” Rouhani said in a televised cabinet meeting.

Rouhani also criticised US sanctions on Iran as “economic and medical terrorism”.

8:00pm, Apirl 7: PM send good wishes to British counterpart

Prime Minister Imran Khan has conveyed best wishes and prayers for the earliest recovery and good health of Prime Minister Boris Johnson. In his letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister has also underscored the importance of Pakistan and UK working together to overcome the formidable challenges posed by COVID-19 and building a safer world.

9:00: April 7: Global death toll crosses 73, 000

The pandemic’s relentless death march across the planet has already claimed more than 73,000 victims out of 1.32 million confirmed cases, with warnings that much worse is yet to come.

A record new surge of 833 deaths in France and a jump in the Italian death toll on Monday doused tentative hopes of a beginning to the end of the agony in European hotspots.

And the United States recorded 1,150 deaths over 24 hours, Johns Hopkins University said.

British PM shifted to intensive care unit

Britain’s prime minister was battling the coronavirus in intensive care, the highest-profile case in the pandemic that continued to chalk up new death toll milestones in the United States and Europe.

Boris Johnson’s fight against the disease underscored the indiscriminate nature of COVID-19, which has restricted freedoms for some four billion people, wrecked the global economy and upended society.

The worldwide number of officially confirmed fatalities from the novel coronavirus now stands at above 65,000, according to a Reuters tally.

More than 1 million declared cases have been registered in 200 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. Of these cases, at least 250,000 are now considered recovered.

1:00: April 6: Punjab CM announces 20 % fee cut for schools

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has announced that all private and public schools will be asked to charge only 80 percent of their monthly fee during the vacations.

12:00: Punjab CM Usman Buzdar shares update on coronavirus cases in the province

Punjab has so far recorded 1494 cases of coronavirus, out of which 843 are in quarantine. As many as 484 belong to the Tableeghi jamaat while 303 are Shia pilgrims who returned from Iran. 49 cases are in jail.

District-wise break up

Districts: LHR 290, Nankana 13, Kasur 8, RWP 58, Jhelum 30, GRW 32, Sialkot 17, Narowal 5, Gujrat 93, Hafizabad 6, MBD 14, Multan 4, Vehari 9, FSD 15, Chiniot 6, TTS 2, RYK 3, Sargodha 5, Mianwali 3, BWN 9, BWP 3, Lodhran 3, DGK 18 and Layyah, Okara, Attock, Khushab & SKP 1 each.

11: 30: April 6, 2020: Germany reports fourth straight drop in daily rate of new coronavirus infections

Germany’s confirmed coronavirus infections rose by 3,677 in the past 24 hours to 95,391 on Monday, the fourth straight drop in the daily rate of new cases, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.

The number of new cases was lower than the 5,936 new infections reported on Sunday.

The reported death toll rose by 92 to 1,434.

11: 20: April 6, 2020: China sees rise in coronavirus cases

4:40PM, April 4, 2020: Spain’s death toll decreases second time in a row

Spain recorded a second successive daily drop in coronavirus-related deaths with 809 fatalities, official figures showed Saturday.
The total number of deaths in Spain now stands at 11,744, second only to Italy. A record 950 people died on Thursday.
The number of new cases also slowed at 7,026, taking the total to 124,736.
Recoveries over the last 24 hours stood at 3,706, taking that total to 34,219

4:00PM, April 4, 2020: Beijing, China — China holds three-minute silence for coronavirus heroes

A day of remembrance was declared in China on Saturday to honour the more than 3,300 people who died of Covid-19.

At 10:00 local time (03:00 GMT), people stood still nationwide for three minutes in tribute to the dead.

Cars, trains and ships then sounded their horns, air raid sirens rang as flags were flown at half-mast.

The first cases of coronavirus were detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province late last year.

3:30PM, April 4, 2020: Tehran, Iran — More than 150 die in Iran, according to health ministry

As many as 158 more people died from the coronavirus in Iran on Saturday, taking the death toll in the country to over 3,400 as per the country’s health ministry.

3:00PM, April 4, 2020: Kuwait reports first coronavirus death

Kuwait has recorded its first death from the coronavirus outbreak, state news agency KUNA reported, citing a health ministry spokesman.

The total number of people diagnosed with the disease increased by 62 in the past 24 hours to 479 cases, he said, according to KUNA. 

2:00PM, April 4, 2020: Netherlands death toll soars to 1,651

The confirmed death toll from the coronavirus in the Netherlands has risen by 164 to 1,651, health authorities said.

The National Institute for Health (RIVM) said the total number of infections had increased by 6 percent to 16,627 over the past 24 hours.

The actual number of deaths and infections is higher than the official figure due to a lack of widespread testing for the coronavirus, the RIVM has said.

1:20PM, April 4, 2020: Peshawar, Pakistan: KP govt runs awareness campaign against coronavirus

1:00PM, April 4, 2020: WHO urges disabled persons to inform family, friends in case they contract coronavirus

12:30PM, April 4, 2020: Karachi, Pakistan: Another 9 persons recover in Sindh

Sindh government representative Murtaza Wahab says another nine persons have recovered from the coronavirus.

12:00PM, April 4, 2020: Islamabad, Pakistan: PM Imran calls for a ‘balance’ between lockdown and countrywide hunger

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday tweeted about striking a balance between a lockdown and keeping people from going hungry around the country, in a couple of tweets.

11:30PM, April 4, 2020: Tel Aviv, Israel: Infections across Israel rise to 4,278, 41 reported dead

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Israel has risen to 7,428, according to the health ministry.

To date, 41 people have died from COVID-19.

11:00PM, April 4, 2020: Global cases tally crosses 1.1 million, more than 58,000 die

The number of confirmed coronavirus infections has passed 1.1 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

At least 181 countries and territories in the US have been touched by the virus, which has killed over 58,900 people. Over 226,600 people have recovered.

10:15PM, April 4, 2020: Canberra, Australia: Temporary visa holders should go home, says Australia

There are 2.17 million foreigners currently in Australia on different temporary visas, and are “extremely valuable to the Australian economy and way of life,” Alan Tudge, the acting immigration minister, said Saturday in a statement.

But, Tudge said, “temporary visa holders who are unable to support themselves under these arrangements over the next six months are strongly encouraged to return home…For these individuals, it’s time to go home, and they should make arrangements as quickly as possible.”

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