- With over 85,000 cases, US now the global epicenter of coronavirus
- Cases in Pakistan cross the 1,200 mark
- PIA withdraws decision to operate special flights to Canada and UK
- Pakistan decides to seal areas with coronavirus cases
- Sindh & Balochistan ban congregational prayers
- Pakistan pays tribute to doctors, nurses, & paramedics today
With over 85,000 infections so far, US now tops the world in coronavirus cases overtaking China and Italy. In terms of death toll, however, Italy remains the worst hit with the virus having claimed over 8,000 lives so far, followed by Spain where over 4,000 people have lost their battle against COVID-19.
Pakistan is seeing a continuous surge in its virus tally too with confirmed cases crossing 1,200 and its toll risen by one on Thursday to nine. Both the center and the local governments are scrambling to contain the spread with nearly all cities already locked down.
The federal and provincial governments have also decided to seal the areas where new cases appear, some examples being Bhara Khau, Shehzad Town, and Ramsha Colony of Islamabad that have been sealed off by the capital administration over the past two days after reporting coronavirus cases.
Sindh on Thursday banned congregational prayers, including Friday prayers, from March 27 till April 5 in all mosques across the province in an extension of its efforts to curb the pandemic. The decision came soon after the meeting between President Alvi and ulema of different sects failed to reach a consensus on banning mass prayers. Balochistan joined Sindh in the ban later in the day.
PIA on Thursday withdrew its decision to operate four special flights to Canada and UK on government directives. The govt had announced to fly these special flights on humanitarian grounds to transport passengers who were stuck in Pakistan, but the decision was withdrawn seeing the sharp spike of coronavirus cases in UK and North America.
On Friday (today), Pakistan will pay tribute to the nation’s heroes – the doctors, nurses, and paramedics – risking their lives to battle coronavirus ion the country. To do this, citizens are encouraged to wave white flags at 6pm from their rooftops and windows.
Here are the latest updates.
Punjab overtakes Sindh with 29 new cases
Punjab has reported 29 new cases with the province’s tally, now 448, crossing Sindh’s 440.
Until now, Sindh was Pakistan’s worst-hit province with the most coronavirus cases registered.
KP records 4 new coronavirus cases
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has registered four new coronavirus cases with its virus tally climbing to 180.
Of these, Mardan has reported the highest number of cases at 79.
UK health minister tests positive for coronavirus
Hours after PM Boris Johnson announced that he was infected with coronavirus and was in self-quarantine, UK’s health minister Matt Hancock has also said that he has tested positive for the virus.
Following medical advice, I was advised to test for #Coronavirus.
I‘ve tested positive. Thankfully my symptoms are mild and I’m working from home & self-isolating.
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) March 27, 2020
Sindh tightens lockdown; grocery stores to close by 5 pm
All grocery stores in Sindh have been ordered to close by 5 pm by CM Murad Ali Shah. Previously, they were allowed to operate between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm.
He highlighted the measure had been taken due to a ‘dangerous trend’ of local transmissions where 10% of the reported cases were locally spread.
PM Imran Khan briefs media over coronavirus measures
Prime Minister Imran Khan has interacted with media on the coronavirus situation in the country and the govt’s response. Below are the highlights of what he said:
- All provinces, AJK & GB to lift restrictions imposed on the movement of goods transport
- All provinces to ensure food industries and industries linked with food production remain functional
- No guarantee Covid-19 cases will not sharply rise in the country in coming weeks
- Youth force titled ‘Corona Relief Tigers’ to help in the government’s coronavirus response to be formed
- Coronavirus relief fund to be set up to support daily wagers and poor segments of society
- Overseas Pakistanis to be asked to deposit funds into SBP account to help lift the pressure off the rupee
- Balochistan govt didn’t have funds to provide facilities to pilgrims
A 10-minute, $1 coronavirus test at home?
Validation trials for a COVID-19 diagnostic test that can be done at home, gives results in ten minutes, and costs $1, are already underway.
Until a vaccine is ready, widespread testing is seen as one of the most important strategies used to flatten the curve. The said test can be a game-changer for slowing the spread of the contagion through cheap, fast, and timely detection.
Spain hits a new high in single-day toll
Registering a record 769 deaths overnight, Spain’s national coronavirus toll has jumped to 4,858.
The total number of confirmed cases in Spain has crossed 64,000.
France’s youngest coronavirus victim is a 16-year-old girl
A 16-year-old girl has become the youngest coronavirus victim in France. The virus, that more often afflicts the elderly or people with underlying health conditions, has killed nearly 1,700 people in France so far.
“From the start, we were told that the virus doesn’t affect young people. We believed it, like everyone else,” said the girl’s mother.
— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) March 27, 2020
BREAKING: British PM tests positive for coronavirus
British PM Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus.
“Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus,” he said in a tweet.
Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.
I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus.
— Boris Johnson #StayHomeSaveLives (@BorisJohnson) March 27, 2020
Canada implements Quarantine Act
Canada is implementing the Quarantine Act, PM Justin Trudeau said in a tweet, to keep all Canadians safe.
It makes it mandatory for all those coming back to Canada to stay home for at least 14 days or ‘face serious fines or prison time’.
We are implementing the Quarantine Act to keep all Canadians safe. So let me be clear: If you do not go home and stay home for at least 14 days after coming back into Canada, you could face serious fines or prison time.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) March 26, 2020
Russia, Indonesia report highest daily rise
In a new daily record, Russia has recorded 192 new coronavirus cases with its national tally rising to 1,036.
Indonesia too has registered 153 new COVID-19 cases in its biggest daily rise so far. The country now stands at 1,046 infections.
NEW CASES: Punjab 11, Sindh 19
11 new COVID-19 cases have emerged in Punjab with the new patients being kept in isolation wards.
Sindh also has registered addition of 19 more coronavirus cases. 11 new cases reported in Karachi and one in Hyderabad are of local transmission.
Other seven cases were detected in Larkana among pilgrims returning from Pak-Iran border.
Who is at risk of becoming severely ill?
WHO says that more at risk of becoming severely ill from coronavirus are those with a con-communicable/pre-existing disease like cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes, and cancer.
You may catch #COVID19 and be at risk of becoming severely ill, if you've a noncommunicable disease/a pre-existing condition such as:
❗️Chronic respiratory disease
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) March 26, 2020
No evidence of airborne transmission: WHO
A study published earlier this month suggested that the coronavirus could linger in aerosols — the suspension of tiny particles or droplets in the air — for up to three hours.
But this experiment doesn’t reflect the situation in the real world, and so doesn’t offer any evidence of airborne transmission, said the World Health Organization in its daily coronavirus report on Thursday.
Jhelum village sealed off by district admin
Two days after a resident died of coronavirus, the district administration has sealed off Mohrah Akkrah in Sohawa tehsil, Jhelum.
The victim had a recent travel history to the UK. According to the region’s police spokesperson, all residents of the area are being tested for the virus.
Second Chinese shipment of coronavirus kits arrives in Karachi
Send shipment of coronavirus testing and protective gear has arrived in Karachi from China. Alibaba and Jack Ma Foundation sent the shipment to Pakistan to fight Coronavirus.
Shipment includes 56,000 testing kits and other medical equipment. NDMA will take hold of the equipment and will disburse it to various stations throughout Pakistan.
Governor Sindh Imran Ismail received the aid at Karachi International Airport.
President Alvi and Bilawal urge citizens to pray at home
Like on the previous Jumu'ah I will pray Zohar at home. I follow a very considerate Prophet ﷺ who allowed people to pray in their homes to avoid rain or cold weather or even to avoid a sickness. My prayer is that 'May Allah forgive us and help us overcome this Corona pandemic'.
— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) March 27, 2020
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) March 27, 2020
Punjab joins Sindh & Balochistan in banning mass prayers
Following the footsteps of Sindh and Balochistan, Punjab too has suspended congregational prayers across the province, including the five-time mandatory and Friday prayers.
The congregational prayer is restricted to 3 to 5 people of the mosque staff only.
علماء کرام کی رائے و رہنمائی اور طبی ماہرین کی ہدایات کے مطابق پنجاب بھر کی تمام مساجد میں صرف 3 سے 5 افراد (خطیب/امام/مؤذن/خدمت گار) نماز جمعہ و نماز پنجگانہ ادا کریں گے تاکہ اس موذی مرض سے بچا جا سکے#PunjabCoronavirusUpdate pic.twitter.com/frIRCdF2NX
— Government of Punjab (@GOPunjabPK) March 27, 2020
KP reports 24 new cases
24 new coronavirus cases have been reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said provincial health ministry official Zain Raza.
G20 nations pledge $5 trillion to fight coronavirus
G20 nations have pledged a “united front” in the fight against coronavirus.
To counter the pandemic amid forecasts of a deep recession, the G20 nations are injecting $5 trillion into the global economy.
Read the full story here.
Two paramedics in Israel, a Muslim and Jew, take a break to pray together
View this post on Instagram
Two paramedics in Israel, a Muslim and Jew, recently took a break to pray together — one in the direction of Mecca, the other facing Jerusalem. The two paramedics — Avraham Mintz, a religious Jew, and Zoher Abu Jama, an observant Muslim — routinely work together, and said the joint prayer was nothing new. But for many others, the photograph of the moment has become an inspiring image in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic. (📸:Mohamd Alnbare/Magen David Adom)
Medical supplies arrive at Khunjerab Pass from China
#ChinaPakSolidarity China in Action: Medical supplies from Xinjiang, China to Pakistan is delievered through Khunjerab (5,000m) port today,highest land port on Earth (to be continued) @ArifAlvi @ImranKhanPTI @ForeignOfficePk @zfrmrza @MFA_China @GovernorGB @CMGBPK pic.twitter.com/C9TnmalKI7
— Chinese Emb Pakistan (@CathayPak) March 27, 2020
2 doctors test positive for coronavirus in DG Khan
Two DG Khan doctors identified as Dr. Osama and Dr. Saba tested positive for coronavirus, it is learned.
Both doctors are stable and being treated with available protocol.
Authorities said that both doctors were deputed and performing their professional duties at DG Khan quarantine center in Punjab.
CM Buzdar announces risk allowance for nurses & doctors
Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister of Punjab has announced that all medical personnel active in the treatment of coronavirus patients will be given risk allowance equivalent of one salary including Doctors, Nurses, Medical Staff and others.
The CM announced this while briefing the media after heading the meeting of a cabinet committee on dealing with the coronavirus.
Read the full story here.
All Pakistani educational institutes to remain closed till May 31
All the educational institutions including public and private schools, colleges, universities, & madaris in the country will remain closed till May 31, 2020.
This was stated by Shafqat Mehmood, federal minister for Education, professional training and National Heritage on twitter.
National Coordination Committee on the recommendation of Inter provincial Education Ministers meeting today has ordered the closure of ALL education institutions in the country till May 31. This includes public and private schools, colleges, universities, & madaris
— Shafqat Mahmood (@Shafqat_Mahmood) March 26, 2020
Read the full story here.
NEW CASES: Islamabad 2, AJK 1, GB 7
Two new coronavirus cases have emerged in Islamabad, one in Azad Jammu & Kashmir, and seven in Gilgit Baltistan.
These make Pakistan tally to cross the 1,200 mark.
Punjab reports 3 new cases
Three new cases have been reported in Punjab, informed CM Usman Buzdar in a tweet.
Sadly, we have lost 3 precious lives to #CoronaVirus in Punjab so far. Total number of cases tested positive are 408.
We are doing our best to contain the virus and need full support of the citizens. Please stay indoor and follow the guidelines issued by the Govt. 1/2
— Usman Buzdar (@UsmanAKBuzdar) March 26, 2020
For our coronavirus coverage from March 26, click here.