Lockdown Extended to April 30 With Restrictions Eased For Certain Industries [Live Updates]

PM Imran Khan has announced that the current lockdown in the country will remain in place for another two weeks to curtail the spread of Covid-19.

“It was thanks to the lockdowns that the virus’s spread in the country was contained and the pandemic didn’t reach the projected numbers,” he said while talking about the govt’s response to the pandemic.

Some businesses, however, have been given exemption and allowed to resume operations during the extended lockdown.

These include chemical plants, e-commerce (for delivery), software development firms, paper packaging firms, cement fertilizer plants, laundries, nursing plants, agriculture machinery & products, glass manufacturing, veterinary hospitals, export industries (with SOPs), books & stationery shops, and construction industry (with SOPs).

The businesses/industries that will remain shut during the extended lockdown include shopping malls, cinemas/theaters, parks/recreational facilities, restaurants, and wholesale markets with the exception of food, medicine construction industry-related markets.

Provinces will have the prerogative to allow or disallow resumption of small businesses like those of electricians, tailors, mechanics, and barbers etc.

Here are the latest updates:

 

7.30 pm

Lockdown exemptions made to minimize financial hardships of low-income segments: Awan

7.15 pm

Lockdown restrictions on mosques to end today: Mufti Muneeb

Ulema from various schools of thought held a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday to declare that the lockdown will not be in force from mosques from today.

Mufti Muneeb ur Rahman said that Tarawih prayers and Itikaf will continue as per schedule. He called on people coming to mosques to practice social distancing.

The cleric urged the government to not arrest people coming to mosques. “All those who have been arrested [for coming to mosques] should be released,” he said.

He called on worshippers coming to the mosques to wear masks and perform wuzu at their respective homes. “Remove mats from mosques and ensure sanitizers are available,” he said.

Mufti Taqi Usmani said that people were not implementing the government’s guidelines pertaining to offering prayers in mosques by no more than five persons. He called on people to implement the government’s safety precautions but said that for a Muslim, offering congregational prayers in Ramazan was obligatory.

-Geo.tv

7.00 pm

List of industries/businesses not allowed to operate during the extended lockdown

Below is the list of industries/businesses that will not be allowed to operate during the extended lockdown.

  • Shopping malls
  • Cinemas/theaters
  • Parks/recreational facilities
  • Restaurants
  • Wholesale markets except:
    • Food market
    • Medicine market
    • Other markets related to construction industry

Opening of following businesses to be a prerogative of provincial govts.

  • Electricians
  • Tailors
  • Mechanics
  • Barbers
  • Etc.
6.45 pm

List of industries that will be allowed to operate during the lockdown

The govt has identified the low-risk industries and businesses that will be able to operate during the national lockdown that has now been extended for another two weeks.

These industries, as listed by the Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar, include the following:

  • Chemical plants
  • E-commerce for delivery etc.
  • Software developing firms
  • Paper packaging firms
  • Cement fertilizer plants
  • Laundry etc.
  • Nursing plants
  • Agriculture machinery
  • Agriculture products
  • Glass manufacturing
  • Animal hospitals
  • Export industries with SOPs
  • Books and stationery shops
  • Construction industry with SOPs
6.30 pm

267 out of 273 Sukkur pilgrims cured of coronavirus: Murtaza Wahab

6.15 pm

Two more weeks of lockdown with some exemptions: Imran Khan

PM Imran Khan has announced that the current lockdown in the country will continue for another two weeks to curtail the spread of Covid-19.

“It was thanks to the lockdowns that the virus’s spread in the country was curtailed and the pandemic didn’t reach the projected numbers,” he said while talking about the govt’s response to the pandemic.

Some businesses, however, will be given exemption and allowed to resume operations during the lockdown, he informed.

Imran also said he would be consulting ulema on how it can be made safer for the people to pray during the holy month of Ramzan.

6.00 pm

Govt extends countrywide lockdown to April 30

The federal cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the extension of country-wide lockdown to April 30, media reports claim. The decision is based on data, which suggests a spike in positive coronavirus cases in various parts of the country.

So far, more than 5,800 people have tested positive across the country, with Punjab reporting the most, 2815, cases so far. Punjab is also ahead of the rest in terms of testing, conducting up to 5,000 tests on a daily basis.

According to media reports, a summary of the approval has been forwarded to the National Coordination Committee (NCC), for final approval. The committee meeting, to be convened today under PM Khan, will decide whether to endorse the full lockdown or to ease out the restrictions in less-affected areas.

Read full story here.

5.00 pm

CJP, family test negative for coronavirus

According to an SC press statement, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed has tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

His family members, who were also tested for Covid-19, have been found free of the virus as well.

4.30 pm

30 new cases take Punjab tally to 2,856

4.10 pm

WATCH: PM’s aide on Information briefs media

3.30 pm

WATCH: Why social distancing is crucial in the fight against Covid-19

3.15 pm

Engro Energy contributes Rs 50 million to Coronavirus fund

3.00 pm

South Korea claims patients are testing positive again for Covid-19 after recovering

On Monday, South Korea reported that 116 people, who had recovered completely and previously tested negative, have tested positive for COVID-19 once again.

Although South Korea confirmed 25 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, 116 cases of reinfection are more than double of what was reported last week (51).

The sharp rise in the number of recovered patients contracting the disease again has raised alarms among the official authorities.

While health experts continue to investigate the reasons behind relapses, Director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), Jeong Eun-kyeong, has suggested that the SARS-COV-2 might have reactivated rather than the patients being reinfected.

Still, there are some lessons that the world must learn from South Korea in its battle against the pandemic.

2.30 pm

3 possible vaccines can potentially cure Covid-19: WHO

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 70 candidate vaccines of the coronavirus under development around the world, with 3 vaccines already being evaluated in human trials.

Pharmaceutical companies are rushing to find the cure for COVID-19 as the disease appears cannot be wiped out through social distancing measures only.

Leading the race is a vaccine developed in collaboration between China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences and CanSino Biotech Inc, a Hong Kong-listed company. The Chinese government had approved the human testing of the candidate vaccine a month ago.

The two other vaccines under clinical trials are developed by Moderna and Inovio, both US-based drugmakers.

Read full story here.

2.15 pm

Pakistan’s Covid-19 death toll hits 100 as Sindh reports 4 new deaths

After report of 4 new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday in Sindh, Pakistan’s national death toll has reached 100. The new fatalities bring Sindh toll to 35 so far.

Sindh also reported 66 new coronavirus cases with its provincial tally reaching 1,518.

2.00 pm

WHO health alerts now available of Facebook messenger

1.45 pm

Two flights to bring back 410 Pakistani prisoners from UAE

Pakistan’s Consulate in Dubai has announced that two special flights will bring back 410 Pakistani prisoners released from UAE jails.

The consulate stated that the prisoners will be transferred to Peshawar and Faisalabad, adding that UAE had released 700 Pakistanis from their prisons due to the coronavirus outbreak.

-Geo.tv

1.30 pm

More PIA flights scheduled for repatriating nationals

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has announced more flights to bring back nationals stranded abroad.

According to the PIA spokesperson, flights will depart for Manchester from Islamabad on April 17 and April 18. He added that two more flights — PK 8852 and PK 8894 — will travel to Seoul from Islamabad on April 17.

In addition, a special flight from Karachi to Jakarta, Indonesia will depart on April 18, he said. He stated that the national carrier will also designate two more flights for Toronto, Canada for April 15 and 19.

On April 17, a special flight will head to Dubai to bring back stranded nationals, he said.

-Dawn

1.00 pm

Teleschool launched to mitigate academic loss amid virus lockdown

SPM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that Teleschool by PTV has commenced its broadcast from Tuesday 8.00 am.

The dedicated educational channel is aimed at mitigating the academic losses faced by schoolchildren in Pakistan as education remains largely suspended amid virus lockdown.

12.30 pm

Virtual summit: SE Asia leaders meet by video on pandemic

Forced apart by the coronavirus pandemic, Southeast Asian leaders linked up by video Tuesday to plot a strategy to overcome a crisis that has threatened their economies and kept millions of people in their homes under lockdowns.

The heads of state of the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were to hold further talks later Tuesday, also through video conferencing, with their counterparts from China, Japan and South Korea who are expected to express their support in helping ASEAN fight the coronavirus. Vietnam, ASEAN’s leader this year, has postponed an in-person gathering tentatively to June.

12.25 pm

China approves two experimental coronavirus vaccines to enter clinical trials

China has approved early-stage human tests for two experimental vaccines to combat the new coronavirus that killed over 100,000 people worldwide, state media Xinhua reported on Tuesday.

The vaccines are being developed by a Beijing-based unit of Nasdaq-listed Sinovac Biotech , and by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products, an affiliate of state-owned China National Pharmaceutical Group.

12.15 pm

Asad Umar chairs NCOC meeting

Planning Minister Asad Umar is chairing a meeting of the National Command and Operation Center in Islamabad.

The meeting will review the steps taken to control the spread of the virus in the country. The meeting is expected to finalise recommendations for National Coordination Committee’s approval in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, reported Radio Pakistan.

The meeting is being attended by federal ministers, SAPMs, finance adviser along with the provincial chief ministers and chief secretaries.

-Geo.tv

12.10 pm

WHO warns of COVID-19 resurgence as countries ease restrictions

The World Health Organization (WHO) has again warned that lifting restrictions too soon could lead to a deadly resurgence of COVID-19.

This was stated by WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus while speaking at a virtual press conference from Geneva as some countries are easing their social and economic restrictions amid the outbreak.

He said a new strategy will be published to summarize what the world has already learned about the new virus.

-Radio Pakistan

11.30 am

Situation Report: 342 new cases including 137 paramedics tested positive for coronavirus

Pakistan saw 342 new coronavirus cases on Monday, April 13th, 2020, including 137 paramedics and other healthcare staff. 232 out of 342 new cases, or around 70%, were from Punjab — where a major chunk of positive cases was from Tableeghi Jamat.

Three new deaths related to coronavirus complications were also reported during the past 24 hours, the lowest since March 31st, 2020.

125 patients recovered from COVID-19, taking the number of recoveries to 1,378.

The number of new hospitalizations also decreased and reached 1,368, down from 1,402. Critically ill patients (or those on ventilators), also decreased from 47 to 46.

Read the full report here.

10.45 am

U.S. coronavirus death toll tops 23,000

U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus topped 23,000 on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, as officials said the worst may be over and the outbreak could reach its peak this week.

The United States, with the world’s third-largest population, has recorded more fatalities from COVID-19 than any other country. There were a total of nearly 570,000 U.S. cases as of Monday with over 1.8 million reported cases globally.

Deaths reported on Sunday numbered 1,513, the smallest increase since 1,309 died on April 6. The largest number of fatalities, over 10,000, was in New York state with the concentration in and around New York City, the most populous U.S. city with about 8.4 million people.

-Reuters

10.15 am

22 doctors of Multan’s Nishtar Hospital have tested positive so far

With another 6 doctors testing positive for coronavirus, the number of the doctors contracting the virus at Multan’s Nishtar Hospital has risen to 22 so far.

According to the hospital administration, more virus tests of doctors, paramedics, and other officials related to the hospital are being carried out.

10.00 am

India extends lockdown till May 3

9.45 am

Confirmed coronavirus cases pass 2 million worldwide

New York’s coronavirus death toll topped 10,000 even as the lack of fresh hot spots in the US or elsewhere in the world yielded a ray of optimism and fueled discussions Monday about how some places might begin to reopen.

The brunt of the disease has been felt most heavily in New York, Italy, France, Spain and the United Kingdom, but grim projections of a virus that would spread with equal ferocity to other corners of America and the world have not yet materialized after more than a month of measures meant to blunt its impact.

Even so, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide surpassed 2 million on Monday.

-AP

9.30 am

All Pakistani universities to resume classes from 1st June

According to the Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), Dr. Tariq Banuri, HEC is devising different strategies to resume academic activities online for students countrywide affected by the closure of institutions in Pakistan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Banuri said that HEC has already inked an agreement with telecom companies to offer special data bundles for students, especially those living in distant areas, at affordable prices.

The HEC is also mulling over providing Smartphones to students who cannot afford to buy one after reports emerged revealing that numerous students remained absent from online classes because they did not have a smartphone. Universities have been directed to provide HEC with the data of such students.

Read full story here.

9.00 am

Doctor in KP bathes Covid-19 victim & leads funeral prayers after everyone backs out

A doctor in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Dr. Hafiz Sanaullah, is being hailed as a hero after he bathed a coronavirus patient’s body, led his funeral prayers and burial after religious leaders refused to do so.

In Muslim societies, the responsibility of bathing (Islamic ritual of ghusl) a dead body and leading his funeral prayers lies with religious clerics, but in this case, no one agreed to even come close to the body due to the fear of the virus.

Dr. Sanaullah is treating COVID-19 patients at a government-run hospital in Besham, Shangla district of KP. According to him, the hospital management approached a local cleric for his funeral proceedings, he refused, suggesting the doctor should do that himself.

Read full story here.

8.00 am

Teleschool goes on air today to compensate for academic loss

Prime Minister Imran Khan has inaugurated a national broadcast education channel to mitigate the loss faced by the students due to the closure of educational institutions till May 31 in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

Teleschool — the dedicated TV channel — will be aired through a beam provided by Pakistan Television (PTV) from Tuesday (today) across the country from 8am to 6pm for online education from class one to 12.

-Dawn

6.00 am

170 new cases reported in Punjab

Punjab’s Covid-19 tally has just risen to 2,862 as 170 new cases have emerged in the province.

3.00 am

101 Covid-19 patients from Tableeghi Jamaat test negative

As many as 101 members of the Tableeghi Jamaat, who has tested positive for Covid-19, have now tested negative for the virus.

Out of the 135 samples collected on Sunday, 129 returned negative on Monday. These patients were quarantined in different isolation wards.

2.00 am

1 more death, 56 new cases reported in KP

KP has reported 1 more Covid-19 death in the province raising its fatalities to 35.

Another 56 confirmed coronavirus have brought the provincial total to 800.

 

For our coronavirus coverage from April 13, click here.


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