Coronavirus: Cases In Pakistan Cross 8,600, Deaths Jump Over 180

Deaths linked to the new coronavirus have reached 181 in Pakistan while the figure of the people fallen sick due to the virus has crossed 8,600.

Sindh reported 8 new deaths linked to the virus in the past 24 hours, its highest single-day toll since the pandemic first broke out in the province. With the new cases, Sindh’s provincial toll has jumped to 56.

Globally, the virus has killed over 160,000 and infected more than 2.3 million people. US remains the pandemic’s global epicenter recording about 1,900 deaths in the past 24 hours with its totally Covid-19 fatalities passing 39,000. Tally of virus cases in US currently reads about 739,000.

Italy, Spain, France, and UK are the nations with death toll figures reading above 15,000 at 23,000, 20,000, 19,000, and 15,000 respectively. Global recoveries have also climbed over 600,000.

Here are the latest updates:


5.15 pm

The dirty priority of the Indian Govt is to suppress the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir: Alvi

5.10 pm

Law ministry prepares ordinance to punish hoarders

5.05 pm

We will have to readjust our way of living to fight coronavirus, says Murtaza Wahab

5.00 pm

‘Captain Tom’, 99, Raises More Than $31 Million for UK Carers

Captain Tom Moore, a 99-year-old British war veteran described by Prince Harry as “utterly amazing”, has now raised more than 25 million pounds ($31.3 million) for the health service by walking 100 laps of his garden.

The World War Two veteran, who has used a walking frame with wheels since breaking his hip, set himself the target of walking the 25 metres around his garden 100 times before his 100th birthday on April 30.


4.45 pm

Saudi top religious authority recommends home prayers in Ramadan amid coronavirus

Saudi Arabia’s highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, urged Muslims worldwide to pray at home during Ramadan if their countries require social distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus, state news agency SPA reported on Sunday.

The holy fasting month of Ramadan begins later this week. During the month, believers usually break their fast with families and friends and perform an evening prayer, known as Taraweeh, in large gatherings at mosques.

“Muslims shall avoid gatherings, because they are the main cause of the spread of infection…and shall remember that preserving the lives of people is a great act that brings them closer to God,” it said in a statement.


4.30 pm

Pakistan starts repatriating UAE-based nationals

Pakistan has started repatriating some of its citizens from the United Arab Emirates, which had threatened to review labor ties with countries refusing to take back their nationals during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The first Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight carrying 227 “stranded passengers” from Dubai and other emirates left for Islamabad on Saturday evening, Pakistan’s consulate general in Dubai said in a Twitter post.


4.00 pm

KP reported 10 deaths, 60 new cases in past 24 hours

10 deaths have been reported in KP during the last 24 hours, according to the provincial report for April 18.

Sixty more cases have been reported in the province, according to KP finance and health minister Taimur Khan Jhagra.

3.30 pm

Govt finalizing scheme to support SMEs: Razak Dawood

Adviser to PM on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood has said the government is finalizing a scheme to support small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) across all sectors.

“It is our endeavor to help small businesses as compared to larger ones because of their weaker financial position,” Dawood said.

3.00 pm

Decision on train operation resumption will be taken on April 25: Shaikh Rasheed

Railways Minister Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed has said they would decide upon the resumption of train operation from April 25 or next month, reported Radio Pakistan.

He added that the situation in the country was under control and not as bad as it was in other countries.

2.30 pm

SAPM Awan hails ulema’s role in fight against Covid-19

2.00 pm

UK announces fund for Pakistan in fight against coronavirus

The UK on Saturday announced the first in a series of measures to give wide-ranging support to help the poorest and most vulnerable people in Pakistan during the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, the British High Commission said the announcement would ensure £2.67 million for vital health support to help Pakistan give medical assistance to the seriously ill, build stronger systems to detect and test Covid-19 as well as support communities to have right information to protect themselves and others.

1.00 pm

India sends hydroxychloroquine to UAE for COVID-19 patients

12.00 pm

Jazz contributes PKR 50 million to PM’s COVID-19 relief fund

Jazz has contributed PKR 50 million to the Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund, in line with its commitment to support the government in the fight against COVID-19.

In a meeting that took place between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Jazz CEO, Aamir Ibrahim, support for those in need during these trying times was reiterated. The cheque was presented to the Government specifically for health relief and food rations.

Read full story here.

11.00 am

Some airlines to be permitted to bring back stranded Pakistanis

Pakistan would allow some airlines to take back stranded Pakistanis despite a restriction on international flights to the country, Zulfi Bukhari said.

At an electronic news conference with US-based journalists, the prime minister’s adviser for overseas Pakistanis also said that the government would facilitate the burial in Pakistan of those who died abroad during the coronavirus pandemic.

10.00 am

Europe coronavirus death toll tops 100,000: AFP tally

The coronavirus has killed more than 100,000 people in Europe, nearly two-thirds of the overall global death toll, according to an AFP tally Saturday at 1800 GMT.

With a total 100,501 deaths out of 1,136,672 infections, Europe is the hardest-hit continent by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed 157,163 worldwide.

Italy and Spain are the hardest-hit countries in Europe, with 23,227 and 20,043 fatalities respectively, followed by France with a death toll of 19,323 and Britain with 15,464.

Worldwide, at least 2,281,334 people have tested positive to being infected with the coronavirus.

The number of detected cases, however, only reflects a fraction of the actual number of infections, with many countries testing only those cases requiring hospital care.


8.00 am

Govt launches online portal for air travel information

The government has made information about air travel during the ongoing suspension of flight operations online at its Covid-19 portal.

By clicking the air travel tab on, citizens can get the following information, including flights scheduled to bring back Pakistanis stranded abroad:

  • Current policies
  • Official decisions
  • Flight and passenger information
  • Guidelines for travel
  • Stranded passengers selection criteria
  • Contact information for inquiries
4.30 pm

I worry more for poor than the virus: PM Imran

In his latest national address on pandemic situation in the country, PM Imran Khan congratulated the nation over the fact that the virus numbers in Pakistan were still far behind than those projected earlier thanks to timely measures.

He said that the govt moved early when there were only a handful of virus patients in the country. “Our previous projections said that the country’s virus tally would reach 50,000 by April 25,” he said.

“Thankfully, those projections have now been pushed to mid-May and our estimate for April 25 is a total of 12,000 to 15,000 virus cases,” he added.

3.30 pm

Govt, ulema finalize 20-point agenda on mosques and congregations

  1. No carpets in mosques and imam bargahs. People are encouraged to bring their own prayer mats.
  2. Social distancing will be observed.
  3. Refrain from talking and discussions in mosques.
  4. Mosques which have compounds will hold prayers outside rather than inside the building.
  5. Elderly and sick people will not come to mosques.
  6. Taraweeh preparations will be made only in mosques, not on roads
  7. People will be encouraged to offer taraweeh at home.
  8. Mosque floors will be washed with chlorine disinfectants.
  9. Prayer mats will also be disinfected with chlorine mixture.
  10. Congregational rows will be formed with s a 6ft distance be between worshippers.
  11. Committees will be formed to ensure preventive steps are followed.
  12. Ablution should be performed at home.
  13. Necessary to wear masks at mosques.
  14. No handshakes or hugs
  15. Worshippers will refrain from touching their faces.
  16. Better to do atekaf at home
  17. No preparations for sehri and iftaari be made in mosques.
  18. Mosque administration will remain in contact with local police administration and cooperate with them.
  19. Mosque administration and police are asked to maintain social distancing during prayers.
  20. Government can review and change any part of its policy on mosques during Ramazan if it feels these measures are not being followed or the rise in cases is exponential.
1.00 pm

CM Sindh meets traders’ delegation

12.00 pm

President Alvi discusses prayer congregations with ulema

11.45 am

Commissioner Karachi makes face masks mandatory for those leaving homes

Commissioner Karachi has said all those leaving the house for valid reasons must wear a face mask at all times.

According to a notification, “Face masks are mandatory for all people who come out of the houses for a valid reason or are exempted during the lockdown. The face mask shall cover the nose, mouth and chin.”

“Sanitizing and cleaning hands after every activity and wherein necessary shall he strictly ensured,” it added.

Moreover, every worker shall be examined before entering into the workplace and if symptoms of flu, cough or fever are found, he/she may be referred to the hospital immediately.


11.30 am

French investigate 900-plus virus cases on aircraft carrier

At least 940 crew members of a French aircraft carrier and its escort ships have tested positive for Covid-19.

One person is in intensive care. Testing for all members of the aeronaval group is not yet complete.

Navy spokesman Eric Lavault says officials are determined to trace back to the cause of the infections and disinfect the Charles de Gaulle.


11.00 am

Centre, Sindh reach consensus over Covid-19 tests on bodies

Despite some differences over the level of the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the federal and Sindh governments have agreed to start conducting Covid-19 tests on bodies being brought to hospitals to ascertain the cause of death.

Meanwhile, the country’s capability to conduct Covid-19 tests is gradually increasing and on Friday the highest number of tests — 6,264 — were conducted since the first case was detected.

10.00 am

US announces $8.4m to help Pakistan’s anti-virus efforts

The United States announced on Friday a funding of $8.4 million for Pakistan to combat the spread of new coronavirus in the country.

The contribution was announced on US mission’s social media platforms by Ambassador Paul Jones.


9.00 am

Repatriation flights for stranded British-Pakistanis announced

The British government has announced the schedule for chartered flights run by Qatar Airways which will repatriate around 2500 stuck British citizens in Pakistan. Pakistan’s national carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has also announced daily flights from Pakistan to the UK but has not announced the exact schedule yet.

According to Geo News, the chartered Qatar Airways flights from Islamabad to London will run on, April 21, 22, and 23, the flights from Islamabad to Manchester on April 24, 25, 26, and 27, while the flights from Lahore to London on April 22 and 24. A flight from Lahore to Manchester will run on April 26.


5.30 pm

PTA extends blocking of IMEI to 19 May

Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has announced that it is extending the blocking of unregistered IMEIs to 19 May.

The 30-day extension comes in light of present coronavirus pandemic to provide relief and facilitation to the public and ensure social distancing during the crisis.

“The blocking of such Mobile devices will continue from 19th May 2020 and will be communicated via SMS,” the press release on the matter said.

5.00 pm

Murtaza Wahab thanks ulema, citizens for ‘effective’ lockdown

4.50 pm

Punjab govt announces financial package for frontline workers

The Punjab govt has announced a special financial package for frontline workers who are risking their own lives to save others’ during the coronavirus pandemic.

All frontline workers – including healthcare professionals (Doctors, Nurses, Paramedics, Janitorial Staff), Rescue, Police & others — will get one month’s salary bonus.

Compensation for families of those who lose their lives during the fight against the pandemic will be somewhere between 4 and 8 million under the package.

4.34 pm

NEPRA office closed after employee tests positive

NEPRA head office in Islamabad has been closed and employees have been asked to work from home after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

2.45 pm

SAPM on information Awan speaks to media in Islamabad

2.30 pm

Pakistanis stranded in Afghanistan to return via Torkham border

2.45 pm

READ: How Facebook is keeping Pakistanis safe and informed about coronavirus

Facebook is working with the Pakistani government, communities, and businesses to amplify the power of technology

“We’re working to keep Pakistanis, and everyone globally, safe and informed about the coronavirus. Four areas we’re focused on: making sure everyone has accurate information, stopping misinformation and harmful content, supporting health experts and relief efforts, and supporting local governments, communities and businesses,” read the company’s’ press release.

Read full story here.

2.15 pm

Indian health workers protest against assaults

2.00 pm

13-fold testing capacity increase achieved in 1 month: Asad Umar

1.30 pm

2 more deaths, 209 new cases reported in Sindh

Two more people have died of the novel coronavirus in Sindh.

With 209 new cases, Sindh’s provincial tally has reached 2,217.

12.10 pm

Punjab govt to conduct random testing to curb virus spread

11.30 am

Wuhan raises number of virus dead by 1,290

The central Chinese city of Wuhan has raised its number of COVID-19 fatalities by 1,290, with state media saying Friday the undercount had been due to the insufficient admission capabilities at overwhelmed medical facilities at the peak of the outbreak.

Wuhan’s revised death toll of 3,869 is the most in China. Numbers of total cases in the city of 11 million were also raised by 325 to 50,333, accounting for about two-thirds of China’s total 82,367 announced cases.

New death cases were added because non-hospitalized deaths had not been registered at the disease control information system and some confirmed cases had been reported late or not been reported at all by some medical institutions, the official said.


11.15 am

“Saddened by the news of the death of countless Pakistanis living & working abroad,” Imran Khan

11.00 am

WATCH: New Yorkers pay tribute to city’s essential workers amid pandemic

10.30 am

SHC rejects plea against restriction on congregational prayers

The Sindh High Court on Friday rejected the plea filed against the restriction on congregational prayers in the mosque and declared that the authorities are taking the measures to ensure the safety of lives.

10..00 am

President Trump Gives Governors 3-Phase Plan to Reopen Economy

President Donald Trump gave governors a road map Thursday for recovering from the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic, laying out “a phased and deliberate approach” to restoring normal activity in places that have strong testing and are seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases.

The new guidelines are aimed at easing restrictions in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, while holding the line in harder-hit locations. They make clear that the return to normalcy will be a far longer process than Trump initially envisioned, with federal officials warning that some social distancing measures may need to remain in place through the end of the year to prevent a new outbreak.

And they largely reinforce the plans already under development by governors, who have the primary responsibility for public health in their states.


9.45 am

Half of Pakistanis unaware of common risk factors for COVID-19: Study

Diabetics, smokers and asthmatics are at a higher risk of falling severely ill from COVID-19, but only half of urban and rural Pakistanis are aware of this, according to the findings of a new study by Aga Khan University.

Researchers surveyed 738 men and women across rural and urban Pakistan to assess knowledge about coronavirus symptoms, its mode of transmission and ways to protect oneself from the disease.

While over 90 per cent of those surveyed knew that the elderly were at a relatively higher risk of complications from the disease, nearly half of respondents were unaware of other risk factors such as diabetes, smoking and asthma.

Read more on the findings here.

9.30 am

GB minister quits over failure to get lockdown eased

Gilgit-Baltistan minister Dr Mohammad Iqbal announced his resignation over non-implementation of the government committee’s decision to relax lockdown in the region.

According to Iqbal, the local administration had manipulated GB’s affairs and insulted its representatives.


1.00 am

3 new deaths, 58 new cases reported in KP

Three more people have succumbed to Covid-19 in KP, taking the provincial toll to 45 deaths. One death was recorded each in Peshawar and Nowshera.

With 58 new cases, the KP tally has climbed to 993.


For our coronavirus coverage from April 16, click here.