Coronavirus: PM Imran’s Covid-19 Test Result Awaited as Pakistan Logs 209 Virus Deaths

PM’s focal person on Covid-19 Dr Faisal Sultan announced on Tuesday that prime minister Imran Khan would undergo the coronavirus test as he had recently met philanthropist Faisal Edhi who later tested positive for the contagion.

Health authorities collected Imran Khan’s samples on Tuesday and the test result is awaited today. The decision to perform the test was made as per the SOPs that mandate every contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case to undergo the test.

It is still unknown how Faisal Edhi got the virus, however, Imran Khan has since met a number of people including President Arif Alvi, ISI Chief, Lt. General Faiz Hameed, Jazz CEO Aamir Ibrahim, and Telenor CEO Irfan Wahab, to name a few.

On Tuesday, Edhi Foundation’s head Faisal Edhi announced that his coronavirus test had come positive. Talking to Shahzaib Khanzada on his show, Faisal informed that his first symptoms – head and body ache, fever, and upset stomach – appeared on Thursday, a couple of days after he met with PM Imran Khan to make a donation to the coronavirus fund.

Faisal said that he was in self-isolation and his symptoms had almost gone. He informed that he was away from his family in Karachi for over nine days, but still he asked them to isolate as a precautionary measure. His elder son, who had accompanied him to Islamabad, has also been tested for the virus.

Here are the latest updates:


6.30 pm

South Waziristan’s only coronavirus patient celebrates recovery

5.45 pm

WATCH: SAPM Mirza briefs media

5.15 pm

SAPM Mirza says next few weeks ‘absolutely critical’ for Pakistan

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza has said that the next three or four weeks are “absolutely critical” for Pakistan.

Mirza expressed disappointment that people in the country did not take guidelines “seriously”, adding that people did not consider them obligations. He urged people to follow guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued to control the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

5.00 pm

CM Sindh orders walk-through and drive-through tests in South district

CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah has ordered walk-through and drive-through tests in Karachi’s South district.

The drive-through tests began at Bin Qasim area, falling under the district. The CM Sindh urged public to keep in view social distancing in every situation.

4.45 pm

Ramazan preparations underway in Pakistan amid pandemic

4.30 pm

Using tobacco products can increase your chance of getting Covid-19: WHO

3.50 pm

PM Imran’s samples collected, results expected soon, says personal physician

Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital CEO Dr Faisal Sultan, who is also Prime Minister Imran Khan’s personal physician, said that the premier’s samples have been collected and the test results are expected soon.

In a video message, he said: “The test takes a few hours. We will release the report through official channels once it is received.”

The video message was released after multiple media outlets had reported that the premier had tested negative for coronavirus.


3.30 pm

Covid-19 remained in woman’s eyes for 20 days, research reveals

A Covid-19 patient in Italy had the coronavirus lingering in her eye longer than in her nose, according to a case study.

The unnamed 65-year-old woman, Italy’s first confirmed Covid-19 case, had travelled from Wuhan—the Chinese city which was the initial epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic—to Italy on January 29, according to a research letter published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. She had arrived a day after her symptoms started.

The woman was taken to an isolation unit at Italy’s Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases hospital in Rome. Her Covid-19 symptoms included a dry cough and a sore throat. She also had and an inflamed nasal cavity, and conjunctivitis in both her eyes—which is thought to be a Covid-19 symptom.


3.15 pm

Germany authorizes its first clinical test of Covid-19 vaccine

3.00 pm

Saudi companies won’t fire Pakistani employees during Covid-19 lockdown: Bukhari

On the special request of Pakistan, the Saudi government has stopped companies from terminating Pakistani employees for another three months.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development (OP&HRD) Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari, spoke to his Saudi counterpart on a video call.

During the conference, Bukhari highlighted woes of Pakistan workers being laid off by Saudi companies due to COVID-19 closures and lockdown.

Read full story here.

2.45 pm

READ: This is how Muslim countries are responding to Covid-19 in Ramzan

Like every other country, the Muslim world has also been forced to undertake strict precautionary measures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

With Ramzan just days ahead, many countries have placed restrictions on congregational gatherings and directed their citizens to pray at homes during the holy month in light of different ‘ahadith’, except for Pakistan.

Read full story here.

2.15 pm

US state sues Chinese govt over coronavirus economic losses

Missouri became on Tuesday the first U.S. state to sue the Chinese government over its handling of the coronavirus, saying that China’s response to the outbreak that originated in the city of Wuhan brought devastating economic losses to the state.

In Beijing, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry dismissed the accusation on Wednesday as “nothing short of absurdity” and lacking any factual or legal basis.

The civil lawsuit, filed in federal court by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, alleges negligence, among other claims. It says Missouri and its residents suffered possibly tens of billions of dollars in economic damages, and seeks cash compensation.

1.45 pm

Pakistan Covid-19 tally crosses 10,000

After Sindh recorded another 320 cases on Wednesday, Pakistan’s national virus tally has crossed 10,000 reading 10,069 at the moment.

Sindh’s provincial total has now climbed to 3,373 with the province also reporting 3 new deaths in the past 24 hours.

1.30 pm

PM’s virus test not come yet: Shahbaz Gill

1.15 pm

Global CEOs see U-shaped recession due to coronavirus: survey

1.00 pm

Shoe racks at an Istanbul mosque now house food supplies

12.50 pm

Punjab enforces Prevention of Hoarding ordinance

Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar said that from today the province is enforcing the Prevention of Hoarding ordinance against excessive stock-piling of food and other items. The ordinance aims to curb the hoarding of items, which are later sold at higher prices.

11.15 am

WATCH: Life slowly returns to normal in China

11.00 am

Netflix sees record sign-ups during pandemic lockdowns

Netflix on Tuesday reported soaring profits as subscriptions surged by almost 16 million at the streaming television service during lockdowns to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

“After record subscriber additions, Netflix is and will continue to be the media company least impacted by COVID-19,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Eric Haggstrom. “Their business is a near perfect fit to a population that is suddenly housebound.”

Netflix made a profit of $709 million on revenue of $5.8 billion in the first three months of this year, while the number of paid subscribers grew by 15.7 million from the previous quarter to total nearly 183 million, according to earnings figures.


10.45 pm

ECC to approve Rs. 200 billion package for laborers & SMEs today

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet will be given a presentation by the Finance Division on overall working and performance of Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP)

The ECC will most likely consider a Rs. 200 billion relief package for daily wagers and SMEs.

The meeting chaired by Advisor on Finance Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh will take up a proposal of water resources for consideration and approval of a technical supplementary grant of Rs. 606 million for 19 projects to be implemented by the Government of Balochistan for the fiscal year 2019-2020.

Read full story here.

10.15 am

CDC chief warns 2nd COVID-19 wave may be worse, arriving with flu season

A second wave of the coronavirus is expected to hit the United States next winter and could strike much harder than the first because it would likely arrive at the start of influenza season, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned on Tuesday.

“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” CDC Director Robert Redfield told the Washington Post in an interview.

As the current outbreak continues to taper off, as shown by a recent decline in hospitalization rates and other indicators, authorities need to prepare for a probable resurgence in the months ahead.


10.00 am

Nurses hold White House protest over need for protective equipment in coronavirus fight

Nearly two dozen nurses from National Nurses United stood in protest outside the White House Tuesday, demanding more Personal Protective Equipment and a codification of protective standards as healthcare workers across the country find themselves underprepared on the frontlines of the coronavirus crisis.

“We’re here because our colleagues are dying,” Erica Jones, a nurse at Washington Hospital Center in D.C., told NBC News. Jones stood silently Tuesday as the names of 50 nurses who died from COVID-19 were read aloud in the shadow of the White House.


9.45 am

Conditional pillion riding allowed in port city as virus lockdown eases: Geo

Conditional pillion riding was allowed in the port city on Wednesday as the provincial government planned to ease a lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, Geo News reported.

According to reports, women were allowed to step out of their homes and pillion-ride on motorcycles under certain conditions. Police officials and other citizens were also seen pillion riding on the roads early Wednesday.

9.30 am

Experts warn of oxygen shortages in poorer virus-threatened nations

As the coronavirus pandemic bears down on vulnerable nations in Africa and South Asia, experts say there are only weeks to help fill chronic shortages of what medics need to help people breathe. Not ventilators, but oxygen itself.

Medical oxygen is a core component of the life-saving therapies hospitals are giving patients with severe cases of COVID-19, as the world waits for scientists to find vaccines and treatments.

The pandemic has pushed even the most advanced health systems to their limits, with concerns often focused on the supply of mechanical ventilators at the high-tech end of the breathing assistance spectrum.

But experts fear this has distorted the narrative about what constitutes an effective response, giving the wrong blueprint for nations with under-funded health systems.


9.15 am

Here is what the coronavirus looks like under a high-tech microscope

9.00 am

U.S. coronavirus deaths top 45,000, doubling in little over a week: Reuters tally

U.S. coronavirus deaths topped 45,000 on Tuesday doubling in a little over a week and rising by a near-record amount in a single day, according to a Reuters tally.

The United States has by far the world’s largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases at over 810,000, almost four times as many as Spain, the country with the second-highest number. Globally, cases topped 2.5 million on Tuesday.

U.S. deaths increased by more than 2,750 on Tuesday alone, just shy of a peak of 2,806 deaths in a single day on April 15.


4.00 am

Metro cash & carry shutters Karachi store after employee tests positive for Covid-19

2.00 am

Punjab reports 2 more deaths, 73 new cases


For our coronavirus coverage from April 21, click here