Coronavirus: Situation Could Become Serious in Ramazan, says Zafar Mirza

Prime minister’s aide on health Dr Zafar Mirza in a press conference on Wednesday raised concerns about the spike in coronavirus cases and deaths in Pakistan, sounding the alarm on the virus situation getting ‘serious’ during Ramazan.

He said that local transmissions were now at 66% and it was only through an approach of ‘self-accountability’ by the citizens, especially during the holy month of Ramazan, that the country can stay strong in its fight against the pandemic.

Pakistan’s tally of confirmed virus cases has crossed 10,500 while deaths linked to the virus infections have climbed to 220.

Earlier, other officials have also warned that the country, which may still be in an early stage of the pandemic, could hit the virus peak in the months of May and June when a considerable strain on its healthcare system is expected which the authorities say they’re working to ramp up.

In another development, PM Imran Khan’s novel coronavirus test came out negative, as confirmed by his focal person on Covid-19 Dr Faisal Sultan, as well as his aide on information Firdous Ashiq Awan, on Wednesday.

The premier was tested for SARS-CoV-2 after Faisal Edhi, whom he had met earlier, announced that he was with the virus. Faisal Edhi informed on Tuesday that the mild symptoms he had developed last Thursday were now almost gone and he was in a stable condition.

Here are the latest updates:


6.15 pm

Praying in mosques will increase spread of Covid-19, Chinese researcher warns

Pakistan will during the month of Ramazan enter the most crucial moment of its fight against coronavirus, said Zhou Rong, a senior researcher at Chongyang Institute of Finance at the Renmin University of China.

On the request of the religious figures, the Pakistani government decided to open the mosques for prayers during Ramazan and this has angered the health community.

Zhou Rong in his article said that this poses a risk on multiple levels as people will be less vigilant in the mosque, it will be difficult to control prayer times and it will be tough to keep a safe distance.

Read full story here.

6.00 pm

Dogs might be the answer to detecting coronavirus cases without tests

A research charity in England, Medical Detection Dogs, is working on training dogs to detect coronavirus following their success against various illnesses such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and bacterial infections.

According to the charity, their Bio-Detection dogs are capable of sniffing out the distinct odor of different diseases with ‘extremely high accuracy’ and they are following an approach where the dogs are intensively trained to smell various samples including coronaviruses.

Read full story here.

5.45 pm

US economy sheds 4.4 million jobs

5.15 pm

PM Imran’s Ehsaas telethon kicks off

5.00 pm

US companies donate month’s ration to 5,000 families in Karachi

4.50 pm

PM Imran appeals to citizens to ‘join telethon, donate generously’

4.45 pm

Balochistan govt to quarantine lockdown violators

4.15 pm

38 doctors in Multan and DG Khan recover

4.00 pm

Balochistan govt spokesperson asks religious scholars to reconsider decision on Taraweeh prayers

Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said that religious scholars should reconsider their decision to hold Taraweeh congregations as leader of Pakistan’s largest religious party Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman has also decided to pray at home.

3.30 pm

Clifton branch of Karachi’s Imtiaz Superstore sealed: DC South

District Commissioner South has said authorities have sealed Imtiaz Superstore’s Clifton branch after the store was found in breach of government orders.

“Social distancing was not being observed at the store,” he said.


2.45 pm

Sindh reports 4 new deaths, 298 fresh cases

At least 4 new coronavirus deaths were reported in Sindh taking its toll to 73.

With addition of 298 new cases, Sindh’s virus tally has risen to 3,671.

2.15 pm

Five more Larkana neighborhoods sealed: DC

Deputy Commissioner of Larkana Nauman Siddiqi has announced that five more neighborhoods in Larkana have been sealed after new cases were reported in them.

2.00 pm

237 people from GB being sent home after testing negative in Karachi: Murtaza Wahab

1.50 pm

Edhi chief’s son, 3 workers test negative

A son and 3 workers of Edhi Foundation chief Faisal Edhi have tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

After Faisal Edhi was tested positive for the virus on Tuesday, doctors had advised his close relatives and workers to undergo the test as well.

1.00 pm

Health Minister Sindh discusses impact of coronavirus on immunization services

12.45 pm

Punjab University VC hands Rs 3m check to Buzdar

12.30 pm

Temporary quarantine center set up in Karachi college

A temporary quarantine center has been set up in a college in Karachi’s Shah Faisal area for students from Gilgit Baltistan, announced SSP Faisal Abdullah.

The SSP stated that 261 students from GB have been quarantined their after they were suspected of coronavirus.

The SSP stated that students were quarantined for the tests and their results would come in today. He added that if the tests come out as positive than all students will be sent to a quarantine center, adding that if the results are negative then the college will be emptied and the students will be released.

12.00 pm

Covid-19 is fast becoming a human rights crisis: UN chief

11.30 am

Coronavirus tests don’t break your fast in Ramazan: Fatwa

Ramadan is just around the corner, but Muslims around the world are unsure whether or not they should get tested for the novel coronavirus during the holy month.

The United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Fatwa Council has issued a clear guideline in this regard. The council has declared that Muslims should not refrain from getting tested for COVID-19 during the fasting month as it does not affect their fast.

Read full story here.

10.45 am

Sindh govt sets up Covid-19 lab at research center in Karachi University: Murtaza Wahab

10.30 am

WATCH: Trump tells CBS reporter to keep her voice down

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Donald Trump deflected CBS News White House Correspondent Weijia Jiang’s questions on Sunday during a White House coronavirus task force briefing. Jiang asked the POTUS if he knew COVID-19 would become a pandemic back in February and asked why he held rallies when on March 23, he claimed that he knew the virus would be a pandemic. In a transcript from RealClearPolitics, Jiang said, “Many Americans [said] you should have warned them the virus was spreading like wildfire through the month of February instead of holding rallies with thousands of people. Why did you wait so long to warn them and why did you not have social distancing until March 16th?” . Trump instead asked, “Who are you with?” . A back-and-forth exchange occurred where the POTUS claimed he was “Very, very early” to address the virus and quarantine, whereas Jiang said, “When you issued the ban, the virus was already here.” . Trump continued, “If you look at what I did in terms of cutting off or banning China from coming in –” Jiang addressed back, “Chinese nationals,” and implied that there were also Americans coming back from China who were not properly quarantined. He then asked another question, “How many people died?” . “Zero deaths at the time I closed up the country. Nobody was there. And you should say thank you very much for good judgment,” he ended. As Yamiche Alcindor, a PBS NewsHour White House correspondent pointed out, “there is still no answer on why Trump held rallies in February or didn’t warn ppl sooner.” . Video from @guardian . @nextshark 👈👈👈 support by following 🙏🙏🙏

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9.45 am

PAF plane carrying virus supplies leaves for Pakistan

9.30 am

Six traders arrested for violating virus lockdown

Six traders were arrested in the port city on Wednesday for violating a lockdown imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus, police officials confirmed on Thursday morning.

The traders have been booked for violating Section 144 and will be presented before a judicial magistrate later today.

9.00 am

WHO warns ‘long way to go’ in coronavirus crisis

The global coronavirus crisis will not end any time soon, with many countries still in the early stages of the fight, health experts have warned as researchers revealed the first US deaths from the disease came weeks before the alarm was raised there.

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 180,000 people and infected more than 2.6 million, and nations are struggling to check its spread with social distancing measures and lockdowns, while trying to repair their virus-ravaged economies.


Some have started to slowly ease restrictions as pressure mounts on governments to find ways to reopen their societies after tens of millions of jobs were wiped out.

But World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Wednesday cautioned that the struggle is far from over.

“Make no mistake: we have a long way to go. This virus will be with us for a long time,” he said.


8.30 am

KP sets up quarantine center for returnees from Torkham

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has set up a quarantine facility for the citizens returning to the country via the Torkham border. The returnees will have to spend time at the facility as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus before being allowed to go back to their homes.

8.00 am

Chinese pharma offers to conduct clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccine in Pakistan

A major Chinese pharmaceutical company has invited the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, to collaborate in conducting clinical trials of its recently developed inactivated vaccine for Covid-19 in Pakistan, it emerged on Wednesday.

The offer was made in a letter sent to NIH Executive Director Maj Gen Dr Aamer Ikram by the general manager of China Sinopharm International Corp., Li Can, who expressed the hope that “a successful clinical trial in Pakistan will make it one of [the] first few countries for the launch of a Covid-19 vaccine”.


4.00 am

Two pet cats test positive for coronavirus in New York

2.00 am

5 more deaths, 259 new cases recorded in Punjab

Punjab has reported 5 new deaths linked to the novel coronavirus that take its toll to 56.

And with 259 new cases, the provincial tally has risen to 4,590.


For our coronavirus coverage from April 22, click here.

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