US Scientists Claim Potential Breakthrough In Coronavirus Treatment

Scientists in the United States claimed a potential breakthrough in Covid-19 treatment on Wednesday with patients effectively responding to an antiviral drug during a trial.

The clinical trial of the drug remdesivir showed that patients recovered about 30 percent faster than those on a placebo.

The trial’s findings were also verified by the top US epidemiologist, Anthony Fauci, who oversaw the study.

Briefing reporters at the White House, Fauci said, “The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery.”

The remdesivir trial – involving 1,063 people from different global locations in the US, Europe, and Asia – showed the drug successfully blocking the virus.

It’s pertinent to note that remdesivir trials had failed against the Ebola virus. Also, a smaller WHO study of the drug, performed in China’s pandemic epicenter Wuhan, found little effects on patients.

A comment on this major development from the World Health Organization is still awaited as its senior official declined to weigh in saying he was yet to review the complete study.

The virus has infected over 3.2 million and killed more than 228,000 worldwide. The successful clinical trial of remdesivir has fuelled hopes for a return to normal from the unrelenting crisis.

Here are the latest updates:


2.00 pm

‘Colonel’ Tom’s fundraising total exceeds 30 million pounds on his 100th birthday

1.00 pm

Injecting bleach, other disinfectants WILL NOT protect against COVID-19: WHO

12.00 pm

Singapore man fined $1,000 for breaking coronavirus quarantine 30 minutes earlier to buy bread

A Singaporean man who broke his coronavirus quarantine with 30 minutes remaining to buy prata flatbread worth a few dollars was fined $1,000, the latest in a string of tough punishments for those who breach the city-state’s COVID-19 containment rules.

The tiny island nation, known for its no-nonsense law enforcement and widespread surveillance, has one of the highest coronavirus caseloads in Asia due to mass outbreaks in cramped migrant worker dormitories.

But it has won international praise for its strict quarantine and contact tracing regime that have limited infections in the wider community.


11.45 am

COVID-19 to cause record emissions fall in 2020: IEA

COVID-19 is expected to cause global energy emissions to fall a record eight percent this year due to an unprecedented drop in demand for coal, oil and gas, the International Energy Agency said Thursday.

The IEA’s Global Energy Review was based on an analysis of electricity demand over more than 100 days, during which much of the world has entered lockdown in a bid to control the pandemic.

It predicted that global energy demand would fall six percent in 2020 — seven times more than during the 2008 financial crisis and the biggest year-on-year drop since World War II.


11.15 am

PM Imran & Bill Gates discuss how to resolve Covid-19 situation over phone

Prime Minister Imran Khan has spoken to Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to discuss the latest developments surrounding the COVID-19 response.

During the telephonic conversation, the prime minister expressed appreciation for the support provided by the Gates Foundation and other international partners during the unprecedented crisis and emphasized the continued urgency of the situation, a statement issued by the PM Media Office said.

He stated that Pakistan is making all efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic with a robust and coordinated response.

Read full story here.

11.00 am

Situation Report: New coronavirus cases ramp up as testing capacity increases in Sindh

Pakistan saw a total of 874 new coronavirus cases in the country, up 5.8% from the last day when new additions were reported to be around 806.

Of all the new cases, almost half or 404 cases were reported from Sindh only, while Punjab added 234 to its tally. KP reported 153 new coronavirus cases and Balochistan added 63 new positive cases to its total.

The recent increase in national numbers can be mainly attributed to Sindh’s sharp increase in cases — but they have also increased their testing capabilities — as close to 4,000 tests are done in Sindh now every day, against around 2,200 tests that are being done in Punjab on daily basis.

Read full story here.

9.30 am

PIA operation placed under essential service law

The government on Wednesday enf­orced the Pakistan Essential Services (Maintenance) Act, 1952 allowing the Pak­istan International Airlines Corporation Limited (PIACL) to rescue, evacuate and repatriate Pakistanis and foreigners stranded in different countries.

The Act has been implemented with immediate effect and for a period of six months.


6.00 am

COVID-19 complication seen in children is ‘rare’, WHO says

The “vast majority” of children with COVID-19 have mild cases and recover completely, but a small number in a few countries have developed a rare inflammatory syndrome, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.

Italian and British medical experts are investigating a possible link between the coronavirus pandemic and clusters of severe inflammatory disease in infants who are arriving in hospital with high fever and swollen arteries.



For our coronavirus coverage from April 29, click here