KARACHI / ISLAMABAD / QUETTA / PESHAWAR / LAHORE / GILGIT / MUZAFFARABAD: The novel coronavirus emerged in the central China city of Wuhan towards the end of last year and proliferated to almost the whole world within a couple of months. ItÔÇÖs not the virulence or fatality, but the infectivity of the new virus ÔÇô also known as SARS-CoV-2 ÔÇô that has set off a global frenzy.
The Covid-19 respiratory illness caused by this mysterious contagion has so far infected more than 3 million people in 202 countries and territories of the world ÔÇô more than 210,000 of them have died and counting.
Pakistan, despite its close proximity with China, remained coronavirus-free until February 26 when a young man from Karachi tested positive after returning from Iran ÔÇô one of the worst-hit countries. After a brief hiatus following the first case, Covid-19 cases spiked as more pilgrims returning from Iran tested positive for the virus.
The nationwide tally of Covid-19 patients stands at 14,788 with 5,730 cases in Punjab,┬á5,291 in Sindh, 2,160 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 915 in Balochistan, 330 in Gilgit-Baltistan,┬á297 in Islamabad┬áand┬á65 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The virus has claimed at least┬á322 lives while at least 3,233 coronavirus patients have recovered.
The number of cases has continued to soar despite the country being under lockdown for the fifth consecutive week.
The situation remains fluid and┬áweÔÇÖre updating stats as soon as new figures are officially released.
Follow┬áThe Express TribuneÔÇÖs live coverage of the pandemic┬áhere.
12:00am: PM Imran inquires after virus-stricken Sindh governor
Prime Minister Imran Khan inquired after the health of Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, who has been diagnosed with Covid-19, over a telephone call on Tuesday night.
Governor Ismail┬álate Monday night confirmed that he was tested positive for Covid-19 and vowed to fight the highly contagious disease. ÔÇ£I believe this is nothing against what we [are] prepared for,ÔÇØ┬áthe governor┬áwrote on┬áhis official Twitter handle.
Sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune that the premier lauded the Sindh governorÔÇÖs efforts in the fight against novel coronavirus.
Read our full story here
10:50pm: 36 people diagnosed with Covid-19 in Islamabad to raise tally to 297
The administration in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has reported 36 more cases of coronavirus to raise the federal capital's tally to 297.
The government's official website for coronavirus confirmed the development.
10:09pm: Turkey delivers second batch of medical aid to Pakistan
Turkey delivered a second batch of medical supplies to Pakistan on Tuesday to support its fight against Covid-19.
The supplies were brought to Karachi on a special Turkish Airlines cargo flight and handed over to Pakistani authorities by Murat Erkol, the acting Turkish consul general in the southern port city, according to a statement.
"Early this morning, medical aid from Turkey, which consists of 108,000 surgical masks and 31,500 sets of protective suits, were delivered to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) for the fight against Covid-19,ÔÇØ read the statement issued by the Turkish consulate.
Read full story here
8:55pm: 62 new Covid-19 cases raise BalochistanÔÇÖs tally to 915
The Balochistan health department, in its daily situational report, has confirmed emergence of 10 new cases of coronavirus in the province to bring its tally to 915.
14 people have lost their lives due to the deadly virus while 176 patients have recovered in the province so far.
8:25pm: 10 more people contract coronavirus in G-B as tally rises to 330
The Gilgit-Baltistan Health Department has confirmed 10 new cases of Covid-19 in the region to bring the tally to 330.
The virus has claimed three lives while 224 patients have recovered in the region so far.
8:00pm: Protection of health professional govtÔÇÖs top priority, says Dr Zafar Mirza
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza has said protection of health professionals is top priority of the government.
He said this while chairing a meeting to review the implementation of Ramazan guidelines and overall health situation across the country amid coronavirus outbreak, Radio Pakistan reported.
Dr Mirza said the government has taken several steps to ensure provision of personal protection equipment kits to doctors and health workers besides their training, adding that a comprehensive strategy has been planned for hospitals to provide treatment to Covid-19 patients.
Speaking on the occasion, Interior Minister Brig (retd) Ijaz Ahmed Shah asked provinces to educate store owners so that only those following guidelines on surgical masks and social distancing be allowed enter the stores.
The meeting was informed that inter-city movement may be curtailed on weekends to avoid crowding for public safety and health.
Chief Secretaries, focal persons from all provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory joined the meeting through video link.
6:40pm: K-P reports 10 more deaths, 176 new Covid-19 cases in last 24 hours
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Health Department has reported 10 more casualties due to coronavirus in the province to take to the death toll to 114 ÔÇô the highest across the country.
The provincial health department also confirmed 176 new cases of Covid-19 to bring the tally to 2,160.
Another 29 patients of coronavirus recovered in the last 24 hours, it added.
5:30pm: Sindh govt bans Youm-e-Ali, other religious gatherings during Ramazan
The Sindh government has decided to put a blanket ban on all religious gatherings including Youm-e-Ali and Mehfil-e-Shabeenas during the ongoing holy month of Ramazan to contain the spread of coronavirus.
According to a notification issued by the provincial home department, all religious activities including processions and Majalis for the martyrdom Hazrat Ali (AS) would not take place in accordance with an agreement with Ulema.
4:50 pm:┬áAll resources being utilised to bring back stranded Pakistanis: FM Qureshi
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the government is utilizing all available resources to repatriate stranded Pakistanis.
"The government is aware of the difficulties being faced by overseas Pakistanis who wish to return home, said Qureshi while visiting the Emergency Crisis Management Unit at the Foreign Office.
He added that 11,529 nationals have been repatriated.
4:15┬ápm:┬áTeachers to be deputed in Nowshera to ensure social distancing during Taraweeh
Deputy Commissioner Nowshera has decided to seek help from teachers to ensure social distancing during Taraweeh prayers across the district.
A notification was issued and sent to the district education officer asking him to ÔÇ£depute all teachers in their locality or duty place to ensure social distancing.
3:50 pm: Sindh infection rate comes down to 8.15pc
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah stated that the infection rate in the province had come down from 12pc to 8.15pc.
In his video message, the chief minister said 4,112 tests were conducted across Sindh the previous day out of which 335 returned positive.
He further said that the death toll in the province had reached 92 with seven deaths reported in the past 24 hours.
Murad said that 37 more people have recovered from the virus in the province.
3:25 pm:┬áFour more deaths, 90 new cases reported in Punjab
The Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department reported four more Covid-19 deaths in the province, taking the provincial tally to 95.
According to the latest reports, 90 new cases have been reported in the province with the province tally reaching 5,730.
Out of the total, 786 patients are said to be among the zaireens, 1,925 Tableegh Jamaat members, 86 prisoners and 2,951 common citizens.
3:10 pm:┬áÔÇÿMost coronavirus cases in Sindh from KarachiÔÇÖ
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said the highest number of new coronavirus cases in the province are from Karachi.
* سب سے زیادہ 258کورونا کے نئے مریض شہر کراچی میں رپورٹ ہوئےہیں، وزیراعلیٰ سندھ سید مراد علی شاہ pic.twitter.com/2lGiRL6AWr— CMHouseSindh (@SindhCMHouse) April 28, 2020
3:00 pm:┬áCabinet approves Rs75b package for daily wagers, labourers
The federal cabinet announced a relief package worth Rs75 billion to provide financial assistance to labourers and daily wagers, who lost their jobs due to coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was taken in the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
2:40 pm: Sindh reports 335 new cases
Provincial authorities reported 335 new cases in the province, taking Sindh's tally to┬á5,291.
The following information is relevant to assess the situation of #COVIDー19 in Sindh as of 28th April at 8 AM:— Murtaza Wahab Siddiqui (@murtazawahab1) April 28, 2020
Total Tests 48061 (today 4112)
Positive Cases 5291 (today 335)
Recovered Cases 963
In the last 24 hours, 38 people have recovered from corona in Sindh
2:20 pm:┬áPunjab health minister addresses media
2:15 pm:┬áK-P CM pays tributes to essential workers
کرونا وائرس کی وبا سے بچاؤ کی مہم میں خیبر پختونخوا کے ہر شعبے، ہر ادارے کے کارکن اور ملازمین عوام کے گرد حفاظتی حصار بنا کر کھڑے ہیں | ان تمام ورکرز کو خراج تحسین | بیشک آپ کی دلیرانہ کوششیں خدا کی نصرت سے کامیاب و کامران ہوں گی | #KPfightsCorona #TributetoEssentialWorkers pic.twitter.com/EQfTMMIbqq— Mahmood Khan (@IMMahmoodKhan) April 28, 2020
1:45 pm: K-P PDMA dispatches another batch of safety equipment
Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has dispatched another batch of safety equipment to the health department.
Masks, safety suits, surgical caps, gloves and face shields have been dispatched.
Besides, the PDMA is dispatching safety goggles, sanitizers and shoes covers to the hospitals on a daily basis.
1:25 pm:┬áGovernor Imran Ismail in ÔÇÿgood health and spiritsÔÇÖ
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, diagnosed with coronavirus on Monday, said he was in good health and spirit.
He also thanked President Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan and other cabinet members for their good wishes.
I am thankful to all the cabinet members, friends & family who showed their concern regarding my health. Specially PM Khan @ImranKhanPTI President @ArifAlvi CM Sindh @MuradAliShahPPP CM Punjab @UsmanAKBuzdar and all Governors. I am in good health & spirit Alhamdollilah.— Imran Ismail (@ImranIsmailPTI) April 28, 2020
1:00 pm:┬áBalochistan to take steps to tighten lockdown
Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan has said that steps will be taken to further tighten the ongoing lockdown in the province.
Talking to media persons in Quetta, he expressed concern over the rising number of corona cases in the province.
He said the number of tests for the virus in Balochistan has been enhanced.
12:15 pm:┬áSindh cabinet approves Sindh Covid-19 Emergency Relief Ordinance 2020
The provincial cabinet approved the Sindh Covid-19 Emergency Relief Ordinance 2020. The ordinance will now be sent for approval to Governor Sindh Imran Ismail.
According to the document, no employee will be fired from his place of employment and people working in the private sector must be paid their salaries.
The cabinet has also decided to waive school fees by 20 percent for the months of April and May 2020.
Electricity bills will have to be discounted in stages while house rents will also be discounted as well.
The cabinet also decided that Field Isolation Centers of 100 beds would be set up in every district of the province.
Sindh Cabinet ministers have unanimously decided not to take their salaries till June 30 this year due to the current financial constraints.
11:55 am: PM┬áprays for speedy recovery┬áof Governor Ismail
Praying for Governor Imran Ismail's speedy recovery from COVID19. May Allah grant him the strength to fight this.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 28, 2020
11:30am: Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi tests positive for Covid-19
K-P Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi tested positive for the Covid-19. The senator had distributed ration bags in one of the affected areas of Peshawar.
In his message the senator urged people to maintain social distancing stating that it was the only way to curb the virus.
May Senator Mirza Afridi recover soon from this virus. He has tested positive and has self-quarantined immediately. Just spoke to him, and he sounded positive. He is young, normally very active and can fight this off inshallah 🙏— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) April 28, 2020
10:15am: Govt utilizing all resources to bring back stranded Pakistanis: FM
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Tuesday that the government is utilizing all possible resources to bring back stranded Pakistanis to home in phased manner.
During a sudden visit of Emergency Crisis Management Unit at the Foreign Office in Islamabad, the minister said the government is fully aware of the pains and difficulties of overseas Pakistanis, who wish to return to their home country.
The foreign minister was briefed that so far 11,529 stranded Pakistanis have been brought back, while 62,709 registered citizens are waiting for their repatriation from abroad.
9:53am UNICEF shares a picture of children attending school in Zhob
The schools maybe closed, but education must go on!— UNICEF Pakistan (@UNICEF_Pakistan) April 28, 2020
Children of Zhob, Balochistan, continue to study under #MyHomeMySchool initiative 📚📖🌱 #EducationForAll #UNICEF #ForEveryChild pic.twitter.com/jUmaJJPw6j
9:30am: Traders get utility bill waivers
Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar has said the government has decided to waive six months electricity and gas bills of small traders in order to help them cope with economic slump caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The ministerÔÇÖs statement came on the heels of a meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet where the government approved a Rs81 billion financial support package for small businesses.
Read story here
9:15am: Changing lockdown policy confuses police in Lahore
Lahore police are facing a conundrum in chalking out a clear plan for enforcing the lockdown invoked in the wake of preventive measures against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Every other day the authorities come up with an alternative policy that is in contradiction with the previous one. The state of indecisiveness has reached a level were the policies are being reversed within hours.
Read story here
9:00am: Maulana Tariq Jamil clarifies Ehsaas Telethon statement
Renowned religious scholar Maulana Tariq Jamil in a series of tweets late Monday night clarified his statement he made during the Ehsaas Telethon saying that his aim was to point out that ÔÇÿWE are all to blame for our current stateÔÇØ.
He said that it was meant to be a general remark not targeting specific men, women, persons or gender, but as a reminder to get closer to what Allah teaches us.
He further said his goal was to remind us all to focus on the spiritual and away from our desires and the materialistic.
ÔÇ£I am the first to admit as I have taught over the years, that there is no excuse for making any hurtful comments about anyone or making anyone feel uncomfortable,ÔÇØ he added.
Recently I made some comments that I wish to clarify— Tariq Jamil (@TariqJamilOFCL) April 27, 2020
My aim was to point out that WE are all to blame for our current state. It was meant to be a general remark not targeting any specific men, women, persons or gender, but as a reminder to get closer to what Allah teaches us.
8:45am: 157,223 tests conducted
As many as 157,223 tests have so far been conducted across the country out of which 6,417 tests have been conducted in the past 24 hours.
According to the National Command and Operation Centre 3,556 Covid-19 are admitted across the 717 hospitals with covid facilities.
8:30am: President visits Lehtrar Road mosques in Islamabad
President Dr Arif Alvi has urged that anti-COVID 19 precautionary measures guidelines are crucial to prevent the disease.
He made these remarks during his visit to various mosques located at Lehtrar Road in Islamabad on Monday night.
The president reviewed the precautionary measures being adopted by mosques administration during prayers and Namaz-e-Taraweeh in Ramazan.
He said all precautionary measures mentioned in 20-point SoPs would have to be enforced collectively by the management of mosques and the people.
8:15am Death toll cross 300
The National Command and Operation Centre on Tuesday reported eights new Covid-19 deaths taking the total death toll to 301.
In the last 24 hours 751 people have tested positive for the virus taking the national tally to 14,079.
Meanwhile, 3,233 have so far recovered with 204┬á recoveries reported in the past 24 hours.
8am: Sindh Governor Imran Ismail tests coronavirus positive
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail has confirmed that he tested positive for Covid-19 and vowed to fight the highly contagious disease.
"I believe this is nothing against what we [are] prepared for,"┬áthe governor┬áwrote on┬áhis official Twitter handle.
"I have just been tested Covid 19 positive, Allah Kareem inshallah will fight it out. @ImranKhanPTI thought [taught] us to fight out the most difficult in life and I believe this is nothing against what we r [are] prepared for. May Allah give strength to fight this Pandemic inshallah," he said in a tweet.
I have just been tested Covid 19 positive, Allah Kareem inshallah will fight it out. @ImranKhanPTI thought us to fight out the most difficult in life and I believe this is nothing against what we r prepared for. May Allah give strength to fight this Pandemic inshallah.— Imran Ismail (@ImranIsmailPTI) April 27, 2020
Read full story┬áhere