QUETTA/ PESHAWAR/ ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE/ KARACHI: 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 4 million people in 202 countries and territories of the world ÔÇô and over 280,000 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 30,429 with 11,093 cases in Punjab,┬á11,480 in Sindh, 4,669 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 2,017 in Balochistan, 442 in Gilgit-Baltistan,┬á641 in Islamabad and┬á87┬áin Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The virus has claimed at least 661 lives while at least 8,063 coronavirus patients have recovered.
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.
1:34am: Army major succumbs to Covid-19 in the line of duty at Torkham border: ISPR
A Pakistan Army officer deployed at the Torkham border terminal succumbed to the novel coronavirus, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Sunday as the total cases of the respiratory disease caused by Covid-19 crossed 30,000 ÔÇö making the country 19th most affected in the world.
The military's media wing said that Major Muhammad Asghar "laid his life in the line of duty" in the fight against Covid-19.
"He was managing Torkham border terminal to ensure screening of people and move of logistic convoys to Afghanistan," the official statement added.
Read more here
12:42am: Private sector offices to remain closed in Punjab
The Punjab government has clarified that the offices of private sector in the province will not be allowed to reopen as the coronavirus lockdown restrictions have been relaxed.
The provincial health department in a statement late Sunday said that only businesses mentioned in the notification issued earlier are allowed to resume their activities from Monday.
12:35am: Hospitals begin plasma therapy trials as first Covid-19 patient fully recovered
Pakistan's top hematologist on Sunday said that three hospitals in the country have started clinical trials for passive immunisation with the support of National Institute of Blood Disease (NIBD) to treat the Covid-19 patients
The NIBD head, Dr Tahir Shamsi, told The Express Tribune that five more hospitals across the country have also sought the Drug Regulatory of Pakistan (Drap) nod to conduct the clinical trials for passive immunisation.
Last month, Drap had granted approval for a passive immunisation under which the blood plasma is infused to coronavirus patients to help their immune system to fight off the highly-contagious disease.
Convalescent plasma taken from a recovered Covid-19 patient is believed to be rich in the antibodies needed to cure the deadly infection.
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12:05am: In Sindh, coronavirus tally soars past 11,000 cases
Sindh saw 709 new coronavirus cases on Sunday and nine more deaths due to the contagious disease, revealed Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah during a meeting with traders on the day.
This brought the number of Covid-19 patients reported in the province so far to 11,480 cases, while the death toll is now 189.
At the start of the meeting, Shah stated that 4,215 samples were tested on the day, of which 709 were positive - around 17 per cent of the tested samples.
He added that the government had conducted 91,323 tests to date, and 11,480 people were diagnosed with the virus, which accounts for 12.6 per cent.
Full story here
11:55pm: Women struggle with lockdown on the home front
Before the lockdown, Farheen*, 36, wouldnÔÇÖt spend even a single day off from work at home. ÔÇ£No matter what I did, I made sure not to stay home on my day off. I would roam the city, go anywhere, but not stay at home.ÔÇØ
A single working woman, FarheenÔÇÖs elderly parents and a brother believe her choice of working in the media has ÔÇÿcorruptedÔÇÖ her, making her impudent and mannerless.
Spending time out of the house gave her a break from the constant criticism and emotional turmoil. But now, the lockdown has her feeling ÔÇÿimprisonedÔÇÖ and frustrated. ÔÇ£I clash with my family more often and my personal space has shrunk significantly,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£I just want to get away from this suffocating environment.ÔÇØ
Work had been her biggest escape. But now, working from home, she is deprived of that too.
Read more here
11:30pm: Covid-19 cases surge past 30,000 across country
Coronavirus cases in the country surged past 30,000 on Sunday with nearly 1,300 new infections as the tally exceeded 11,000 in both Sindh and Punjab. The death toll from the disease also surpassed 650.
The spike in cases has landed Pakistan on the 19th spot on the John Hopkins University coronavirus trackerÔÇÖs list of countries with most Covid-19 cases.
Over 8,000 patients across the country have recovered from the disease so far.
The country has recorded its highest number of cases for three consecutive days with the government lifting the coronavirus-induced lockdown in phases.
Read more here
10:15pm: Two more succumb to Covid-19 in Balochistan as cases rise to 2,017
The Balochistan Health Department, in its daily situational report, has confirmed two more casualties due to coronavirus in the province to raise its death toll to 26.
82 fresh cases were also reported in the last 24 hours to bring the provincial tally to 2,017.
242 people have recovered from the mysterious disease in the province so far.
10:06pm: 19 fresh cases raise G-BÔÇÖs Covid-19 tally to 442
The Gilgit-Baltistan Health Department has confirmed another 19 cases of coronavirus in the region to raise it tally to 442.
The virus has claimed four lives while 304 patients have recovered from the mysterious disease in the region so far.
Number of active cases stands at 134.
9:05pm: Retail shops to reopen for four days a week as Sindh starts easing lockdown
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah gave permission on Sunday for shops and retail entities, except shopping malls and plazas, to resume business from Monday onwards.
Apprising the members of small traders associations of the development in a meeting, the CM also outlined the standard operating procedures issued by the government for shops.
He said that those permitted to resume business included retail outlets and standalone shops in residential areas, while shopping malls were to remain closed.
Read more here
8:25pm: Sindh decides to reopen nine govt offices from Monday
The Sindh government has announced to reopen some of its departments as the federal government eased coronavirus restrictions cross the country, allowing small markets and some businesses to operate by following standard operating procedures (SOPs).
In a notification issued on Sunday, the provincial government has directed industries, science and technology, social welfare and several other departments to resume work from tomorrow (Monday) with "minimum essential staff".
8:15pm: Focal person for Covid-19 in Bajaur tests positive for virus
Zamin Khan Momand, Additional Deputy Commissioner and Focal Person for Covid-19 in Bajaur, has been tested positive for coronavirus, a notification issued by the districtÔÇÖs deputy commissioner said on Sunday.
7:00pm: Bajaur MNA Gul Zafar Khan tests positive for coronavirus
Member of National Assembly (MNA) from Bajaur district of Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Gul Zafar Khan has been tested positive for Covid-19, health department officials said on Sunday.
He has gone into self-isolation after contracting the contagion.
6:00pm: K-P reports 11 more deaths, 160 new coronavirus cases in last 24 hours
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Health Department, in its daily situational report, has confirmed 11 new deaths ÔÇô eight in Peshawar and one each in Mardan, Swat and Battagram ÔÇô taking the total to 245.
160 new cases ÔÇô four from quarantine centers ÔÇô were also confirmed, taking the total cases to 4,669 in the province.
40 more patients have recuperated from the mysterious disease to bring the total number of recoveries to 1,126 across the province. Active cases stand at 3,298.
160 new cases (4 from quarantine centers) were confirmed taking the total cases to 4,669. 11 new deaths were confirmed (8 in Peshawar, 1 each in Mardan, Swat, Battagram) taking the total to 245. 40 new patients recovered taking tally to 1,126 across KP. Active cases at 3,298. pic.twitter.com/LGFA1Rg5a9— Health Department KP (@HealthKPGovt) May 10, 2020
4:50pm: COAS, President inquire after NA speaker's health
Chief Of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and President Arif Alvi called on National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to inquire after his health.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan had also spoken to the NA Speaker and inquired about his health.
The NA Speaker had tested positive for the virus on May 1, along with his son and daughter.
4:30pm: Disinfection drive underway at Faisal Mosque
4:15pm: Two parliamentarians, an NA official test positive for virus
Tests pf two members of the National Assembly, Mehmood Shah and Gul Zafar Khan, came back positive.
The┬áMNAas were tested before the assembly session held on Friday. The concerned authorities had made it mandatory for all parliamentarians to be tested for the virus before the assembly session.
An attendant of one of the chambers at the NA, Zafaryab, also tested positive for the virus.
4:00pm: 'Shops in Sindh to open from 6am to 5pm from Monday'
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah in a meeting with traders stated that shops will be allowed to open from 6am up until 5pm from tomorrow (Monday).
He said that just as the decision to impose a lockdwon was difficult for the government,┬áuplifting it was equally challenging.
Speaking on behalf of the businessmen community, Siraj Qasim Teli┬áacknowledged┬áthat it was their responsibility to ensure all shops followed the standard operating procedures.
3:30pm: SAPM on Youth Affairs Usman Dar addresses presser
3:00pm: CM Sindh orders tests of staff at shops in district South
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah ordered for all the staff employed at stores in district South to be tested.
The decision was taken after an asymptomatic person was found to be working┬áat the checkout counter of a shop.
On the directions of #CMSindh, staff of marts in #Karachi South is being tested for #Corona— Deputy Commissioner South Karachi (@DCSouthKarachi) May 9, 2020
Marts will operate only after positives are quarantined, contacts retested & store disinfected
Asymptomatic Positive was working at checkout counter; quarantined now #StayHomeStaySafe
2:35pm: Pakistan's total tally crosses 30,000 mark
After recording the highest number of cases for three consecutive days, the nation-wide tally soared past 30,000 on Sunday.
The latest increase in cases was seen following Sindh announcing 709 fresh cases.
The number is expected to further increase later in the day as other provinces and regions begin announcing their respective results.
2:30pm: Sindh reports 709 new cases
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said 709 new cases were recorded in Sindh in the past 24 hours. The fresh cases have taken the province's total tally to 11,480.
Moreover, the province recorded 9 more deaths, taking the total death toll to 189.
As for the recoveries, the CM stated that 61 more patients recovered in the last 2 hours. The total number of recovered patients in the province now stands at 2,081.
2:00pm:┬áFederal Minister Planning Asad Umar addresses presser
1:30pm: Urban Slum Covid-19 Response Programme
Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam will be inaugurating PakistanÔÇÖs first Urban Slum Covid-19 Response Programme tomorrow in collaboration with the UN Habitat.
The advisor stated that┬áthe objective of the programme is to prevent the spread of the virus in urban slum areas and empowering the local communities to┬ásustain the economic impact of the virus.
1:00pm: Punjab govt issues┬ánotification┬áfor patients in home isolation
According to a notification issued by the Punjab health department, only asymptomatic patients or those┬áexperiencing mild symptoms will be allowed to isolate at home or a government certified facility.
The permission to isolate at home will be given by the Home Isolation Committee, which will determine whether there are enough rooms in the home for a patient to isolate as well as the family member's level of understanding of the disease.
12:30pm: PM Imran┬áinquires after NA Speaker Asad Qaiser's health
Prime Minister Imran Khan called on National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to inquire after his and his children's health.
The NA speaker had tested positive for coronavirus on May 1. His son and daughter had also tested positive for the virus.
11:00am: NDMA┬ádistributes PPEs┬áin Balochistan
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) began its fifth round of distribution of protective gear on Sunday.
Under this round it provided various personal protective equipment to four hospitals in Balochistan.
The gear included three PCR testing machines; 20,000 complete testing kits; 20,000 surgical masks and 10,000 KNN-95 masks among other necessary equipment.
10:00am: Pakistan's totally tally of virus cases reaches 29,464
According to the National Command and Operation Centre's fresh update, Pakistan recorded 1,991 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total tally of cases to 29,464.
At least 21 more deaths were recorded, taking the country's death toll to 639.
A total of 8,023 people have recovered from the virus so far.
The NCOC update further stated that around 13,341 tests were conducted in a day.
7:45am: K-P CM approves 500-bed emergency hospital in Peshawar
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan approved construction of a 500-bed emergency hospital in Peshawar in a response to a surge of Covid-19 cases in the province.
In order to cater the needs of increasing #COVID19 patients, #GoKP with the support of Fed Govt. is setting a 500-bed emergency Hospital at #Peshawar. #KPGovt will manage its Operations which will have extended facilities to cope such emergencies in future as well. #KPKUpdates— Mahmood Khan (@IMMahmoodKhan) May 8, 2020
Adding on to the CM's tweet,┬áK-P Health Minister Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra reflected that every crisis is an opportunity. "Today, we can build on what PTI's work of the last few years, and take K-P's healthcare system to the next level," he said in a tweet. "The CM has approved a 500-bed emergency hospital in Peshawar, where cases are greatest, to deal with the surge capacity for Covid-19."
1 In every crisis, an opportunity. Today, we can build on what PTI's work of the last few years, & take KP's healthcare system to the next level.— Taimur Khan Jhagra (@Jhagra) May 10, 2020
The CM has approved a 500-bed emergency hospital in Peshawar, where cases are greatest, to deal with the surge capacity for Covid. https://t.co/0owLfENQV0
3:ooam: Lockdown in Islamabad extended to May 31
The Covid-19 lockdown in the federal capital has been extended with additional exemptions as per the guidelines of the NCOC.
According to the notification issued by a district magistrate, the construction sector will reopen in Phase-I of lifting coronavirus lockdown.
Retail shops, IT centres, community, and small markets in rural areas have been allowed to open and directed to follow the federal government's standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Parks, trails, golf courses, and tennis courts┬áhave been directed to implement social distancing.
1:00am: One more succumbs to Covid-19 in G-B; cases rise to 430
The Gilgit-Baltistan Health Department has confirmed one more casualty due to coronavirus to bring the regionÔÇÖs death toll to four.
It also reported four new cases of Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the G-B tally to 430.
303 patients have so far recovered from the mysterious disease while 123 are still being treated at different health facilities.