LIVE: Markets, shopping malls to remain open till Eid as Covid-19 tally hits 43,316

PM Imran launches Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme for the jobless

​ Our Correspondents May 18, 2020
People gather for shopping at a market after the government eased a nationwide lockdown in Karachi. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD / KARACHI / PESHAWAR / LAHORE / QUETTA / 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 4.7 million people in 202 countries and territories of the world ÔÇô and over 315,000 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.

Nearly one and a half months after imposing the lockdown across the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced to ease the lockdown in phases.

The nationwide tally of Covid-19 patients stands at 43,316 with 15,346 cases in Punjab, 17,241 in Sindh, 6,230 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 2,820 in Balochistan, 550 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 997 in Islamabad and 132 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The virus has claimed at least 924 lives while at least 11,922 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.


12:00am: 20 fresh Covid-19 cases swell AJK tally to 132

With 20 new coronavirus cases, 19 of them from Muzaffarabad, the total number of positive cases has reached 132 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), health officials confirmed.

76 patients have recovered with one death in the state so far.


11:09pm: Four clinical trial patients recover from coronavirus in Sindh

Four out of 11 Covid-19 patients who received plasma therapy as part of the passive immunisation clinical trials being carried out in Sindh have recovered completely, stated Sindh Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho on Monday.

Terming the trials a success, Pechuho revealed that the four recovered patients had been discharged after testing negative. Meanwhile, five others are in stable condition and two have been placed on ventilators, she added.

The minister shared that as these trials had been a success, more clinical trials will be carried out on those patients who may not need ventilators.

Read more here


10:55pm: $135 million coronavirus response programme gets World Bank nod

The World Bank (WB) and Sindh government have decided to launch a Covid-19 response programme, at the cost of $135 million, in the province, as well as a locust control programme.

In a video link meeting with WB country director Patchamuthu Illangovan on Monday, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the provincial government wanted to launch a Covid-19 response programme with the technical and financial support of the international institution.

He added that through the diversion, restructuring, repurposing and realigning of WB funds allocated for the province, resources could be mobilised for the purpose.

Read more here


10:33pm: Balochistan reports one more death, 128 more Covid-19 cases

The Balochistan Health Department, in its daily situational report, has confirmed one more casualty due to coronavirus in the past 24 hours to bring the provincial death toll to 38.

It also reported 128 new cases of Covid-19 to raise the provinceÔÇÖs tally to 2,820.

524 patients have recovered from the disease in the province so far.


10:25pm: Red Crescent suspends operations in Hyderabad cardiac facility

The Pakistan Red Crescent partially suspended operations at its cardiac facility in Latifabad on Monday out of fear a coronavirus outbreak.

ÔÇ£The special committee of Hyderabad Red Crescent has decided to suspend the services at the male and female wards of the cardiac hospital from May 18 for the time-being to ensure safety and to lessen the financial burden [of the facility],ÔÇØ reads the official order.

However, the hospitalÔÇÖs diagnostic and emergency units will remain functional.

The staff members of the non-functional units have been sent on unpaid leave with the assurance that they will be called back once operations resume. They will receive half a monthÔÇÖs salary for May.


9:20pm: AKUH to train health workers for Covid-19 treatment via Tele-ICU service

The Sindh government is collaborating with the Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) to provide free training and technical assistance to healthcare professionals working in the public sector in providing critical care to Covid-19 patients.

The programme, Tele-ICU consultation, which was launched on Monday, will help healthcare workers from across the province treat coronavirus patients by consulting experts available for guidance throughout the day.

Read more here


8:40pm: Bilawal hopes sanity prevails in apex court over coronavirus crisis

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has hoped that sanity would prevail in the countryÔÇÖs highest court after Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed ordered for shopping malls to be opened across the country.

ÔÇ£I donÔÇÖt want to believe that the superior judiciary would pass any judgment endangering the health and lives of the people of Pakistan. IÔÇÖm sure all honourable judges will give judgements based on facts and medical realities,ÔÇØ he wrote on Twitter.


8:32pm: 10 more cases in G-B raise Covid-19 tally to 550

The Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Health Department, in its daily situational report, has confirmed 10 more cases of coronavirus to raise the regionÔÇÖs tally to 550.

368 patients have recovered with four deaths in the region so far.


8:22pm: Sindh increases virus testing capacity to 6,550

Claiming that Sindh was far ahead of other provinces in terms of testing capacity for the novel coronavirus, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah stated that the province was now able to conduct 6,550 tests a day.

In a statement issued on Monday, Shah said that there were 19 laboratories in the province testing samples for Covid-19, adding that they were operating at 77 per cent of their capacity.

Sharing updates about the coronavirus outbreak in Sindh, he apprised that 864 people were diagnosed with the virus out of the 4,679 samples tested on the day. The tally has soared to 17,241 in the province, while a total of 127,573 people have been tested for Covid-19.

More here


8:15pm: Fawad Chaudhry warns against lifting lockdown prematurely

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has expressed serious concerns over the governmentÔÇÖs decision of prematurely lifting the coronavirus lockdown, saying the Covid-19 cases will peak in Pakistan by mid-June.

Details here


7:00pm: K-P reports 16 more deaths, 169 new Covid-19 cases in 24 hours

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Health Department, in its daily situational report, has confirmed 16 more deaths due to coronavirus in the past 24 hours to bring the provincial death toll to 334.

12 deaths were reported from Peshawar and one each in Swabi, Swat, Buner and D I Khan.

169 new cases ÔÇô 41 from quarantine centers ÔÇô were also reported, raising the tally to 6,230 in the province.

161 patients recovered, taking the total to 1,944 in K-P. Active cases stand at 3,952.


6:45pm: Sindh becomes first province to treat 11 Covid-19 patients with plasma therapy

Sindh is the first province in Pakistan to successfully conduct Passive Immunization through Plasma Therapy on 11 Covid-19 patients.

Sindh Minister for Health and Population Welfare Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, in a video message, said nine patients have already tested negative for coronavirus in the province.


6:00pm: Punjab reports eight more deaths, 762 new cases of Covid-19

The Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department of Punjab has confirmed eight more deaths due to coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking the provincial death toll to 260.

The health officials also confirmed 762 new cases of coronavirus to bring the tally to 15,346.


5:10pm: PM launches Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme for jobless

Prime Minister Imran Khan has formally launched Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme for those rendered jobless due to coronavirus.

Over Rs3 billion have so far been collected in the Prime MinisterÔÇÖs Corona Relief Fund.

Prime MinisterÔÇÖs Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar briefed the premier on the occasion, Radio Pakistan reported. On the instructions of the prime minister, the government will contribute four rupees for every rupee donated to the fund, she said.

Imran Khan interacted with the affectees and listened to their problems and grievances and assured them of making all efforts to resolving their issues.

Strict precautionary measures were observed on the occasion.


Full story here


4:30 pm: Passenger trains to run from May 20-31

Railways Minister Shiekh Rasheed has said that passenger trains will resume operations from May 20 and run till May 31.


4:00 pm: ANP's Ghulam Ahmed Bilour tests positive for Covid-19

Senior leader of the Awami National Party (ANP) Ghulam Ahmed Bilour has tested positive for Covid-19.

The senior leader has quarantined himself at his family home, Bilour House.


3:15 pm: NED University to hold bachelor's entry tests online

NED University of Engineering and Technology has announced significant changes in its admission criteria and policy. In the most recent announcement, the varsity has decided to shift its entrance test for the bachelors of engineering programme online.

Beginning from August 8, 2020, the varsity will conduct entrance tests for a week. Students will have to come to the university to sit for the test but will be called to campus in shifts of 900-1,000, with two shifts being called each day.

Read story here

line-945-15248325223:00 pm: Punjab issues new guidelines for SMEs as businesses resume

The Punjab government on Monday issued new standard operating procedures (SOPs) for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as business activities resumed following the ease of the lockdown imposed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

According to the new guidelines issued by the provinceÔÇÖs healthcare secretary, Captain (retd) Muhammad Usman, business owners have to display SOPs issued by the government in a prominent place of their shops.

Hand washing facility and sanitisers have been directed to be made available in shops, and the entire staff has been directed to wash hands repeatedly.

Read story here

line-945-15248325222:45 pm: Leopards, jackals return to IslamabadÔÇÖs mountains

line-945-15248325222:35 pm: Opposition leader in Sindh Assembly Firdous Shamim Naqvi addresses a news conference


2:30pm: Sindh Assembly session to be held on May 20

Sindh Assembly session will be held on May 20. According to a notification issued legislators who are ill or above 60 have been asked not to attend the session.

The session will focus on the measures taken by the provincial government to tackle the coronavirus.

line-945-15248325222:15 pm: Govt has to maintain a balance between economy, preventive measures: PM

Prime Minister Imran Khan says the government has to maintain a balance between economic activities and preventive measures against coronavirus pandemic.

He was talking to President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry Mian Anjum Nisar and Vice Presidents Dr Muhammad Arshad and Qaisar Khan in Islamabad today (Monday).

The prime minister said the government has allowed industries to continue work; however, industrialists should ensure implementation of preventive measures against coronavirus.

The president FPCCI presented the Prime Minister with a cheque of Rs20 million for Corona Relief Fund.

line-945-15248325221:55 pm: 864 new cases reported in Sindh

With 864 new cases in Sindh, the provincial coronavirus tally has now reached 17,241.

As many as three deaths were reported in the province in the past 24 hours taking the death toll 280.

Around 4,679 were conducted on the previous day taking the total number of tests conducted in Sindh to 12,7573.line-945-15248325221:45 pm: Provincial breakdown of Ehsaas Emergency cash distribution

The government on Monday released details of the funds distributed under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme.

According to the governmentÔÇÖs official website, Rs104,955.14 have been distributed among 8,622,285 beneficiaries.provincial-breakdown-of (1) provincial-breakdown-of

line-945-15248325221:15 pm: PIA flight bringing back stranded students from Wuhan leaves for Pakistan

A special flight bringing back Pakistani students from ChinaÔÇÖs Wuhan city has departed for Islamabad.

The special flight is expected to reach the federal capital around 5pm in the evening.

The students have not been able to return to Pakistan since the past six months after China imposed a strict lockdown in the province and the Pakistani government decided against bringing back its students.

line-945-15248325221:10 pm: Govt makes public Ehsaas programme fund distribution  

line-945-152483252212:30 pm: SC directs provinces to open all shopping malls

Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed on Monday ordered for shopping malls to be opened across the country.

Hearing the suo motu case on the coronavirus crisis, the chief justice questioned why shopping malls were asked to stay closed when markets were open.

He further directed the provinces to allow markets and shopping malls to remain open during the weekends as well till Eid.

Read story here

line-945-152483252212:15 pm: SAPM Usman Dar addresses ceremony in Attock


11:30 am: Guidelines issued for wearing masks

Ministry of National Health Services has issued national guidelines for healthcare workers and general public for wearing face mask during the current epidemic of COVID-19.

According to the guidelines issued today, all Covid-19 positive and suspected individuals have been asked to wear disposable face-masks.

Similarly, it also asks all individuals to wear a disposable or any other available face mask on leaving their homes for protection of themselves as well as others.

The guidelines say face-masks are mandatory to be worn by everyone in situations including crowded public places, Mosque, bazaars, shopping malls and public transport including road, rails and flights.line-945-1524832522

11:00 am: World hailing PMÔÇÖs initiative of Corona Relief Tiger Force: Shibli

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz has said the world is hailing the Corona Relief Tiger Force established by Prime Minister Imran Khan for the assistance of the masses.

In a tweet on Monday, he said the youth are helping and facilitating the people in the fight against Coronavirus.

The information minister said these volunteers are pride of the nation.


10:30 am: Efforts of Pakistani-American girl scout recognized by President Trump

A Pakistani-American girl scout was recognized by President Trump during a ceremony honoring coronavirus heroes! Laila donated 100 boxes of cookies to local medical workers and firefighters.

ÔÇ£While we are honored that our troop was invited to be here today, we know that we are just part of the millions of other children out there that are doing amazing things to support their communities, their friends and their families,ÔÇØ Khan said during the ceremony.

ÔÇ£It is a privilege to be here representing all of them,ÔÇØ she added.

10:15 am: Transporters split over new rules of business

Uncertainty prevails regarding the resumption of transport services in Punjab as transporters have split into two groups over acceptance of the terms set by the government in this regard.

One group decided to resume transport operation on Sunday, while the other did not agree to the terms announced by the government.

Read story here

line-945-152483252210:00 am: PPP snubs govt over Covid-19 situation

After PML-N, the PPP has launched a tirade against the PTI saying the government lacked a strategy to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

ÔÇ£The National Assembly (NA) session was called to discuss and formulate a joint strategy on coronavirus but the premier did not come to the House, while Bilawal Bhutto participated in the session and gave best recommendations [on Covid-19],ÔÇØ PPP leader Nafisa Shah said.

Nafisa made these remarks while addressing a press conference along with PPP leaders Rubina Khalid and Palwasha Behram in the federal capital on Sunday.

Read more here

line-945-15248325229:45 am: Gravediggers double charges over ÔÇÿincreased riskÔÇÖ

Undertakers in Rawalpindi have increased their prices for digging graves of those who died novel coronavirus (Covid-19) associated causes.

Gravediggers have justified the increase by saying that they were the ones who have to put their lives at risk without having any kind of safety gear while laying an infected patient to rest.

Those succumbing to the pandemic virus are being buried in wooden coffins instead of shrouds made of cloth as per the advice of medics due to the contagious nature of the virus.

Read story here

line-945-15248325229:30 am: Lockdown re-imposed in AJK

Azad Jammu Kashmir government re-imposed complete lockdown in the region from midnight.

Press Secretary to Prime Minister Raja Muhammad Waseem Khan told APP that the Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan has ordered the imposition of complete lockdown by withdrawing the early relaxation in the prohibitory order.

He said the state government decided to impose complete lockdown after the emergence of the rapid growth of the coronavirus positive cases in various parts of Azad Jammu Kashmir, especially in Muzaffarabad and Mirpur.

line-945-15248325229:00 am: Ehsaas programme for the jobless to be launched today

Prime Minister Imran Khan will launch on Monday Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program for those rendered jobless due to coronavirus.

Over Rs3 billion have so far been collected in the Corona Relief Fund. On the instructions of the prime minister, government will contribute Rs4 for every rupee donated to the fund.

Donations to the relief fund as well as release of funds from it is being done in a transparent manner.

line-945-15248325228:30 am: COVID-19 cases soar to 42,125

The nationwide tally of coronavirus cases has soared to 42,125 with 1,974 new cases reported during the last 24 hours.

Overall 15,346 cases have so far been detected in Punjab, 16,377 in Sindh, 6,061 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 2,692 in Balochistan, 540 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 997 in Islamabad and 112 in Azad Kashmir.

A total of 11,922 patients have so far recovered from the virus whilst the death toll stands at 903 with 30 new deaths reported.

line-945-15248325228:00 am: Trains likely to start chugging from Wednesday: railways minister

Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has expressed hope that train operations across the country would resume from Wednesday, saying that the move cannot be delayed as people stuck in different cities due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown are desperate to return to their hometowns to celebrate Eid with their families.

Addressing a news conference, the railways minister said the final decision regarding resumption of train operations would be taken after a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday.

Full story here

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Tatvavetta | 2 months ago | Reply | Recommend Kashmiris are not being tested for Kovid and have in adequate suport for medical facilities.
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