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. It’s not the virulence or fatality, but the infectivity of the new virus – also known as SARS-CoV-2 – that has set off a global frenzy.
The Covid-19 respiratory illness caused by this mysterious contagion has so far infected more than 5.3 million people in 202 countries and territories of the world – and over 335,000 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 – 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 55,792 with 19,557 cases in Punjab, 22,491 in Sindh, 7,905 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 3,407 in Balochistan, 619 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 1,592 in Islamabad and 221 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The virus has claimed at least 1,160 lives while at least 17,293 coronavirus patients have recovered.
The situation remains fluid and we’re updating stats as soon as new figures are officially released.
Follow The Express Tribune’s live coverage of the pandemic here.
11:40pm: Balochistan reports 101 fresh Covid-19 cases
Balochistan on Sunday reported 101 fresh Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 3407.
With one more fatality, the coronavirus death toll reached 40 while 875 patients have recovered so far, said the health department in a statement.
9:51pm: Three more patients succumb to Covid-19 in G-B
The Covid-19 death toll in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) rose to seven after three more lives lost to the deadly virus, said health department in a statement on Sunday.
However, the statement said no new coronavirus cases was reported in the region today while 437 patients have recovered so far.
The total number of Covid-19 cases in G-B stands at 619.
8:50pm: Covid-19 claims nine more lives in K-P
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) on Sunday reported 220 fresh Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to 7,905, health department said in a statetment.
With nine more deaths, the provincial coronavirus death toll has reached 398 while 73 patients have recovered so far, it added.
220 new cases confirmed (5 from Int'l flights center) taking total to 7,905. 9 more lives were lost (3 Malakand, 2 Peshawar, 2 Nowshera, 1 Mardan, 1 Abbottabad) taking total to 398. 73 more patients recovered taking tally to 2,469 in KP. Active cases at 5,038. pic.twitter.com/M9x40p2Eon— Health Department KP (@HealthKPGovt) May 24, 2020
We urge everyone to keep all those who have passed away due to COVID-19 and in the tragic plane crash of #PK8303 in your prayers this eid. We also request you to celebrate this Eid responsibly by following the SOPs set by government for social distancing.— Health Department KP (@HealthKPGovt) May 24, 2020
8:20pm: US ambassador announces fresh aid to strengthen Pakistan’s fight against Covid-19
US Ambassador to Pakistan, Paul Jones has announced a new American contribution of $6 million to strengthen Pakistan’s response by expanding training for healthcare workers and providing a fourth mobile lab to test and treat patients living in coronavirus hotspots.
In a video message on Sunday, Jones wished Eid Mubarak to all Pakistanis celebrating the holiday: “I would like to congratulate Pakistanis on the completion of Ramazan – on behalf of all of us at the US Mission to Pakistan."
Read more here
6:06pm: PML-N leader Amir Muqam tests positive for Covid-19
Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leader, Amir Muqam has tested positive for coronavirus.
In a statement on Sunday, the party president, Shehbaz Sharif prayed for the swift recovery of Amir Muqam, who is also a president of PML-N K-P chapter.
پاکستان مسلم لیگ (ن) خیبر پختونخوا کے صدر انجینئر امیر مقام میں کرونا ٹیسٹ مثبت آنے کی خبر سن کر افسوس ہوا۔ امیر مقام خیبر پختونخوا میں پارٹی کا ایک متحرک نام ہیں، پارٹی کے لیے ان کی خدمات کو خراج تحسین پیش کرتے ہیں۔— Shehbaz Sharif (Stay at home to stay safe) (@CMShehbaz) May 24, 2020
اللہ تعالی سے دعا ہے کہ انہیں صحت کاملہ عطا فرمائے۔
4:00 pm: COAS visits frontline troops on Eid
The army chief, during his visit to Puna sector of the LoC, offered Eid prayers with the soldiers disputed on the frontline and prayed for the "peace, progress and prosperity of Pakistan in these difficult times particularly seeking Allah’s blessings for the nation to overcome Covid 19 pandemic".
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2:00 pm: 'We will get through this', says Governor Imran Ismail in Eidul Fitr message
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, referring to Eid as 'different' this year, said the nation has been through a lot the past couple of months.
The Sindh governor said Pakistan will not be able to celebrate Eidul Fitr with large gatherings this year, but we will get through this.
He said we must focus on those affected by the lockdown and reach out and help them in whatever way we can.
1:10 pm: Sindh reports 846 new cases
Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah wished the people of the country on the occasion of Eidul Fitr. During his daily briefing, the chief minister said 846 new coronavirus cases emerged in the province during the last 24 hours. During the same time period, 3,547 tests were conducted.
He said the number of total positive results from the tests conducted amounts to 24 per cent, which is the highest percentage of positive cases till now. Murad further said 13 people succumbed to the virus during the past day.
12:20 pm: At least 17,198 recover from virus
According to the government's official portal, at least 17,198 people have recovered from the novel coronavirus in the country till date.
11:40 am: Daman-e-Koh, other entertainment venues closed in Islamabad
As part of precautionary measures against the coronavirus pandemic, authorities have closed Islamabad's Daman-e-Koh, zoo and other entertainment venues for Eidul Fitr. Food stalls and shops near the venues are also closed.
11:00 am: CM Buzdar observes social distancing while offering Eid prayers
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar offered his Eid prayers in Lahore while observing social distancing measures.
10:15 pm: PM Imran, President Alvi urge nation to ensure precautionary measures on Eidul Fitr
Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Dr Arif Alvi on Sunday urged the nation to adhere to precautionary measures as the nation celebrates Eidul Fitr amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
President Dr Arif Alvi in his message, dedicated his wish to those martyred in the plane crash, to the doctors and nurses on the frontline fighting against Covid-19, to the patients affected by the virus, to the Kashmiris, to Muslims suffering in India, to the Palestinians and Muslim refugees across the world.
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9:30 am: Punjab allows Covid-19 patients to see families on Eid
Families of coronavirus patients admitted to hospitals and quarantine centres in Punjab will be allowed to meet them from a distance of eight feet or see them through windows on Eidul Fitr.
The Punjab Health Department has prepared a plan for Eid celebration by the patients and their families, while standard operating procedures (SOPs) have also been finalised for the purpose.
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8:30 am: Nation celebrates Eidul Fitr with religious zeal amid pandemic
Eidul Fitr is being celebrated across Pakistan on Sunday with traditional zeal amid a more sombre mood, following the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane crash in Karachi and the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak that has affected over 53,000 people.
Eid congregational prayers were held in open grounds, mosques and Eidgahs across the country while following strict standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government.
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8:00 am: Provinces agree to abolish on-arrival test of air travellers
The chief secretaries of the provinces have agreed to the idea of abolishing testing on the arrival of the passengers and agreed for a strict and proper screening of the passengers arriving at the airports.
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