ISLAMABAD / KARACHI / PESHAWAR / LAHORE / QUETTA / MUZAFFARABAD/ X 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 6.1 million people in 202 countries and territories of the world ÔÇô and over 373,000 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┬á74,477┬áwith 26,240 cases in Punjab,┬á29,647 in Sindh, 10,485 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 4,514 in Balochistan, 738 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 2,589 in Islamabad and┬á261 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The virus has claimed at least┬á1,574 lives while about 26,083 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.
1:10am: New cases of coronavirus take G-B tally to 738
The novel coronavirus has injected 27 more people in Gilgit-Baltistan, raising the tally 738.
According to the G-B health department, 527 patients have already recovered from Covid-19 while the virus claimed at least 12 lives in the region so far.
12:06am: Three more Covid-19 cases take AJK total infections to 264
Azad Jammu and Kashmir has reported three new cases of Covid-19, taking the total infections to 264 in the region.
According to health authorities, 168 patients have recovered while six people died from the virus. The number of active cases in the region stood at 90.
11:57pm: Balochistan extends Covid-19 lockdown till June 16
The Balochistan government has extended the coronavirus lockdown till June 16 amid escalating Covid-19 cases in the province.
In a notification issued on Monday, the home department allowed the businesses to operate six days a week except Friday. However, business timings have been reduced from 9am to 7pm.
Restaurants and hotels are also allowed to open but only home delivery and takeaway services, read the official notification.
11:47pm: Sindh eases lockdown following NCC meeting
The government of Sindh has eased the lockdown, imposed to stem the spread of Covid-19, after the National Coordination Committee (NCC) meeting in Islamabad.
"The meeting of the NCC dated 1st June 2020 deliberated, discussed and decided on its proposals on lockdown during the Covid-19 emergency with the objective of opening up economic activities and focus on compliance of SOPs by concerned businesses, persons and general public so as to prevent the spread of Covid-19 while such economic and other activities are undertaken," a notification issued by the Sindh Home Department read.
According to the notification, the provincial government has allowed the public transport to reopen after a meeting with the transporters.
Days to do business have also been extended to five days (Monday to Friday) instead of four. The timings for business have also been increased to 7pm.
11:30pm: 121 new Covid-19 cases bring Balochistan tally to 4,514
At least 121 more people have contracted the novel coronavirus in Balochistan in the past 24 hours, bringing the provincial tally to 4,514.
According to the health authorities, 1,565 patients have also recovered from the respiratory disease while 49 people have lost their lives since the outbreak of the virus in the province.
9:50pm: Sindh coronavirus tally nears 30,000 with 1,402 new cases
The month of June has begun with the detection of 1,402 new coronavirus cases and 22 deaths in the province, stated Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday, adding that this brought the number of virus cases reported in the province to 29,647 and the death toll to 503.
Sharing details about the pandemic situation in Sindh, Shah disclosed that 6,289 fresh samples had been tested and 1,402 new cases emerged as result ÔÇô constituting 22.3 per cent of the samples. He added that so far the Sindh government has conducted 187,092 tests and detected 29,647 cases.
Shah also disclosed that 342 patients were currently in critical condition, of whom 71 were on ventilators.
8:45pm: PM discusses coronavirus situation, politics with Sindh governor
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail called upon Prime Minister Imran Khan at the PM Office in Islamabad on Monday. Coronavirus pandemic and prevailing political situation among other matters of mutual interest were discussed at the meeting.
وزیر اعظم عمران خان سے گورنر سندھ عمران اسماعیل کی ملاقات— Govt of Pakistan (@pid_gov) June 1, 2020
ملاقات میں سندھ کی سیاسی صورتحال اور کورونا کے تناظر میں صوبے کی مجموعی صورتحال پر تبادلہ خیال۔ pic.twitter.com/IvZtLrwuOn
8:00pm: K-P reports nine more deaths, 458 new cases of coronavirus
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa health department, in its daily situational report, has confirmed nine more casualties due to Covid-19 in the past 24 hours to being the provincial death toll to 482.
Two deaths were reported from Peshawar, two from Bajaur, and one each in Swat, Dir Lower, Buner, Malakand and Kohat.
458 new cases were also reported, taking the total to 10,485 in the province.
61 more patients recovered to raise the tally to 2,973. 63,600 tests have been conducted so far.
458 new cases confirmed today taking the total to 10,485 in KP. 9 new deaths were confirmed (2 Peshawar, 2 Bajaur, 1 each in Swat, Dir Lower, Buner, Malakand and Kohat) taking the total to 482. 61 new patients recovered taking the total to 2,973. 63,600 tests conducted so far. pic.twitter.com/lhB3HNJ5w2— Health Department KP (@HealthKPGovt) June 1, 2020
6:40pm:┬áPM eases lockdown, says cases and fatalities will increase
Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that the government is gradually easing the lockdown imposed to stem the spread of coronavirus as it did not have ample resources to sustain economic losses for a longer period of time.
ÔÇ£The number of cases and fatalities will increase nowÔÇª it is up to you people to take preventive measures and ensure standard operating procedures to reduce burden on the healthcare system,ÔÇØ he said while addressing a televised news conference after chairing a meeting of National Coordination Committee (NCC) in Islamabad on Monday.
ÔÇ£We imposed the lockdown when 26 coronavirus cases were detected in the country,ÔÇØ he said.
ÔÇ£I was very clear-minded from the very first day since the virus outbreak that the situation of Pakistan is very different from China and Europe and hence strict lockdown cannot be imposed here,ÔÇØ he maintained.
ÔÇ£People living in DHA and other upscale neigbourhoods see lockdown from different perspective from the people living in slum areas,ÔÇØ said the premier.
ÔÇ£I as a prime minister I was looking through these two perspectives that we had to stop the spread of virus while considering the needs of the marginalised segment of the society.
ÔÇ£This coronavirus is not going anywhere and we will have to live with it while striking a balance between poverty and lockdown.ÔÇØ
There will be dire consequences of returning to normal life without taking any preventive measures against the virus, said the prime minister.
PM Imran said people in India are dying due to lockdown and virus is still spreading in the neighbouring country.
ÔÇ£We are planning to open the tourism sector but high risk sectors will continue to remain closed,ÔÇØ he said.
6:10pm: Govt has doubled flights to bring back stranded Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfikar Abbas Bukhari has said the government has nearly doubled flights and capacity to bring back stranded Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia.
In a tweet, he said 1,780 Pakistani nationals had already been airlifted during the last week.
The SAPM said some 3,750 Pakistanis would be repatriated from Saudi Arabia via 15 special flights till June 10.
We’ve nearly doubled flights & capacity to bring back stranded Pakistanis from Saudi Arabia specially Riyadh-planning it with bigger aircrafts to accommodate dead bodies.— Sayed Z Bukhari (@sayedzbukhari) June 1, 2020
Logistical management b/w 2 countries during a pandemic is a challenge, I’m grateful to OPs for the patience pic.twitter.com/S4N5ialYND
4:00pm: 22 new deaths reported in Sindh
With 22 new deaths in Sindh the provincial death toll now stands at 503.
As many as 6,289 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours out of which 1,402 have tested positive.
Total number of cases in Sindh have now reached 29,647 out which 352 are said to be critical.
3:00pm: Sindh spokesperson Murtaza Wahab addresses media
کوروناوائرس کے بارے میں سندھ حکومت کی حکمت عملی بلکل واضح اور موثر ہے.— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) June 1, 2020
کورونا کے خلاف پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی کا موقف شروع دن سے لاک ڈاون کا تھا جبکہ پی ٹی آئی کی لوکل اور وفاقی قیادت اس موقف کے مخالف عوام کو ورغلاتی رہی۔@murtazawahab1
2:30pm: CM Punjab directs to ensure implementation of SoPs in view of Covid-19
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has directed the authorities concerned to ensure strict implementation of standard operating procedures in markets and bazaars in view of prevailing situation of Covid-19.
Issuing directives from Lahore today, he said effective monitoring of implementation of SOPs should be done.
He urged people to follow the guidelines set by the Government in order to remain safe from coronavirus.
The chief minister said government allowed the operation of businesses while realizing economic hardships of the common man.
2:00pm: Another K-P doctors loses battle against COVID-19
A Sikh medic from Nowshera Dr Phag Chand Singh passed away after contracting coronavirus.
He was under observation at a private hospital in Peshawar. ┬á
1:30pm: Advisor to CM KP on information Ajmal Wazir addresses news conference
1:15pm: NA speaker recovers from coronavirus
Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser has fully recovered from COVID-19.
Qaiser will preside the lower house session scheduled to begin on June 5.
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser tested positive for the novel coronavirus last month and went into self-isolation
12:55pm President terms doctors as heroes who lost lives in fight against COVID-19
President Dr Arif Alvi has termed the doctors as heroes who lost their lives in fight against coronavirus.
In a tweet on Monday on death of pathologist Dr Aurangzeb and pediatrician Dr Muhammad Azam Khan due to Covid-19 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, he said the nation acknowledged their sacrifice.
My condolences to their families. Nation thanks them, who have sacrificed their lives & health professionals who are at increasing risk. They are our heroes. But as we recognize them, we must insist that we practice SOPs. Wear masks, wash hands, & keep social distance everywhere. https://t.co/UJr2G7YNDl— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) June 1, 2020
The president also offered condolences to the families of the deceased doctors.
12:30pm: Governor KP lauds journalists working in front-line against COVID-19
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman has lauded professional services of journalists working in the front-line against Covid-19 pandemic.
Talking to a delegation of journalists in Peshawar, he suggested a dedicated fund for financial support of the journalists in this crucial time.
Following the suggestion of the Governor, Peshawar press club and Khyber Union of Journalists jointly established the corona fund in this regard.
Meanwhile, Shah Farman urged the provincial government, members of the provincial assembly and business community to donate in the joint corona fund to help the frontline journalists.
12:15pm: Abrarul Haq tests positive for Covid-19
Singer-turned-politician, Abrarul Haq, has revealed that he has been tested positive for Covid-19. The PTI leader took to Twitter to share the news on Sunday.
ÔÇ£My corona test came positive,ÔÇØ the Billo singer wrote. ÔÇ£I am home quarantined, however, Insha Allah, I will keep performing my duties through Skype as Red Crescent and Sahara worker. Please pray for me and all those fighting it.ÔÇØ
My corona test came positive, i am home quarantined, however ,inshahallah, i will keep performing my duties through Skype as Red Crescent and Sahara worker. Please pray for me and all those fighting it.— Abrar Ul Haq (@AbrarUlHaqPK) May 31, 2020
Earlier, Abrar shared that he has been experiencing some fever and dry cough ÔÇô which have been sited as prominent symptoms for coronavirus.
Read story here
11:30am: Fawad Chaudhry calls for strong global cooperation in developing COVID-19 vaccine
Minister of Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Monday called for global cooperation in developing vaccine to fight against the novel coronavirus and said we cannot defeat this pandemic without collective efforts.
Talking to a private news channel, the minister stressed upon the importance of international cooperation in fighting against Covid-19 and restoring economy to ensure victory over the epidemic.
He said Pakistan is ready to cooperate with international community on the research and development of vaccines, medicines and testing reagents for Covid-19, and is willing to share the deliverables with the world.
10:15am: After 2 months, K-P varsities reopen today
Public universities in K-P are set to re-open today (Monday) after a break spanning over two and a half months.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Relief and Settlement Department in a notification on Sunday said that the vice-chancellors of all public universities, deans of faculties, heads of departments and other administrative staff will attend the university for the conduct of online classes.
Read story here
9:45: NCC to meet today
The National Coordination Committee, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, will decide on the lockdown in its meeting scheduled to be held today.
All state ministers, chief ministers from all provinces, representatives from Gilgit-Baltistan will review the situation in the country and decide on whether to further ease the lockdown or take stringent measures.
9:15am: K-P courts to resume today
The district courts and tribunals in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa will resume administrative and judicial work from today after a break of around two months.
According to a notification issued by Registrar Peshawar High Court Khawaja Wajeehuddin, the staff members and visitors will have to strictly follow the SOPs formulated to stop the spread of coronavirus.
9:00am: Confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan soar to 72,460
The emergence of 2,964 new infections over the last 24 hours has taken the nationwide tally of coronavirus to 72,460.
As many as 26,240 cases have so far been detected in Punjab, 28,245 in Sindh, 10,027 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4,393 in Balochistan, 2,589 in Islamabad, 711 in Gilgit-Baltistan, and 261 in Azad Kashmir.
26,083 patients have so far recovered from the virus while the death toll stands at 1,543 with 60 deaths reported during the last 24 hours.
8:30am: Transporters delay reopening in Karachi
A day after announcing that transporters would resume intra-city services from Monday, Karachi Transport Ittehad (KTI) president Irshad Bukhari postponed the reopening of public transport in the city on Sunday.
The decision came after Karachi commissioner Iftikhar Ali Shallwani met a delegation of transporters earlier in the day.
8:15am: Two inmates succumb to coronavirus in Karachi
Karachi Central Jail reported its first Covid-19 fatality on Saturday night, with an inmate succumbing to the disease, while the virus also claimed the life of another prisoner incarcerated at the Malir district jail on Sunday.
Over 450 prisoners at Karachi Central Jail had earlier tested positive for the contagious disease. Of them, 150 were said to have recovered on Sunday after receiving fresh screening results.
8:00am: Covid-19 entering third phase, says expert
Coronavirus is rapidly entering its third phase, known as the ÔÇÿLag Phase,ÔÇÖ claimed Pakistan Infection Control Society president Prof Rafiq Khanani on Sunday.
Stating that the transmission of the virus had been aggravated in this phase due to the carelessness exhibited by people in the last 10 days of Ramazan, Dr Khanani stressed that with over 3,000 infections reported in the country within a day, matters had become alarming both for the public and the government.