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 6.2 million people in 202 countries and territories of the world – and over 376,000 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 87,862 with 31,104 cases in Punjab, 34,577 in Sindh, 11,890 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 5,224 in Balochistan, 852 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 3,544 in Islamabad and 313 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The virus has claimed at least 1,793 lives while about 30,128 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.
1:28am: Pandemic completes 100 days in country
Thursday saw the completion of 100 days of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Pakistan as another 82 people lost their lives to the deadly contagion in the past 24 hours.
The coronavirus – also known as Covid-19 – affected 85,264 people in the country, claimed 1,770 lives, while 30,128 individuals recovered from the respiratory illness.
A total of 615,511 tests had been conducted in these 100 days across the country.
Read more here
12:34am: New cases push G-B virus tally to 852 in 24 hours
Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) reported 28 additional coronavirus cases, taking tally to 852 in the region.
According to the official statement, as many as 541 Covid-19 patients have also recovered so far with 12 deaths while 299 infected people undergoing treatment.
12:22am: Balochistan witnesses two more Covid-19 deaths, 228 new cases
Balochistan reported two more Covid-19 deaths during the last 24 hours, taking the provincial tally to 53.
According to a provincial health department spokesperson Wasim Baig, 228 new coronavirus cases emerged in Balochistan, taking the total to 5,582.
9:41pm: Khairpur doctor dies of Covid-19
The additional medical superintendent of Khairpur Medical College Hospital, who was diagnosed with Covid-19 on May 30, passed away on Wednesday.
Dr Shafqatullah Shaikh was shifted to Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences in Khairpur in critical condition on May 31.
He was kept on ventilator for three days before he succumbed to the virus.
9:00pm: 28 new coronavirus cases, two deaths report in AJK
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) reported 28 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the tally to 313.
Dr Mustafa Bashir, a member of the AJK cabinet and focal person of the government on coronavirus, said that 20 patients belong to Muzaffarabad district, six from Bhimber and one each from Jehlum valley and Mirpur.
The minister further said that three doctors were also among the infected patients.
AJK health authorities also said that some 110 coronavirus infected people were being treated at different hospitals.
8:37pm: K-P reports 21 more deaths, 517 new Covid-19 cases
At least 517 new Covid-19 cases were reported in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa during the last 24 hours, taking the provincial tally to 11,890.
According to provincial health department, 21 lives were lost due to coronavirus including nine in Peshawar, three in Swat, two in Abbotabad, two in Kohat and one each in DI Khan, Mansehra, Mardan and Nowshera.
About 71 patients have also recovered from the deadly disease, taking the tally to 3,221 in K-P.
517 new cases confirmed (33 Torkham, 16 Int'l flights centers) taking total to 11,890. 21 lives were lost (9 Peshawar, 3 Swat, 2 Abbottabad, 2 Kohat, 1 Kurram, 1 D I Khan, 1 Mansehra, 1 Mardan, 1 Nowshera). 71 patients recovered taking tally to 3,221 in KP. Total tests at 70,508 pic.twitter.com/1uoctcl7Gq— Health Department KP (@HealthKPGovt) June 4, 2020
8:15pm: Hospital closes OPD amid outbreak in Kashmore-Kandhkot district
After over two dozen doctors, nurses and other staff at Kandhkot taluka hospital in Kashmore-Kandhkot district tested positive for coronavirus, the hospital’s outpatient department (OPD) was closed on Thursday.
According to a notification issued by the medical superintendent, the OPD will remain suspended until further notice.
However, the hospital’s emergency ward and medico-legal ward will continue to function.
6:39pm: MQM-Pakistan leader Faisal Subzwari tests coronavirus positive
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Faisal Subzwari has tested positive for coronavirus, he confirmed in a tweet from his official handle on Thursday.
In the tweet, he said earlier his parents, wife and two daughters also infected with Covid-19.
گذشتہ دنوں میرے والدین،زوجہ،2 بیٹیاں کورونا میں مبتلا ہوئے۔— Faisal Subzwari (@faisalsubzwari) June 4, 2020
آج میرا کورونا ٹیسٹ بھی مثبت آگیا ہے۔
اہل خانہ میں صرف منجھلی بیٹی اور مدیحہ کے کورونا ٹیسٹ منفی آئے ہیں۔
تمام احباب سے دعا کی درخواست ہے۔
خدارا احتیاط کریں، محفوظ رہیں، کیونکہ ہسپتالوں میں جگہ کا کال ہے#CoronaIsReal
6:19pm: Pakistan surpasses China in Covid-19 cases as lockdown eased across country
Pakistan’s tally of coronavirus cases has surpassed China crossing 85,000 mark as the authorities eased lockdown restrictions across the country.
The nationwide tally of Covid-19 patients stands at 86,931 with 31,104 cases in Punjab, 34,577 in Sindh, 11,373 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 5,224 in Balochistan, 824 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 3,544 in Islamabad and 285 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
China has reported 82,933 cases and 4,638 deaths since the start of the outbreak last December, according to the data of Johns Hopkins University.
Read more here
5:30pm: Adviser to K-P CM Ajmal Wazir addresses the media
Live: Adviser to CM KP on Information Ajmal Wazir Khan talking to media in Peshawar https://t.co/8oyQY0qz7N— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) June 4, 2020
4:30pm: Utility store in Islamabad sealed for violating SOPs
Islamabad's local administration sealed a utility store of the Karachi Company in the city's G-9 Markaz for violating the government issued standard operating procedures (SOPs).
3:45pm: 'No more biometric verification for Ehsaas cash disbursements'
Under a new system introduced for Ehsas Emergency cash disbursements, the government waived the condition for biometric verification from Nadra.
According to special advisor to PM on poverty alleviation, Sania Nishtar, the step has been taken to facilitate people who were unable to have their finger prints verified.
Those registered with the programme will now be informed of the financial support through the 8171 message service.
The step would also help avoid crowds from gathering outside banks; it will be completed in phases, Nishtar observed.
3:30pm: Insaf doctors' delegation meets PM Imran
A delegation of the Insaf Doctors Forum (IDF) met with Prime Minster Imran Khan to discuss the current situation regarding the pandemic in Pakistan, as well as measures taken by the government to control its spread.
The delegation also discussed the role of doctors and other healthcare staff in containing the virus.
IDF doctors expressed complete satisfaction with the measures taken by the government to improve the healthcare sector.
2:50pm: Sindh reports 1,667 new cases
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah reported 1,667 new cases, raising the provincial tally to 34,577.
Out of the 1,667 new cases, 1,311 cases have emerged from Karachi.
The chief minister underscored that the provincial government has increased the testing capacity.
In the last 24 hours, 20 persons succumbed to the virus, taking Sindh’s death toll to 575, he added.
764 patients have recovered today and the total number of recoveries in the province has reached 16,782.
2:10pm: PM, Usman Dar discuss Corona Relief Tiger Force
Prime Minister Imran Khan met with Special Assistant on Youth Affairs Usman Dar to discuss matters related to the Corona Relief Tiger Force.
1:50pm: NCOC meeting underway
The National Command and Operation Centre meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar is underway to discuss Covid-19 developments in the country.
The meeting will discuss epi curve data, implementation of the TTQ strategy, the establishment of non-invasive ventilation facility at PIMS and central guidelines.
The Meeting of NCOC is underway with Federal Minister @Asad_Umar in Chair
Following agenda points were discussed:
1. Epi Curve Data (Focusing on beds definition, capacity issues at Provinces, specially Oxygenated beds)
2. RMS data update #COVID19
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) June 4, 2020
1:20pm: Jamshed Khan tests positive for Covid-19
Member of Khyber-Pakthunkhwa (K-P) Assembly Jamshed Khan Mohmand has contracted the virus.
He has been quarantined at his residence in Safiabad.
1:15pm: Naeem Mir says govt, businesses to work together to formulate plan for SOPs
All Pakistan Anjuman-e-Tajiran Secretary-General Naeem Mir suggested that the government should work with business organisations to formulate a strategy for the implementation of SOPs.
The secretary-general said people are losing their lives due to lack of national unity, adding that all political forces need to work together to combat the virus.
1:05pm: Special PIA flight to repatriate stranded Pakistanis in Baghdad
A special Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight will repatriate stranded Pakistani nationals from Baghdad.
The special flight will leave Islamabad on June 9.
At the request of the Iraqi Embassy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs instructed PIA to operate a special flight to bring back the stranded Pakistanis.
12:40pm: Punjab CM orders strict action against violators
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said the government's decision to ease the lockdown was due to poverty and hunger, adding that concerned associations had promised to implement SOPs to combat the contagion.
The chief minister said SOPs are not being followed in many parts of the province and as a result, the provincial government has ordered strict action against violators.
حکومت نے ممکنہ بھوک اور افلاس کے پیشِ نظر لاک ڈاؤن میں نرمی کی تھی لیکن ساتھ ہی تمام متعلقہ ایسوسی ایشنز نے SOPs پر عملدرآمد کروانےکا وعدہ بھی کیا تھا
لیکن اکثر جگہوں پر SOPs پر بالکل عملدرآمد نہیں کیا جا رہا جس پر پنجاب بھر میں سخت ایکشن شروع کرنے کی ہدایات جاری کر دی ہیں!!
— Usman Buzdar (@UsmanAKBuzdar) June 4, 2020
12:30pm: Punjab's Covid-19 tally stands at 31,104
Punjab health authorities reported 1,615 new cases, raising the provincial tally to 31,104.
The province reported 37 new deaths. Punjab's death toll stands at 607.
12:10pm: NDMA distributes ventilators, x-ray machines, BiPAPs across Pakistan
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has started supplying intensive care unit (ICU) ventilators, x-ray machines and bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) machines across Pakistan.
Punjab received 26 ICU ventilators and 26 BiPAPs, out of which Lahore and Rawalpindi received 10 each and Multan received six.
16 ventilators and BiPAPs were distributed to Karachi and Sukkur in Sindh and 16 each to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) as well.
10 x-ray machines were also distributed to all four provinces and five each to Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Islamabad Polyclinic Hospital was given five ICU ventilators, five BiPAPs and five x-ray machines.
In addition, five x-ray machines were distributed to Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Hospital as well.
11:45am: DC Lahore orders assistant commissioners to ensure SOPs are followed in markets
Deputy Commissioner Lahore Danish Afzal has directed all assistant commissioners to ensure standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government are implemented in the markets.
He said to ensure the public is wearing face masks, using hand sanitiser and maintaining social distance.
The deputy commissioner said to take action against vendors who are not complying with SOPs.
11:10am: AJK police ban public from entering despite ease in lockdown
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) police stopped public transport after a large number of citizens in Rawalpindi tried to enter, following the government's decision to ease the lockdown.
10:30am: Health secretary summoned for issuing orders against doctors amid pandemic
The health secretary has been summoned for disobeying court orders after the court had restrained the Health Ministry from issuing any orders against doctors amid the pandemic.
Chief Justice of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Athar Minallah expressed anger over the Health Ministry's decision to issue orders against doctors.
He ordered the health secretary to appear in court on June 12.
"At the moment, doctors are risking their lives. Why are you disturbing doctors during this pandemic?"
The chief justice said the Health Ministry is not understanding the gravity of the situation and is forcing doctors to visit courts during this difficult time.
10:00am: SOPs issued for committee meetings of the Senate
A list of standard operating procedures (SOPs) has been issued for committee meetings of the Senate.
No individual will be allowed to accompany senators into the Parliament House, only one person will be allowed to accompany ministers and only two officers from ministries will be allowed to attend the meeting.
In addition, every individual entering the premise will go through thermal-gun screening and must wear face masks, gloves and use hand sanitiser during the meeting.
9:25am: K-P govt allows shops, markets to remain open in Peshawar
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government has allowed shops and markets to remain open from 9am to 7pm in Peshawar.
The provincial government said face masks must be worn in public, adding that the district administration will take strict action against those who violate government orders.
9:05am: Nationwide tally stands at 85,264
The National Command and Operation Centre reported 1,972 new cases, taking the nationwide tally to 85,264.
In the past 24 hours, Pakistan recorded 4,688 cases.
The country's death toll stands at 1,770, while at least 30,128 patients have recovered from the deadly disease. 901 patients are in critical condition.
Over 20,167 tests were carried out in the past 24 hours.
8:30am: Media campaign to be launched to spread awareness of SOPs to combat Covid-19
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said a media campaign is being launched across the country to create awareness about the compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government.
During a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the minister said that the masses should be aware that the government is going to ensure public compliance of safety guidelines in public places and high-risk areas.
He maintained that strict action would be taken against those who violate government orders.
8:00am: Dr Zafar Mirza expresses concern over increase in Covid-19 cases
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza expressed concern over the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.
The special assistant said for the first time 17,000 tests were carried out in 24 hours.
He said the government is making efforts to control the virus with available resources, adding that the public must adopt precautionary measures to help contain the virus.