ISLAMABAD/KARACHI/LAHORE/PESHAWAR: 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 7.2 million people in 202 countries and territories of the world – and over 410,000 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 123,551 with 45,463 cases in Punjab, 46,828 in Sindh, 15,787 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 7,673 in Balochistan, 1,030 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 6,236 in Islamabad and 534 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The virus has claimed at least 2,411 lives while around 38,587 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.
12:42am: G-B reports one more Covid-19 death, 12 new cases
Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) has reported 12 more Covid-19 cases, taking the region’s tally to 1,030.
The virus has claimed one more life, bringing the total fatalities to 15 in the region, according to the G-B health authorities.
As many as 40 patients have also recovered from the contagious disease in the region.
District wise distribution of COVID19 cases in Gilgit-Baltistan @DCGILGIT @DCGhanche @DCNagarGB @AstoreDeputy @DKharmang @deputy_hunza @DCDiamer @DC_Ghizer @DCSkardu #CombatCoronaVirus #CoronaFreeGB #InshAllah #StayHomeStaySafe pic.twitter.com/f0PTfzvuV9— Health Department Gilgit-Baltistan (@HealthDeptGB) June 11, 2020
10:08pm: Countrywide Covid-19 testing capacity raised to record 26,000
More than 26,000 Covid-19 tests were conducted in the country in the past 24 hours, the highest tests in a single day since the start of the pandemic, according to statistics provided by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) on Thursday.
However, it was a grim day for Sindh which recorded over 3,000 coronavirus cases in a single day, overtaking the tally of Punjab to become the most affected province of the country. By Thursday evening, the nationwide tally of Covid-19 patients rose to 122,574.
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9:45pm: MQM-P leader Khawaja Izharul Hassan tests positive for Covid-19
Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) MPA Khawaja Izharul Hassan tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.
His test results were revealed while he was attending the All-Parties Conference called by the Pakistan Peoples Party at the Chief Minister House to discuss the 18th Amendment and the pandemic.
Hassan, who was tested two days ago, left the conference as soon as he received the news. "I was suffering from fever for the last two days," he shared. "I have now isolated myself at my house."
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9:13pm: 338 additional coronavirus cases emerge in Balochistan
Balochistan has reported 338 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of Covid-19 cases to 7,673.
According to the health department’s spokesperson, two more patients have succumbed to the contagious disease, taking the death toll to 75 in the province.
At least 2,673 patients have also recovered from the pandemic in the province so far.
8:23pm: Coronavirus claims 13 more lives, infects 581 people in K-P
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa reported 581 new Covid-19 cases during the past 24 hours, taking the tally to 15,787.
According to the provincial health department, 13 more lives were lost – three in Peshawar, two in Khyber, two in Mardan, one each in Charsadda, Nowshera, Swabi, Abbottabad, Karak, DI Khan – taking the death toll to 632.
It further said that 3,907 patients have recovered from the deadly disease in the province.
581 new cases reported taking the total to 15,787. 13 more lives were lost (3 Peshawar, 2 Khyber, 2 Mardan, 1 each in Charsadda, Nowshera, Swabi, Abbottabad, Karak, D I Khan) taking total to 632. 138 patients recovered taking tally to 3,907. 91,689 tests conducted in total. pic.twitter.com/fHCageq8rn— Health Department KP (@HealthKPGovt) June 11, 2020
7:50pm: One more Covid-19 death, 46 new cases in AJK
At least 46 more people have contracted the novel coronavirus in Azad Jammu and Kashmir in the last 24 hours, taking the tally to 534.
The virus has claimed one more life in the region, according to health authorities.
As many as 18 patients have also recovered, bringing the total recoveries in the region to 237.
6:39pm: PM Imran addresses nation on current coronavirus situation in the country
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the number of deaths due to Covid-19 was low initially but now the number is increasing as the government has eased the lockdown across the country.
"We knew that the number of deaths and cases in the country would increase with the lifting of the coronavirus lockdown in the country," he said while addressing the nation in Islamabad.
"In the days to come, the number of deaths would increase unfortunately," he added.
The premier accused the opposition parties of using the coronavirus crisis for political point saying: "They want the virus to spread in the country so that they could criticise the government."
He said, “From now onwards I will personally monitor the situation from the PM House and take action against those sector violating coronavirus SOPs.”
PM Imran also reiterated that if people strictly adhere to the SOPs, the country will not have to face the worst crisis.
Read more here
4:10pm: 3,038 new cases reported in Sindh
Sindh set of a new record after it recorded 3,038 cases—the highest single-day cases reported by the province.
The provincial tally now stands at 46,828.
With 38 deaths being reported in the past 24 hours the death toll in the province reached 776.
636 people are said to be critical while 79 are said to be on ventilator.
A whooping 30% out of the total number of tests being conducted are positive.
3:30pm: MoU signed for development of electro medical devices
A Memorandum of Understanding regarding indigenous development of Electro Medical devices was signed between Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Health.
A ceremony in this regard was held at National Command and Operation Center in Islamabad on Thursday.
Ministers for Science and Technology, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Prime Minister's Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza, Chairman Pakistan Engineering Council and Chief Executive Officer Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) were present on the occasion.
The framework under this mechanism would spark off innovation and local engineering solution in this field and will improve healthcare facilities.
This initiative will open way forward for the innovators to invest multiple electro medical equipment in Pakistani.
Currently, electro medical devices are being regulated by Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan and 15 ventilators are in various phases of trials.
Machine trials of four ventilators by PEC will be completed by the end of current week.
Speaking on the occasion, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said Pakistan is in a position to export personal protective equipment. He said currently, exports orders worth $10 million are pending. He said that his ministry will also enhance cooperation with local surgical goods manufacturing companies.
Dr Zafar Mirza said we have improved health care system in Pakistan and soon we will be locally manufacturing ventilators.
2:40pm: Rs120b disbursed among deserving families to grapple with COVID-19: PM
Prime Minister Imran Khan says the PTI Government successfully transferred 120 billion rupees in 9 weeks to over 10 million families in a transparent manner to deal with the COVID-19 fallout on the poor.
Quoting a media report, in a tweet, he said 34 percent of households across India will not be able to survive for more than a week without additional assistance. The Prime Minister, however, offered to help and share Pakistan's successful cash transfer programme, lauded internationally for its reach and transparency, with India.
Our govt successfully transferred Rs. 120 billion in 9 weeks to over 10 million families in a transparent manner to deal with the COVID19 fallout on the poor.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 11, 2020
Read story here
2:30pm: Pakistan received ‘good support’ from international debt relief actions: Asad
Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Asad Majeed Khan has said that the measures taken at international level to provide debt relief to the coronavirus-hit developing countries have helped Pakistan in coping with a very difficult economic situation.
Talking to a US television, he said the crisis stemming from the pandemic could not have come at a worse time for Pakistan because the "very tough economic reforms" that government undertook over the last one year had just begun to produce results.
The ambassador said we are trying to do our best to look after the vulnerable population by giving cash directly into their hands and also providing them subsidized rations.
2:15pm: Education Minister calls for cancelling all exams
Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood took to Twitter on Thursday to announce that considering the rising trend of Covid infections, Federal Ministry of Education has advised provinces and AJK/G-B governments not to allow any exemption from NCC decision to cancel exams, except online, till July 15.
Considering the rising trend of covid infections, Federal Ministry of Education has advised provinces and AJK/GB govts not to allow any exemption from NCC decision to cancel exams, except online, till July 15. All occasions that entail gathering of students are to be avoided— Shafqat Mahmood (@Shafqat_Mahmood) June 11, 2020
1:40pm: KP lawmaker tests positive for coronavirus
A lawmaker from K-P, Iqbal Wazir, tested positive for the novel coronavirus and has quarantined at home. He belongs to North Waziristan.
1:00pm: PM Imran expresses grief over the passing of PTI founding member
Saddened to learn, only today, of the passing of Dr Ijaz Ahsan. He was a founder mbr of PTI & stood by us during the difficult days when our Party was being mocked by the status quo. He was a mbr of our CEC & diligently attended all mtgs. My prayers & condolences go to the family— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 11, 2020
12:30pm: 1,712 children under 10 years of age infected in Sindh
As of today, 1712 children under the age of 10 have been infected with #COVID19 in #Sindh. Unfortunately, 4 such children have passed away. Our carelessness has exposed our dearest children. Please its not too late to change, please stay home for ur children and elders— SenatorMurtaza Wahab (@murtazawahab1) June 11, 2020
12:00pm: PTI's Khurram Sher Zaman tests positive
PTI leader Khurram Sher Zaman has tested positive for the novel coronavirus. In a tweet, he said he was quarantined for the last five days as he was not feeling well and today his test came back positive.
طبیعت خراب ہونے کی وجہ سے خود کو پچھلے پانچ دن سے کورنٹائن کیا ہوا تھا اور آج ٹیسٹ کروایا تو میرا رزلٹ مثبت آیا ہے.— Khurrum Sher Zaman 🇵🇰 (@KhurrumZamanPTI) June 10, 2020
11:15am: K-P increases testing capacity to 3,000
Provincial Minister for Health Taimur Saleem Jhagra said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has achieved the capacity to conduct 3,000 corona tests daily.
In a message on Twitter, he said people could call on 1,700 for free corona test. Rapid Response Team of Health Department would visit their homes to collect specimen.
He urged people to adopt precautionary measures and follow approved standard operating procedure to contain the virus from spreading.
10:30am: Punjab Governor urges masses to take coronavirus pandemic serious
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has urged the masses to take coronavirus pandemic serious.
In a statement issued from Lahore, he said that if people keep showing carelessness, then Coronavirus will become more uncontrollable in the coming days.
He said that if coronavirus continues to spread in Pakistan at its current pace, it will be dangerous for the health system as well.
10:00am: Confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan soar to 119,536
5,834 new coronavirus cases have surfaced in the country over the last 24 hours taking the total tally to 119,536.
These include 45,463 in Punjab, 43,790 in Sindh, 15,206 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 7,335 in Balochistan, 6,236 in Islamabad, 1,018 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 488 in Azad Kashmir.
The death toll from the virus stands at 2,356 with 101 deaths reported over the last 24 hours. 26,573 corona tests were also carried out during this period.
38,391 patients have so far recovered from the disease.
9:15am: Shehbaz Sharif tests positive for COVID-19
PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.
The PML-N leader was tested for the virus a day earlier and has self-quarantined himself after his reports came out.
Read story here
9:00am: President underscores need for providing online education
President Dr Arif Alvi has underscored the need for providing online education to avoid academic loss of the students in view of Covid-19 pandemic.
He stated this during a presentation given by Vice Chancellor of Baltistan University, Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan, through a video conference.
The president stressed the need for focusing on research and innovation to promote quality education in the country.
He said coronavirus pandemic has affected the education sector everywhere and this challenge can be met by encouraging and promoting the culture of online education.
The vice chancellor highlighted various initiatives taken by the university for promotion of education.
The president appreciated the measures taken by the Management of the Baltistan University for arranging online classes for students as well as promoting education in Gilgit-Baltistan.
8:30am: 'Over 75,000 active Covid-19 cases in the country'
Pakistan currently has more than 75,000 active cases of coronavirus, as the nationwide tally of infections topped 110,000 on Wednesday, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) was informed during a regular daily meeting on Wednesday morning.
The NCOC, headed by Planning Minister Asad Umar, serves as the nerve centre of the country’s unified fight against the global pandemic. The meeting was also informed that out of these active cases, 5,546 had been admitted to different hospitals.
With 5,385 new cases the total active Covid-19 cases in Pakistan were 75,139 on June 9 (Tuesday), said a statement issued after the meeting. It said a total of 113,702 cases had so far been registered, while 36,308 patients had recovered.
Read more here
8:00am: PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal contracts Covid-19
Senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal has joined the long list of politicians who are diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.
Former federal minister Ahsan Iqbal, in a tweet on Wednesday, said he has tested positive for the virus and would spend the next 14 days in self-quarantine.
آج میرا کورونا ٹیسٹ پاسیٹیو آیا ہے- میں گھر میں 14 دن قرنطینہ میں رہونگا- دوستوں اور خیرخواہوں سے درخواست ہے کہ جلد صحتیابی کے لئے دعا فرمائیں! اللہ تعالی سب کو اس وبا سے محفوظ رکھیں آمین!— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) June 10, 2020