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 9.1 million people in 202 countries and territories of the world – and over 472,000 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 187,443 with 68,308 cases in Punjab, 72,656 in Sindh, 23,388 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 9,587 in Balochistan, 1,337 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 11,219 in Islamabad and 892 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The virus has claimed at least 3,732 lives while around 73,471 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.
11:33pm: Virus claims another life, infects 11 more in G-B
Eleven more people infected with the contagion, taking the tally to 1,337 in Gilgit-Baltistan.
According to health authorities, one more patient succumbed to the novel coronavirus while fatalities have reached 23 in the region so far.
As many as 15 patients have also recovered from the virus.
9:40pm: Balochistan reports two more deaths, 47 new cases of coronavirus
Two more people have died of Covid-19 in Balochistan, raising the province’s death toll to 106.
Health officials also reported 47 new cases of coronavirus to take the tally to 9,634.
3,694 patients have so far recovered in the province.
9:20pm: Ahsan Iqbal tests negative for Covid-19
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday shared on Twitter that he has tested negative for coronavirus, almost two weeks after going into self-quarantine due to the highly contagious Covid-19 disease.
He thanked all those who prayed for his swift recovery.
وَإِذَا مَرِضْتُ فَهُوَ يَشْفِين— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) June 23, 2020
الحمدللّٰہ ! ابھی ابھی کرونا ٹیسٹ کا رزلٹ نیگیٹو موصول ہوا ہے- میں ان تمام احباب کا جنہوں نے ملک بھر ، بیرون ملک اور خاص طور نارووال سے دلی دعاؤں سے میری صحتیابی کے لئے پیغامات بھیجے اور دعائیں کیں میں آپ سب کا دل کی گہرائیوں سے شکریہ ادا کرتا ہوں
9:08pm: K-P reports 12 more deaths, 755 new coronavirus cases
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa health department has confirmed 12 more fatalities due to Covid-19 to bring the provincial death toll to 855. Four deaths were reported from Peshawar, three in Swat, two in Nowshera, and one each in Mansehra, Hangu and Karak.
They also confirmed 755 new cases – 53 via Int'l flights – to take then province’s total to 23,388.
With 3,142 tests conducted in the past 24 hours, the total rises to 131,247.
2,516 patients were marked as recovered. “There was a backlog of 1 month which was adjusted after our guidelines for recovered patients were changed and a data verification exercise was held to confirm the status of these patients,” the health department said in a statement.
2. 2,516 patients were marked as recovered. There was a backlog of 1 month which was adjusted after our guidelines for recovered patients were changed and a data verification exercise was held to confirm the status of these patients.— Health Department KP (@HealthKPGovt) June 23, 2020
8:15pm: One more die of Covid-19 as 23 fresh cases bring AJK tally to 892
Health officials in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) have confirmed one more casualty due to coronavirus to bring the state’s death toll to 23. They also reported 23 new cases in the 24 hours to raise the tally to 892.
366 patients have recovered while active cases stand at 503 in the region.
4:40pm: 'A total of 93,553 efforts carried out to curb the spread of virus in K-P'
According to a report released by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa local bodies department on efforts taken to curb the spread of the virus in the province since March 16 to June 21, around 93,553 efforts were carried out in seven divisions to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Giving a break up of activities carried out by various local councils, Special Assistant to K-P CM on Local Government Kamran Bangash said the local government offices carried out 842 activities, whereas the administration of the village council carried out 880,963 activities.
He claimed that most amount of activities (24,812) were carried out with regards to health and cleanliness.
3:45pm: Hospitals have enough oxygen points to treat Covid-19 patients
Adviser to K-P CM, Ajmal Wazir told the media that K-P hospitals had enough oxygen points to treat Covid-19 patients. He added that they were also being supplied with oxygen as per their needs.
He said the total number of infections has reached 22,633 in K-P, out of which 6,969 patients have recovered.
3:20pm: Asad Umar says aim of targeted lockdown is to isolate maximum Covid-19 cases
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said the aim of a targeted lockdown is to isolate maximum Covid-19 cases.
The minister, while chairing a meeting at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), said there is a positive difference seen in urban areas where masks are being worn in public places.
3:00pm: Sindh reports 1,564 new cases
As per a statement issued by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Tuesday, 1,564 new cases were reported in the province in a day. This took Sindh total tally for infections to 72,656.
He added that another 21 people succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours; taking the province's death toll to 1,124.
Moreover, around 1,357 people recovered from the infection.
2:20pm: 10 shops sealed in Lahore for SOPs' violations
Assistant Commissioner Shalimar, Mehdi Maloof, ordered for 10 shops to be sealed in the Garhi Shahu Market in Lahore.
The commissioner said the shop owners were repeatedly warned about violation of SOPs.
1:30pm: Punjab reports 1,365 new cases
Punjab health authorities reported 1,365 cases, raising the provincial tally to 68,308.
60 more persons succumbed to the virus and the province's death toll stands at 1,495.
12:55pm: K-P provides women with legal, social and psychological assistance during pandemic
Department of Social Welfare, Special Education and Women Empowerment Khyber-Pakthunkhwa (K-P) has commit to a gender-free province.
Women can contact the Social Welfare department's helpline at 22227-0800 for legal, social and psychological assistance during the pandemic.
محکمہ سوشل ویلفئیر، سپیشل ایجوکیشن اور وومن ایمپاورمنٹ خیبر پختونخواہ کا عزم- صنفی تشدد سے پاک خیبر پختونخواہ
کروناوائرس وباء کے دوران خواتین قانونی، سماجی و نفسیاتی مدد کے لیئے محکمہ سوشل ویلفیئر کی بولو ہیلپ لائن 22227-0800 سے رابطہ کرسکتی ہیں۔#KPFightsCorona pic.twitter.com/lPUjhoJK9w
— PMRU Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (@PMRUKP) June 23, 2020
12:20pm: IGP Punjab orders strict action against violation of SOPs
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab Shoaib Dastagir has ordered strict action against violation of SOPs.
In the ongoing operation starting June 6, 109,583 shops have been inspected and 12,387 shops sealed for violating government orders.
A total of 51,410 vehicles have been fined and 178,733 citizens have been stopped for violating SOPs. 9,541 were fined.
12:o5pm: PHC says reports say ventilators are being operated by untrained staff in the province
A representative of the Healthcare Commission and additional attorney general appeared before the Peshawar High Court (PHC) pertaining to the use of ventilators by untrained staff.
The representative said there are 500 ventilators in hospitals across the province and 503 beds have been allocated to coronavirus patients in private hospitals.
Justice Qaiser Rashid said there are reports that the ventilators are being operated by untrained staff, adding that incorrectly operating ventilators can cause more harm to the patients.
11:50am: Federal cabinet to meet today
The federal cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet today to discuss the overall political and economic situation in the country.
11:45am: DC Lahore reports 12 violations of not wearing face masks
The Lahore district administration has issued a report on the violation of not wearing face masks in public places.
District Commissioner (DC) Lahore Danish Afzal reported 12 violations. 190 places were inspected and a fine of Rs2,000 was imposed.
Eight persons received warnings for violating SOPs issued by the government.
11:30am: Alvi says SOPs must be followed on Eidul Azha
President Dr Arif Alvi said it is important to clearly inform citizens about standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be followed on Eidul Azha.
The president said SOPs issued by the government to mitigate the spread of the virus must be followed in regards to social distancing, face masks, online and institutional sacrifices, livestock mandis, place of sacrifice, bazaar opening and prayers.
It is important that we plan Eidul Azha now. Clear signals should emanate for the people on how to follow directions & SOPs of Govt regarding
1- Social Distancing & Masking
2- Online & Institutional Sacrifice
3- Livestock Mandis
4- Place of Sacrifice
5- Bazaar Opening
6- Prayers https://t.co/kDyUnXDPiH
— Dr. Arif Alvi (@ArifAlvi) June 23, 2020
10:55am: K-P CM stresses need to devise strategy to effectively implement smart lockdown
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has stressed the need for devising a comprehensive strategy to effectively implement a smart lockdown in the province.
The chief minister said all decisions made by the provincial government have been to protect the lives of those affected by the virus.
The meeting was apprised that the smart lockdown has been implemented in 240 hotspot areas of the province.
10:15am: Balochistan CM stresses need for testing to begin at district level
Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal has stressed the need for Covid-19 testing to begin at district level in the province.
The chief minister was presiding over a meeting to review developments of Covid-19 and facilities being provided at all divisional and district health units of the province.
He directed concerned officials to prepare basic infrastructure for setting up diagnostic laboratories for testing at all divisional and district headquarters hospitals.
Under the Nutrition Programme, self-isolated patients of Covid-19 will be provided with food packages.
9:40am: 'Pakistan currently facing many challenges,' Qureshi tells ambassadors
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a meeting with newly designated Pakistan's ambassadors to various countries, said Pakistan is currently facing many challenges on the internal and external fronts.
The foreign minister said resolving the issues faced by the Pakistani community and protecting their rights is the government's top priority.
8:55am: 861 cases registered for violating SOPs in Lahore
Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore Zulfiqar Hameed said 861 cases were registered for violating standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the smart lock down in the city.
Police observed 1,486 markets and 34,765 shops and sealed at least 1,860 shops for violating government protocol.
23,770 shopkeepers and citizens were warned for minor violations.
The capital city police officer directed all police personnel to wear face masks and take precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.
8:20am: Saudi Arabia to hold limited Hajj
Saudi Arabia has announced not to allow international pilgrims and to hold Hajj with a limited number of pilgrims already residing in the country this year.
In a statement on microblogging website Twitter, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj said the decision has been taken to ensure Hajj is performed in a safe manner amid the pandemic, adding that all preventative measures will be taken to avoid the spread of the virus.
As Covid-19 has spread to over 180 countries, it is important to consider the risks of the disease, the statement mentioned.
8:00am: Nationwide tally stands at 185,034
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) reported 3,946 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, raising the nationwide tally to 185,034.
105 more persons succumbed to the virus and the country's death toll stands at 3,695, while at least 73,471 patients have recovered.