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 191,088 with 69,536 cases in Punjab, 74,070 in Sindh, 23,887 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 9,817 in Balochistan, 1,365 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 11,483 in Islamabad and 930 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
The virus has claimed at least 3,810 lives while around 77,754 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.
12:47am: Balochistan reports two more fatalities, 183 new Covid-19 cases
Balochistan has reported 183 new Covid-19 cases, pushing the provincial tally to 9,817.
Two more patients lost their lives to the novel coronavirus during the last 24 hours, bringing the total fatalities to 108 in the province.
As many as 3,710 patients have also recovered from the contagious disease so far.
12:36am: Virus claims another 14 lives, infects 499 more in K-P
At least 499 more people have contracted the novel coronavirus in Khyuber-Pakhtunkhwa, taking the tally to 23,887.
The contagion has also claimed another 14 lives, bringing the total fatalities to 869 in the province.
1. 499 new cases confirmed taking total confirmed cases to 23,887. 14 more lives were lost (5 Peshawar, 3 Swat, 2 Dir Upper, 1 each in Swabi, Bannu, D I Khan, Nowshera taking total to 8,690. Active cases at 11,921. pic.twitter.com/gGKlXJKbGz— Health Department KP (@HealthKPGovt) June 24, 2020
11:46pm: Fresh Covid-19 cases take G-B tally to 1,365
Gilgit-Baltistan has reported 28 more cases, bringing the tally to 1,365.
The G-B health authorities said that 34 more patients have recovered from the disease, taking the total to 995.
11:31pm: AJK reports two more Covid-19 deaths, 38 new cases
Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has reported 38 new Covid-19 cases, taking the tally to 930.
According to AJK health authorities, two more patients succumbed to the deadly disease, taking the fatalities to 25 in the region.
They further said that 390 patients have recovered so far.
8:20pm: Coronavirus cases fall for 5th straight day
New coronavirus cases in Pakistan continued to decline for a fifth consecutive day on Wednesday, official data showed. According to the Health Ministry, 3,892 cases were confirmed across the country over the past 24 hours, raising the overall count to 190,334.
The figure marked a fall of almost 3,000 from the record high of 6,895 reached slightly over a week ago on June 13. It was also the fifth day of declining cases -- 6,604 on June 19, 4,951 on June 20, 4,471 on June 21, and 3,946 on June 22.
Fatalities have also decreased significantly over recent days, falling to 60 on Wednesday from the record high of 153 on June 19.
The death toll in the country now stands at 3,792, while recoveries increased by 4,283 to 77,754, raising the overall recovery ratio from 37% to 41.2%, according to the ministry's data.
Read full story here
6:00pm: PM approves launch of Tiger Force mobile app amid ‘smart lockdown’
Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the launch of Corona Relief Tiger Force mobile application and directed the authorities concerned to expedite the process.
The prime minister was talking to Special Assistant on Youth Affairs Usman Dar who called on him at the PM Office on Wednesday. Dar briefed the prime minister on how digital technology could contribute in the effective functioning of the Tiger Force.
The Tiger Force application, which will contain the feature for geo-tagging, will help in the smooth running of the team.
The prime minister while expressing satisfaction over the effective use of Tigers Force through digital technology said that youth were asset of the country and their passion for serving the nation was praiseworthy.
4:45pm: Seven Lahore localities to be locked down
The provincial health minister has said seven localities of Lahore will be locked down for a week due to a cluster of cases in the areas. The seven are:
- Faisal Town
- Walled City
- Model Town
- Garden Town
4:00pm: Sindh reports new cases
Provincial authorities reported 1,414 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the province's tally to 74,070.
1:45pm: Dr Yasmin Rashid addresses media in Lahore
#Live: Punjab Health Minister @Dr_YasminRashid briefs media in #Lahore. #COVID19 #PakistanFightsCorona #CoronavirusPandemic #CoronaFreePakistan #Covid_19 #TogetherWeCan https://t.co/xbAXlaLpKl
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) June 24, 2020
1:10pm: Emirates suspends flights from Pakistan
Emirates, one of the world’s biggest long-haul airlines, has suspended flights from Pakistan after passengers tested positive for coronavirus in Hong Kong.
The Dubai state carrier, which is operating limited services due to the coronavirus pandemic, said the temporary suspension was effective June 24.
The airline will continue to operate flights to Pakistan, she said.
Read story here
12:55pm: 'Ehsaas Emergency Programme is a reflection of premier's vision'
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar said uplifting the living standard of the poor segments of society is the vision of the premier.
After distributing funds to those affected by the virus under the Ehsaas Programme in Chota Lahore, the special assistant said the Ehsaas Emergency Programme is a reflection of the premier's vision.
She said funds are being distributed through an integrated system.
12:40pm: Decision to reopen schools in Punjab to be made on July 2
The Punjab government has started formulating standard operating procedures (SOPs) in case of opening schools in the province.
The provincial education minister said the decision to reopen educational institutions will be made at the Inter-Provincial Education Ministers' Conference on July 2.
12:10pm: Punjab reports 1,228 new cases
Punjab health authorities reported 1,228 new cases, raising the province's tally to 69,536.
21 more persons succumbed to the virus and the provincial death toll stands at 1,516.
11:35am: Punjab govt relaxes Covid-19 funeral SOPs
The provincial government of Punjab has relaxed the standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding funeral processions and burial of those who succumbed to the novel coronavirus.
According to Secretary Primary and Secondary Health Care, Captain (retd) Muhammad Usman, trained teams of local government officials would perform the ablution of the deceased with all the necessary precautionary measures. The heirs would also be able to join in the bathing wearing full protective clothing.
Relatives of the deceased would also be able to attend the funeral processions whereas the condition of a coffin for burial has also been removed, according to Capt (retd) Usman.
Read story here
11:05am: Third consecutive day of reduction in number of deaths
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) official Twitter account shared statistics of Covid-19 in Pakistan.
It said this is the third consecutive day of reduction in the number of deaths. 105 persons succumbed to the virus yesterday compared to 60 persons today.
COVID-19 Updated Numbers (Data as of 23rd June - 8pm) Third consecutive day of reduction in number of deaths. 60 today compared to 105 yesterday. May Allah protect us all. Let’s remind all our friends and family to wear masks and take all necessary precautions. pic.twitter.com/5dmHQwH1JE
— PTI (@PTIofficial) June 24, 2020
10:40am: 8,382 violations of SOPs across Pakistan
According to a report, there have been over 8,382 violations of standard operating procedures (SOPs) across the country in the past 24 hours.
1,437 vehicles, 862 markets, nine industries have been fined or sealed for violating government protocol in the 24-hour period.
10:15am: Punjab health minister distributes certificates to medical team at SIMS, Lahore
Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid distributed certificates to doctors, nurses and paramedical staff serving in the corona ward at Services Institute of Medical Sciences (SIMS) in Lahore.
Addressing the staff, the health minister said Pakistan is passing through a difficult time, adding that this is an opportunity to serve the nation with full dedication and commitment.
She lauded doctors, nurses and the paramedical staff for serving on the frontline against the deadly disease.
9:50am: 'Govt making all efforts to combat Covid-19'
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar said the government is making all efforts to combat Covid-19 and with the implementation of precautionary measures, the country will be able to mitigate the deadly disease.
9:25am: NDMA distributes ninth batch of safety equipment to Balochistan, K-P
The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) sends its ninth batch of safety equipment to doctors in Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).
91,000 types of medical and face masks, 25,000 surgical gowns, 7,000 protective suits, 40,000 gloves 3,000 plastic boots, 10,000 safety goggles and 100 thermal guns were distributed to doctors in Balochistan.
Meanwhile, K-P received 130,000 types of medical and face masks, 25,000 surgical gowns, 10,000 protective suits, 80,000 gloves, 3,000 plastic boots, 150 thermal guns and 15,000 safety goggles.
9:00am: Govt to refund amount to Pakistanis intending pilgrims of Hajj, says Qadri
Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Dr Noorul Haq Qadri said the government has decided to refund Pakistanis intending pilgrims of Hajj.
A statement issued by the minister said the refund procedure will begin soon and the intending pilgrims will be informed via text message after completing the necessary procedure.
The minister welcomed the decision taken by the Saudi government to conduct Hajj on a limited scale this year, adding that the decision was taken in accordance with the Shariah.
8:20am: Nationwide tally stands at 188,926
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) reported 3,892 new cases, raising the nationwide tally to 188,926.
Another 60 persons succumbed to the virus in the 24-hour period and Pakistan's death toll stands at 3,755, while at least 77,754 patients have recovered.
The NCOC said Sindh has reported the highest number of cases.
In the last 24 hours, 23,380 tests were carried out.