Pakistan registers not a single coronavirus death in 24 hours

Written by The Frontier Post

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has registered not a single fatality from coronavirus during the last 24 hours (Friday); however the country has reported 673 infections from the Covid-19, showed the figures released by the National Institute of Health Pakistan on Saturday morning.

As per the NIH data, the death toll in the country remained the same at 30,505 while the number of total infections now stood at 1,558,557 after adding the fresh 673 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Friday), 20,735 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 3.25 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 169.

During the last 24 hours (Friday), another 609 patients have recovered from the Covid-19 in Pakistan and the number of total recoveries now stood at 1,518,653. As of Saturday, the total count of active cases in the country was recorded at 9,399.

As many as 591,667 coronavirus cases have so far been confirmed in Sindh, 515,667 in Punjab, 221,801 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 137,833 in Islamabad, 35,844 in Balochistan, 43,818 in Azad Kashmir and 11,927 in Gilgit-Baltistan.

As many as 13,590 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab so far, 8,194 in Sindh, 6,331 in KP, 1,028 in Islamabad, 793 in Azad Kashmir, 378 in Balochistan and 191 in Gilgit Baltistan.

Biden tests positive for Covid, days after testing negative

US President Joe Biden is still testing positive for COVID-19 four days into his rebound infection, White House physician Dr. Kevin O’Connor said. Biden “continues to feel well,” O’Connor said, noting the exam was conducted after the president completed a light workout.

“He is still experiencing an occasional cough, but less frequently than yesterday. He remains fever-free and in good spirits,” O’Connor wrote. Biden’s temperature, pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation also remain normal.

O’Connor said that Biden will continue to follow strict isolation measures, but it’s not clear if he will go beyond the recommendations laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — as the White House vowed to do the first time he tested positive.

Biden initially tested positive for the virus on July 21, and emerged from isolation after completing a five-day course of Paxlovid and testing negative. But on July 30 he tested positive again in what O’Connor called “rebound positivity” — referring to a relapse of COVID-19 some patients experience after taking the antiviral treatment.

North Korea says ‘all recovered’ after Covid outbreak

North Korea reported zero fever cases Friday for a seventh straight day, state media said, adding that everyone who had fallen sick since the country confirmed its first Covid-19 infections had recovered.

The isolated country, which has maintained a rigid coronavirus blockade since the start of the pandemic, announced an Omicron outbreak in the capital Pyongyang in May and activated a “maximum emergency epidemic prevention system”.

State media have meticulously reported the official number of cases, deaths, treatments and recoveries every day since, with leader Kim Jong Un putting himself front and centre of the government’s response.

North Korea refers to “fever patients” rather than “Covid patients” in case reports, apparently due to a lack of testing capacity.

“No new fever cases were reported during the past week and all those receiving treatment have recovered across the country,” the official KCNA reported Friday.

“The overall anti-epidemic situation of the DPRK has entered a definite phase of stability,” the report added.

The country will continue to strengthen its monitoring of “new COVID-19 sub-variants and various diseases” and can still mobilise medical workers “in case of a crisis”, it added.

North Korea has recorded nearly 4.8 million infections since late April with just 74 deaths for an official fatality rate of 0.002 percent, KCNA has reported.

The country has one of the world’s worst healthcare systems, with poorly equipped hospitals, few intensive care units, and no Covid-19 treatment drugs or vaccines, experts say.

In contrast, South Korea — with its advanced healthcare systems and highly vaccinated population — has a reported Covid fatality rate of 0.12 percent, according to official data.

– ‘Hard to believe’ –

“It is hard to believe any country if they say that the confirmed number of patients has suddenly gone to zero,” Ahn Chan-il, a North Korean studies scholar, told AFP.

“Like its military weapons and nuclear programmes, it seems right to say that Covid is also being used to highlight Kim Jong Un’s leadership and shore up loyalty, regardless of what the truth is.”

Pyongyang said in late May it had started seeing “progress” in controlling the outbreak but experts, including the World Health Organization, have repeatedly cast doubt on the claim.

North Korea is not believed to have vaccinated any of its roughly 25 million people, having rejected jabs offered by the WHO’s Covax programme.

The Seoul-based specialist site NK News reported that North Korea imported 3,554 invasive ventilators from China in June, sharply up from April, despite an overall decrease in trade.

But Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, told AFP that Pyongyang’s claim to have brought the epidemic under control seemed “somewhat reliable”.

Things could be getting back to normal as “there are no signs of tighter border control, no official request has been made to Beijing for medical aid or equipment, and Pyongyang-based diplomats remain in place”, he said.

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