Pakistan reports 71 more deaths, 2,463 coronavirus cases in a single day

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: At least 71 more people lost their lives in Pakistan due to the novel coronavirus with most deaths occurred in Punjab while 2,463 new infections were reported after conducting 41,039 tests during the last 24 hours (Thursday), the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said on Friday morning.

In the past 24 hours, Pakistan’s confirmed cases climbed to 482,178. Meanwhile, deaths increased by 71 to 10,176. At the same time, recoveries increased by 2,156 to 437,229, or 90.7 percent of total infections. There are currently 34,773 active cases of COVID-19 in the country, with the NCOC saying 2,216 of them are in critical condition.

Despite a severe second wave of the coronavirus, Pakistan has yet to fully utilize its claimed testing capacity of 54,319, with daily testing significantly below numbers proposed by global health experts. According to the World Health Organization, Pakistan’s testing policies only record the most symptomatic patients.

Pakistan now has total confirmed cases at 482,178 after conducting 6,737,107 tests. Punjab’s share is 138,608 cases, Sindh 215,679, Balochistan 18,168, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 58,701, Islamabad 37,888, Gilgit-Baltistan 4,857, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir 8,277. The death toll has now hit 10,176 mark with recoveries recorded at 437,229.

On Friday, authorities in Punjab reported 29 deaths due to the coronavirus, raising total casualties to 4,042. The province now has 138,608 confirmed cases; it reported 659 new infections after conducting 16,617 tests. Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Sindh have now climbed to 215,679; it reported 1,254 new infections on Friday after conducting 13,383 tests.

The province reported 27 new deaths, raising toll to 3,560, while its recoveries rose by 769 to 195,420. In the past 24 hours, the KP has recorded 322 new infections after conducting 5,371 tests. Overall, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s confirmed cases have climbed to 58,701. It recorded 11 new deaths, raising toll to 1,649, while its recoveries have risen by 436 to 53,708. Balochistan raised its confirmed cases to 18,168 with 20 new infections after conducting 520 tests.

There were no deaths and 30 recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving 183 fatalities and 17,732 fully recovered. Islamabad on Friday raised its confirmed coronavirus cases by 186 to 37,888 after conducting 4,449 tests.

There were 3 deaths and 553 recoveries in the past 24 hours, leaving 419 casualties; 34,410 recovered; and 3,059 active cases. Gilgit-Baltistan reported one new case of the novel coronavirus after conducting 371 tests. It now has 4,857 confirmed cases. The region reported no deaths or recoveries, leaving 101 fatalities and 4,705 fully recovered people.

In Azad Kashmir, confirmed cases rose by 21 to 8,277 after conducting 328 tests. There were 39 recoveries and 1 death in the past 24 hours, leaving 222 fatalities and 7,656 fully recovered. Global developments Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– Lockdown New Year –

The world ushers in the New Year, with pandemic controls muting celebrations for billions of people from Sydney to Paris. Firework displays and live performances are cancelled or at best watched online or on television. 

– ‘Difficult times’ – 

The coronavirus dominates traditional New Year messages from world leaders. Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks of “difficult times” for Germany saying the “historic” coronavirus crisis will extend into 2021 even if vaccines bring some hope. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledges that a second wave of infections continues to batter the country but urges Russians “not to retreat in the face of difficulties, to preserve our unity”.

– China approves jab –

China grants “conditional” market approval to a Sinopharm vaccine with a reported 79 percent efficacy rate against Covid-19, a major stride towards inoculating the world’s largest population.

– English field hospitals –

England prepares to reopen its Nightingale field hospitals as a surge in cases of the new strain of coronavirus has put pressure on hospital beds. Seven Nightingale hospitals were opened across England during the first wave of the virus at an estimated cost of £220 million ($300 million, 245 million euros), some in exhibition centres. Other parts of the UK built similar facilities.

– South Africa variant –

France detects its first case of a South African variant of coronavirus, in a man who had returned from the country to his home in the Haut-Rhin region which borders Switzerland. 

– 1.8 million dead –

The coronavirus has killed at least 1,806,072 people since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019, according to an AFP tally on Thursday based on official sources. More than 82 million cases have been registered.

The United States is the worst-affected country with 342,414 deaths, followed by Brazil with 193,875 and India with 148,738. The tallies are based on daily tolls provided by health authorities in each country and exclude later re-evaluations by statistical organisations, as has happened in Russia, Spain and Britain.

– India curfews –

New Delhi and other major cities across India order curfews for New Year’s Eve. In the capital, the curfew will run for two days from 11:00 pm until 6:00 am, with gatherings limited to five people even before the shutdown.

– Japan record –

Tokyo reports over 1,300 new coronavirus infections, a daily record, as officials warn that a state of emergency might be needed to tackle spiking cases and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga held emergency talks with ministers.

– Belgian Santa suspect –

At least 26 residents of a Belgian retirement home have died since a visit by a volunteer dressed as Santa Claus who has since tested positive for Covid-19.