Health

Pakistan reports over 600 coronavirus cases, 3 deaths in 24 hours

Written by The Frontier Post

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has registered another 605 coronavirus infections and three deaths during the last 24 hours (Friday), 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 now moved up to 30,486 after adding the three fatalities while the number of total infections now stood at 1,553,930 after adding the fresh 605 cases.

During the last 24 hours (Friday), 19,236 tests were conducted throughout Pakistan whereas the positivity ratio stood at 3.15 percent. The number of patients in critical care was recorded at 176.

The maximum positivity ratio during the last 24 hours was recorded in Swabi which was at 15.38 percent, followed by Lahore at 13.31, Faisalabad 7.28, Multan at 6.72, Mardan 6.47, Muzaffarabad 6.38, Skardu 6.06, Gilgit 3.88, Peshawar 3.63, Mirpur 3.46, Abbottabad 3.16, Islamabad 2.72, Sargodha 2.17, Karachi 1.97, Bahawalpur 1.57, Hyderabad 1.39, Gujranwala 1.14 and Rawalpindi at 1.73 percent.

China’s ‘Silicon Valley’ tightens rules over Covid flare-up

China’s biggest tech hub is rushing to stamp out a fresh Covid outbreak, ordering some of the country’s biggest manufacturers to operate in a ‘closed loop’ to reduce infections, state media reported.

The city of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, reported just 19 Covid cases Tuesday as the city’s health authority said the risk of “large-scale spread is low”.

But Beijing’s reluctance to budge from its strict zero-Covid policy had led to daily mass testing for the 13 million residents of Shenzhen for over a week and the closure of at least three subway stations by Tuesday.

Top manufacturers including iPhone maker Foxconn, electric carmaker BYD, drone maker DJI and telecom equipment maker ZTE are among the companies told to operate under a “closed-loop” production system.

It would restrict movement of employees for seven days, state-run business news site Yicai reported Monday.

The closed-loop operation mode involves control measures such as locking workers within a compound and conducting daily nucleic acid testing.

Bloomberg News reported Tuesday that a government notice told companies to reduce unnecessary interaction between non-manufacturing staff and factory floors to curb infection.

Health officials had earlier said all cases found in Shenzhen from July 15 were infected with the highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2.

While it is expensive and reduces the scale of production, manufacturers — including Tesla’s site south of Shanghai in the past — have opted to operate in a closed-loop instead of resorting to full shutdown during local Covid flareups.

Strict virus controls have threatened global supply chains and cooled China’s economy with Q2 growth coming in at a dismal 0.4 percent — the weakest growth since the pandemic started.

China reported 976 covid cases Tuesday, with the biggest outbreaks reported in the southern Guanxi region and Gansu province in the northwest.

North Korea reports no new cases for first time since Covid outbreak

North Korea reported zero fever cases on Saturday for the first time in more than two months since it confirmed its first Covid-19 infections in May.

“There were no new fever patients reported” over a 24-hour period from Thursday evening, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said, marking the first time the isolated country had reported no new cases since it began tallying numbers in May.

While it has maintained a rigid coronavirus blockade since the start of the pandemic, experts have said that massive Omicron outbreaks in neighbouring countries meant it was only a matter of time before Covid snuck in.

North Korea has recorded nearly 4.8 million infections since late April, KCNA said, adding “99.994 percent” of them had fully recovered with just 204 patients under treatment.

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

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 mass testing ability, experts say.

Pyongyang announced its first coronavirus cases on May 12 and activated a “maximum emergency epidemic prevention system”, with leader Kim Jong Un putting himself front and centre of the government’s response.

North Korea has not vaccinated any of its roughly 25 million people, having rejected jabs offered by the World Health Organization.

The North said in late May it started seeing “progress” in controlling the outbreak but experts have cast doubts on the claim, citing the country’s crumbling health infrastructure and unvaccinated population.

WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said last month he assumed the situation in North Korea was “getting worse not better”, though he acknowledged Pyongyang had provided very limited information.

South Korea previously offered to send vaccines and other medical aid to the North to help it deal with its coronavirus outbreak.

Pyongyang has not officially responded.

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