Pakistan reports sharp plunge in coronavirus infections in 24 hours

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reported a sharp plunge in the number of coronavirus infections during the last 24 hours (Monday), whereas another 92 people died of the Covid-19 virus, showed the figures released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Tuesday morning.

As per the latest NCOC data, the country recorded 2,253 new cases taking the number of positive cases to 905,852. The nationwide tally of fatalities has also jumped to 20,400 after adding the 92 new deaths.

Pakistan has conducted 46,726 tests during the past 24 hours (Monday) out of which 2,253 persons were tested positive for the disease. The Covid positivity ratio was recorded at 4.82 percent.

As usual, Punjab remained the worst-hit province in terms of deaths and cases followed by Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

So far, 9,839 individuals have lost their lives to the pandemic in Punjab, 4,936 in Sindh, 3,970 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 746 in Islamabad, 532 in Azad Kashmir, 270 in Balochistan and 107 in Gilgit Baltistan.

Global developments

Here are the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis:

– India tops 300,000 deaths –

India becomes just the third nation, after the United States and Brazil, to record 300,000 Covid fatalities, after registering 4,454 deaths in 24 hours — the second-highest daily figure so far.

Experts say the real numbers of deaths and infections, now 26.7 million, are probably much higher, and the brutal wave has been accompanied by the emergence among coronavirus patients of thousands of cases of the rare infection mucormycosis, or “black fungus”.

– ‘Scandalous’ vaccine inequity –

World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says it is “scandalous” that a small group of countries are monopolising Covid-19 vaccines, calling for a huge global effort to vaccinate 10 percent of every nation’s population by September.

More than 75 percent of all Covid vaccines have gone to just 10 countries, he says at the opening of the WHO’s main annual assembly.

“We are at war with a virus,” he says, adding that “we need the logic and urgency of a war economy, to boost the capacity of our weapons.”

– 115,000 health workers dead –

Tedros says that least 115,000 health and care workers have died from Covid since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Many have themselves become infected, and while reporting is scant, we estimate that at least 115,000 health and care workers have paid the ultimate price in the service of others,” he says.

– Japan opens vaccination centres –

Japan opens its first mass vaccination centres to speed up its cautious inoculation programme with just two months until the virus-postponed Tokyo Olympics.

The two military-run centres in Tokyo and Osaka will administer thousands of shots daily, with criticism building as just two percent of Japan’s population of 125 million are fully vaccinated so far, compared with around 40 percent in the US and 15 percent in France.

– Dog sniff test –

New research finds that dogs can be trained to detect more than 90 percent of Covid-19 infections even when patients are asymptomatic.

Researchers from the London School of Tropical Medicine say they hope such dogs could eventually replace the need for travellers to quarantine — which necessarily disrupts every arrival even though the vast majority are not Covid positive.

– 3.4 million dead –

The pandemic has killed at least 3,465,398 people worldwide since the virus first emerged in December 2019, according to an AFP compilation of official data.

The US is the worst-affected country with 589,893 deaths, followed by Brazil with 444,068, India with 303,720, Mexico with 221,647 and Britain with 127,721.

The figures are based on reports by the health authorities in each country, but do not take into account upward revisions carried out later by statistical bodies.