LIVE: New cases in Sindh pushes Pakistan’s COVID-19 tally to 67,651

NDMA chairm­an urges people to follow SOPs, mainta­in social distan­cing, stay home

A man wears a face mask and talks on the phone in Peshawar, Pakistan. PHOTO: Reuters

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 5.8 million people in 202 countries and territories of the world – and over 360,000 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 67,651 with 24,104 cases in Punjab, 27,307 in Sindh, 9,067 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 4,087 in Balochistan, 660 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 2,192 in Islamabad and 234 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The virus has claimed at least 1,395 lives while about 24,131 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.




3:30pm: Advisor to Chief Minister KP on Information Ajmal Wazir Khan talks to media


3:15pm: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid addresses media

line-945-15248325222:30pm: ‘Pakistan Railways lost Rs100 million in five days’

Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed said Pakistan Railways incurred losses worth Rs100 million in five days, as only 60 per cent of trains were operational.

The minister said five more trains will be operational, adding that a total of 140-142 trains will run.

line-945-15248325222:20pm: PDMA dispatches relief goods to 49 hospitals in K-P

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has dispatched safety equipment to 49 hospitals in Khyber-Pakthunkhwa.

The goods included N95 masks, surgical face masks, safety suits, gloves and other protective equipment.

line-945-15248325221:50pm: JI member Inayatullah Khan tests positive 

A member of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the K-P provincial assembly Inayatullah Khan has tested positive for Covid-19.

He urged others to take precautionary measures.

line-945-15248325221:45pm: Sindh reports 1,247 new cases

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah reported 1,247 new cases, taking the provincial tally to 27,307.

In the last 24 hours, 38 people succumbed to the virus, while at least 522 patients recovered. The province’s death toll stands at 465.

176,703 tests have been carried out in Sindhline-945-15248325221:10pm: Federal Minister for Railways Shiekh Rasheed addresses a press conference

line-945-15248325221:05pm: NCOC meeting underway to discuss short/long term anti-Covid strategy 

A meeting of the National Coordination and Operation Centre (NCOC) chaired by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar is underway.

The meeting will discuss short term and long term anti-Covid strategy.

line-945-152483252212:35pm: Railways minister discusses resuming more train services from Monday

Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed chaired a meeting in Lahore today.

The minister discussed resuming more train services from Monday.

line-945-152483252212:10pm: Sindh Assembly members to be tested

The Sindh Health Department has decided to make special arrangements for testing members of the Sindh Assembly.

Members of the assembly will undergo testing on June 1. The corona response team will be sent to their homes.

Testing for Sindh Assembly Secretariat employees will also be held on the same day.

The Sindh Assembly is scheduled to meet on June 3.

line-945-152483252212:00pm: Punjab tally stands at 24,104

Punjab health authorities reported 1,140 cases, taking the province’s tally to 24,104.

The province reported 29 new deaths, raising the provincial death toll to 429.

228,541 tests have been carried out in Punjab since the first case was reported in the country.

line-945-152483252211:50am: MPA Rana Arif Iqbal tests positive

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MPA Rana Arif Iqbal tested positive for Covid-19 and has self-quarantined at home.

His wife and four children also contracted the virus.

line-945-152483252211:30am: FM Qureshi telephones Punjab energy minister to inquire about his health

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi telephoned Punjab Minister for Energy Dr Akhtar Malik to inquire about his health after he tested positive for Covid-19.

Federal Minister for Energy Omar Ayub, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid and Punjab Industries and Trade Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal also called to speak to the minister.

Dr Akhtar Malik appreciated the concern and said he is feeling much better.

line-945-152483252211:00am: Shehryar Afridi tests positive for Covid-19

Minister of State for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi has tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The minister took to Twitter and said he has isolated himself at home as per orders of medical staff.


10:45am: Special PIA plane departs from Jeddah to Islamabad

A special Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight carrying 255 passengers departed from Jeddah for Islamabad today.

Consul General Khalid Majid and Deputy Consul General Shaiq Ahmed Bhutto were at Jeddah International Airport to see off the passengers.

This is the seventh special flight from Jeddah to Islamabad.

At least 1,450 stranded Pakistani nationals have been repatriated from Jeddah through these special flights.


line-945-152483252210:10am: Shehbaz Sharif blames govt’s ignorance for rapid increase in cases

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif has expressed his condolences over the death of 78 persons on Friday due to the pandemic.

The opposition leader blamed the government’s ignorance for the rapid increase in cases.

He said a meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) should immediately convene and the federation and provinces should review the situation and discuss necessary steps to contain the disease.

line-945-15248325229:40am: UK provides assistance to Pakistan in its fight against Covid-19

The United Kingdom (UK) is providing more assistance to Pakistan to fight the coronavirus, besides the £4.3 million package provided earlier.

The British High Commissioner to Pakistan Dr Christian Turner said the package will support emergency response systems and provide assistance to food security, sanitation and hygiene, mental health and psychological issues.

The British Minister of State for South Asia and Commonwealth Tariq Ahmed said supporting the most vulnerable segments of society will save lives.

line-945-15248325229:10am: ‘Effective measures taken to contain spread of Covid-19’

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal said a committee will be established to check facilities being provided to Covid-19 patients in public sector hospitals of the provinces.

He said effective measures have already been taken to contain the virus.

The chairman urged people to follow SOPs, maintain social distancing, stay at home, wear face masks and gloves and avoid shaking hands.

line-945-15248325228:40am: Pakistan’s tally stands at 66,457

The National Command and Operation Centre said Pakistan’s Covid-19 tally stands at 66,457.

The centre reported 1,395 deaths, while at least 24,131 patients have recovered since the virus first emerged in Pakistan. 707 patients are in critical condition.

A total of 532,037 tests have been carried out.

line-945-15248325228:00am: International flight operations resume 

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said international flight operations have resumed.

In a statement, the Aviation Division Spokesperson Abdul Sattar Khokhar mentioned that both national and foreign airlines will be allowed to operate from all international airports of Pakistan except Gwadar and Turbat.

He said standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government must be strictly adhered to, including disinfection of planes.

Read more here.

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