Coronavirus updates, March 30: Latest news on the coronavirus pandemic from Pakistan and around the world

Nation-wide tally of confirmed cases reaches 1,727, global coronavirus death toll surges past 30,000

Web Desk

KARACHI / LAHORE / ISLAMABAD / PESHAWAR / QUETTA: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 1,763 on Monday after new cases were reported across the country.

The province-wise break up of the total number of cases as of 10:32pm, March 30, is as follows:

Total confirmed cases: 1,763

• Sindh: 566

• Punjab: 638

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 217

• Balochistan: 144

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 51

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 141

• AJK: 6

Deaths: 22

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 5

• Sindh: 8

• Balochistan: 1

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 2

• Punjab: 6

More than 35,000 deaths have been recorded globally, of which most have been in Europe since the virus first emerged in December.

More than 662,000 COVID-19 cases have been registered in 200 countries and territories of which a majority have been in Europe, the worst-hit continent by the virus. 

Read on for the latest updates from Pakistan and around the world.

Disclaimer: There may be some discrepancy in the number of confirmed cases reported at the country level due to differences in figures quoted by federal and provincial authorities.

Geo News is constantly gathering fresh information from concerned authorities and striving to keep our readers up to date with the most accurate information available.

Orange: All general updates coming in from Pakistan

Red: All reports on new cases in Pakistan

Maroon: All reports on new deaths in Pakistan


Live updates for March 31 will continue here. 

11:54pm — Ankara, Turkey — Coronavirus deaths up to 168, with 10,827 total cases

Turkey’s deaths from the new coronavirus increased by 37 to 168 on Monday, as the number of confirmed cases rose by 1,610 to 10,827, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said, Reuters reported.

Some 162 patients have recovered so far.

The minister added on Twitter that 11,535 tests had been conducted on Monday - the highest since the start of the outbreak - bringing the total number of tests carried out in Turkey to 76,981 since the outbreak began.

11:35pm — Berlin, Germany — Merkel to work from home despite negative coronavirus test 

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel will continue to lead the government from home, despite testing negative for coronavirus for a third time, a German government spokesman said on Monday, Reuters reported.

Merkel has been self-quarantining and working from home after receiving a vaccination on March 20 from a doctor who was later found to have coronavirus.

“The chancellor will in the coming days also conduct her affairs from her home quarantine,” the government spokesman said in a statement.

11:31pm — Washington, US — CDC says more than 140,000 coronavirus cases in the country 

11:22pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Special flights announced for Canadian nationals

10:38pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Another death in Sindh takes country's coronavirus death toll to 22

Sindh Minister for Health Dr. Azra Pechuho confirmed another death in the province. 

The 63-year-old patient was a resident of Karachi and had been diagnosed with COVID-19 two days earlier. 

The deceased had a history of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and had returned from Saudi Arabia 10 days ago. 

The provincial death toll now stands at 8.

9:28pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Lockdown not possible as govt cannot facilitate needy people: PM Imran

Addressing the nation late Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said prices of products increased when people hoarded them, causing many poor people to be left out.

A lockdown, the premier added, was not imposed as the government could not provide food and basic necessities to needy people. He said nearly 25% of the country's population faces extreme poverty.

Read complete story here.

8:51pm — New Delhi, India — 92 new coronavirus cases reported

India authorities confirmed 92 new coronavirus infections in the country, bumping the toll to 1,071.

So far, 99 patients have recovered, while 29 deaths have been reported in India.

8:43pm — Abu Dhabi, UAE — Two more deaths reported, with 41 new cases 

United Arab Emirates reported two news deaths, with 41 new infections taking the country's tally to 611, the country's health sector's spokesperson confirmed.

8:34pm — Beijing, China — Drop in country's cases; none in Wuhan for sixth day 

China reported a drop in new coronavirus infections for a fourth day as drastic curbs on international travellers reined in the number of imported cases, while policymakers turned their efforts to healing the world’s second-largest economy, Reuters reported.

The city of Wuhan, at the centre of the outbreak, reported no new cases for a sixth day, as businesses reopened and residents set about reclaiming a more normal life after a lockdown for almost two months.

Smartly turned out staff waited in masks and gloves to greet customers at entrances to the newly-reopened Wuhan International Plaza, home to boutiques of luxury brands such as Cartier and Louis Vuitton.

“The Wuhan International Plaza is very representative (of the city),” said Zhang Yu, 29. “So its reopening really makes me feel this city is coming back to life.”

Sunday’s figure of 31 new cases, including one locally transmitted infection, was down from 45 the previous day, the National Health Commission said.

8:20pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Federal govt creates fund for athletes infected with COVID-19

8:11pm — Karachi, Pakistan — 21 new coronavirus cases take Sindh's tally to 529 

21 new coronavirus cases emerged in Karachi bumping Sindh's infected tally to 529, provincial health department confirmed.

The department said that 249 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the metropolis so far.

7:57pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh minister Ghani recovers from coronavirus

Sindh Minister for Education and Labour Saeed Ghani on Monday said that his report for the coronavirus had come back negative after he isolated himself following a positive diagnosis for the virus earlier this month.

7:55pm — Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — Authorities impose 24-hour curfew in parts of Makkah

Saudi authorities on Monday imposed a 24-hour curfew in the holy city of Makkah for an indefinite period of time, the interior ministry of the country said in a statement.

Six areas of the holy city will begin observing the curfew from today, the ministry added in the statement.

7:44pm — London, UK — Coronavirus death toll rises 159 to 1,284

 A further 159 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in England, the National Health Service said on Monday, taking the total number of confirmed deaths in the country to 1,284, Reuters reported.

7:35pm — Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — King Salman to pay for citizens infected with coronavirus 

Saudi Arabia will finance treatment for anyone infected with the coronavirus in the country, the health minister said on Monday, while the agriculture ministry took steps to boost wheat and livestock supplies amid global fears of a food shortage, Reuters reported.

The kingdom has registered eight deaths among 1,453 infections, the highest among the six Gulf Arab states.

Health Minister Tawfiq Al Rabiah said King Salman would cover treatment for citizens and residents diagnosed with the virus, urging people with symptoms to get tested.

“We are all in the same boat,” he told a news conference, adding that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was overseeing containment efforts “night and day”.

7:18pm — Beijing, China — Country reassures support to Pakistan, says 'ironclad friendship is real'  

7:05pm — New York, US — 87% of world's student population affected during COVID-19 lockdown

7:00pm — New Delhi, India — Police officer wears coronavirus helmet to warn people to stay indoors

6:56pm —  Madrid, Spain — Total infected toll crosses China

6:54pm — Europe — Air pollution decreases in urban areas during lockdowns to combat COVID-19

6:45pm — Karachi, Pakistan — CM Shah takes back cases lodged in violation of prayer ban

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah on Monday decided to take back all cases lodged by the state against prayer leaders or mosque owners in relation to the restrictions placed on congregational prayers across the province to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

The decision was taken during a meeting CM Shah had with religious leaders who assured the provincial government of increased cooperation in this regard. 

The government had last Friday arrested several clerics for leading dozens of people in prayer despite restrictions placed on congregational prayers in the province. 

6:35pm — Mardan, Pakistan — Strategy to combat virus proving to be effective: DC Mardan

Mardan Deputy Commissioner Abid Wazir on Monday said that the strategy of the provincial government to deal with the coronavirus had proved to be effective at containing the virus. 

"We request the people to take precautionary measures for two weeks to contain the spread of the virus," he said in a statement.

6:27pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — ECC approves PM Imran's virus relief package

The Economic Coordination Committee of the federal cabinet on Monday approved the federal government's coronavirus relief package aimed at helping the underprivileged section of the society during the virus crisis.

The relief package was approved by the ECC under the chair of Adviser to PM on Finance Hafeez Sheikh. The package will be presented for approval to the federal cabinet on Tuesday. 

6:23pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — More people will start recovering from virus in coming days: Mirza

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza on Monday said that the number of patients tested positive for the coronavirus over the past day had decreased compared to the previous twenty-four hours.

"99 people were tested positive for the virus over the past day. In the coming few days, more and more positive virus patients will start recovering from the illness," Mirza told a press briefing in Islamabad.

6:20pm — Rawalpindi, Pakistan — 70% of coronavirus patients in city are young: DC Rawalpindi

Rawalpindi Deputy Commissioner Anwarul Haq on Monay said that it was wrong to presume that the coronavirus was affecting the elderly more than the young people in the society. 

"70% of the patients tested positive for the coronavirus in the city are young," Haq told the residents of Rawalpindi in a video statement.

"Residents are advised to cooperate with the city administration and maintain social distancing while venturing outside their homes," he said.

6:10pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Edhi foundation to re-open cold storage centres 

The cold storage centres operated by the Edhi welfare organisation across Pakistan were on Monday re-opened after a three-day closure as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus.

A statement issued by a spokesperson for the organisation said that the Edhi foundation would perform the last rites of coronavirus patients in accordance with Islamic tenets while following Standard Operating Procedures of an international standard to contain spread of the virus.

5:55pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh reports more recoveries from virus

Sindh Minister for Law and Environment Murtaza Wahab on Monday said that 23 pilgrims quarantined at the coronavirus isolation facility in Sukkur had tested negative for the virus twice.

These patients have been given permission to go home, according to the Sindh health department. "If we all isolate ourselves, we can actually protect not only ourselves but our loved ones," Wahab said in a tweet.

5:45pm — Tel Aviv, Israel — Israeli PM Netanyahu quarantined after close aide tests positive for coronavirus

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said on Monday that he will enter quarantine along with his close advisers, reported Hareetz

Netanyahu's aide on Knesset affairs tested positive for coronavirus on Monday. The premier's office said the step was a precaution and being taken even before the epidemiological investigation had been concluded. 

5:40pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — Personally monitoring situation of markets: CM KP

Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mehmood Khan on Monday said that he was personally monitoring the situation of markets across the province and would deal strictly with those hiking prices of essentials.

The province has been under a virtual lockdown since last week amid the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

"There is no shortage of essential food and general items in the province," Khan told the media on Monday evening.

5:27pm — Rawalpindi, Pakistan — 300-bed hospital set up in train coaches at Rawalpindi Railway Station

Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Monday visited Rawalpindi Railway Station to review the arrangements made to tackle the spread of the coronavirus. 

On the directions of the minister, an emergency hospital has been set up in train coaches that includes an emergency ward, an isolation unit, and a 300-bed patient care facility. 

Talking to the media after the visit, the minister said that the government was not planning to announce a curfew to stop the further spread of the virus. "Those taking precautions against the virus are helping the nation," he said.

5:25pm — Taxila, Pakistan — President Alvi visits quarantine centre at UET Taxila

President Arif Alvi on Monday visited a coronavirus quarantine center set up at the University of Engineering and Technology in Taxila to review the measures adopted for patients admitted to the facility.

The president also visited the control room set up at the centre to monitor the patients. President Alvi inquired about the arrangements made for the safety of those treating the patients as well.

5:15pm — Death toll from coronavirus in Pakistan rises to 21

The number of deaths from the coronavirus rose to twenty-one on Monday after two more deaths were reported, according to the national dashboard on the virus.

The total number of confirmed cases of the virus stands at 1,670. The total number of patients who have recovered from the virus across Pakistan is 28, the Command and Control Centre said.

5:09pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab extends school holidays to May 31 amid virus crisis

The Punjab Higher Education Commission on Monday extended public holidays in schools across the province to May 31 in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. 

A notification issued in this regard said that the two month closure of the schools would be considered a part of the annual summer holidays. 

Schools in the province have been shut since early March as part of measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

4:55pm — Karachi, Pakistan — CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah appeals for donations to virus relief fund

Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah on Monday asked the nation to donate generously to the coronavirus relief fund set up by the government. 

In a video message, CM Shah said that the people should help the government fight the virus by donating to the fund.

4:50pm — Lahore, Pakistan — 2,000 doctors, staff being hired for makeshift hospital at Expo Centre: Rashid

Punjab Minister for Health Yasmin Rashid on Monday said that 2,000 doctors and related staff were being hired to perform duties at the emergency hospital set up at the Expo Centre in Lahore to cater to coronavirus patients. 

While addressing health professionals gathered at the Expo Centre, Rashid said that the entire leadership of the country was standing in solidarity with doctors who were treating coronavirus patients.

4:32pm — Tehran, Iran — 117 new virus deaths reported, raising total to 2,757

Iran on Monday reported 117 new deaths from the novel coronavirus, bringing the official total number of fatalities to 2,757.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced the tolls in a news conference and said 3,186 more cases had been confirmed in the past day, raising total infections to 41,495.

4:21pm — Chiniot, Pakistan — 50 arrested for traveling in container aboard truck amid ban on public transport

Fifty people were arrested on Monday while undertaking a journey from Layyah to Swat in a container aboard a truck, police officials said.

The group was going to Swat on the truck since public transport across the country has been banned to contain the spread of the coronavirus, police officials added.

The container has been seized and the arrested people transferred to Saddar Police Station in Chiniot. 

4:15pm — Madrid, Spain — Nearly 12,300 Spanish health workers have coronavirus

Some 12,298 health workers have tested positive for coronavirus in Spain, deputy health emergency chief Maria Jose Sierra said at a news conference on Monday.

That is equivalent to around 14% of the country’s 85,195 confirmed cases, roughly the same proportion as last week.

4:10pm — New Delhi, India — 14 coronavirus deaths reported in single day, 92 new infections

14 deaths from the coronavirus were reported in the past twenty-four hours across India, a report claimed on Monday. 

92 new cases of the virus also propped up during the time, the report added.

The health department of the country said that the total number of virus cases in the country had risen to 1,071, and the death toll from the disease stood at 29.

4:05pm — Nawabshah, Pakistan — Preaching establishment turned into quarantine centre

A preaching establishment in Nawabshah has been turned into a quarantine centre to house coronavirus patients, Nawabshah Deputy Commissioner Ahmed Jaffar said on Monday.

A total of 172 people are housed at the centre currently, including 14 foreign nationals, Jaffar added.

3:54pm — Zurich, Switzerland — Coronavirus death toll nears 300, positive tests approach 15,500

The Swiss death toll from coronavirus has reached 295 people, the country’s public health bureau said on Monday, rising from 257 people on Sunday.

The number of confirmed cases increased to 15,475 from 14,336 on Sunday, it said. The government is due to give an update later on Monday on the epidemic situation.

3:52pm — Madrid, Spain — 812 virus deaths in 24 hours

Spain confirmed another 812 deaths in 24 hours from the coronavirus on Monday, bringing the total number of deaths to 7,340, according to health ministry figures.

It is the first decline in the number of deaths in a 24-hour period since Thursday in Spain, which has the world’s second most deadly outbreak after Italy. Spain recorded 838 virus deaths on Sunday.

The number of confirmed cases in Spain has now reached 85,195 — after the one-day increase of 8.0 percent.

3:50pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran to take nation into confidence tonight over virus-related measures: sources

Prime Minister Imran Khan will on Monday night take the nation into confidence over the measures approved by the government to keep the economy afloat amid the coronavirus crisis, sources told Geo News.

The premier is expected to make important announcements related to the construction industry, the opening of major roads and highways, as well as the country-wide lockdown to contain the further spread of the virus.

3:44pm — Brussels, Belgium — Coronavirus death toll passes 500

Belgium’s death toll from the novel coronavirus passed the 500-mark Monday, with almost 12,000 cases detected since the start of the epidemic.

Health authorities in the country of 11.4 million said 513 COVID-19 deaths had been recorded and 11,899 cases confirmed by laboratory tests.

But officials said the rise in admissions to hospital and to intensive care units had slowed slightly over the previous 24 hours.

3:40pm — Mandaluyong, Philippines — Asian Development Bank approves $2mn for virus relief efforts in Pakistan

The Asian Development Bank on Monday approved $2 million in aid for coronavirus relief efforts in Pakistan. 

The country has been a spike in locally transmitted infections of the virus in recent weeks, as the death toll related to the disease also increases.

3:30pm — Harare, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe begins coronavirus lockdown

Zimbabwean authorities on Monday began enforcing a three-week lockdown in its fight against the spread of coronavirus after the disease left one person dead and infected six others.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared a 21-day “total” lockdown from Monday curtailing movement within the country, shutting most shops and suspending flights in and out of Zimbabwe.

3:10pm — Berlin, Germany — Number of coronavirus cases in Germany rises to 57,298: RKI

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany has risen to 57,298 and 455 people have died of the disease here, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.

Cases rose by 4,751 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 66, the statistics showed.

The highest number of cases, 13,989, are in the southern state of Bavaria, where the disease first appeared in Germany.

3:05pm — Karachi, Pakistan — City administration designates five graveyards for coronavirus-related burials

The city administration on Monday designated five graveyards in the city that will be used to bury those who pass away due to the coronavirus. 

3:00pm — Jakarta, Indonesia — Indonesia confirms 129 new coronavirus infections, taking total to 1,414

Indonesia confirmed 129 new coronavirus infections on Monday, taking the total to 1,414 in the Southeast Asian country, said a health ministry official.

Achmad Yurianto, the official, reported eight new deaths, taking the total number of deaths due to the virus in the country to 122. 

2:55pm — Sukkur, Pakistan — Virus screening process of 442 people associated with religious gathering continues

The government on Monday continued the coronavirus screening process of 442 individuals associated with a religious gathering in Sukkur. At least 68 of those being screened for the virus are foreign nationals, reports indicate. 

The establishment where the individuals were housed has been completely sealed off. "Until the test reports of those screened come back, all 442 people have been placed in isolation," police said on Monday.

2:45pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh directs private schools not to lay off workers, pay staff on time amid virus crisis

The Sindh government on Monday issued directives to all private schools across the province not to lay off their workers during the coronavirus crisis, and also to pay their salaries on time. 

A notification in this regard, shared by Sindh Minister For Education Saeed Ghani on Twitter, also said that any private schools found in violation of government orders would be dealt with strictly. 

2:40pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — ECC discusses PM Imran's coronavirus relief package

The federal government's coronavirus relief package was on Monday presented before the Economic Coordination Committee of the federal cabinet. 

The plan had been announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan last week.

Adviser to the PM on Finance Hafeez Shaikh presided over a meeting of the ECC that is expected to approve the package before it is presented before the federal cabinet.

2:20pm — New Delhi, India — Migrant workers reportedly washed down before entry into Bareilly

1:45pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — KP administration doing fantastic job: Jhagra

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Minister for Health and Finance Taimur Jhagra on Monday lauded the provincial administration for enforcing a coronavirus lockdown in the area.

In a post on social networking platform Twitter, the minister shared a photo of Mingora, saying that the effects of the lockdown were visible and thanked the KP administration for enforcing it.

1:35pm — Muzaffarabad, Pakistan — 204 teams in the field to tackle virus: AJK PM Haider

Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Monday said that 204 teams of the government were in the field to tackle the coronavirus outbreak across the valley. 

"Saving human lives is my responsibility. We have started spraying disinfectants in the cities, streets and residential areas of the valley," he told the media at a press briefing. 

12:31pm - Punjab bars unauthorised officials from talking to press

In an attempt to tackle the fake news and misinformation surrounding the coronavirus, the Punjab government has barred unauthorised health officials from talking to the media.

A government notification in this regard, seen by, states that in the wake of the prevailing situation of COVID-19 epidemic, a lot of misinformation is being transmitted on electronic and print media.

Read more here.

12:28pm — Gwadar, Pakistan — Chinese companies donate medical supplies to GDA hospital 

12:25pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — SC suspends order related to release of under-trial prisoners

The Supreme Court of Pakistan has suspended a decision taken by Islamabad High Court to release under-trial prisoners due to the coronavirus crisis.

The apex court has also ordered other high courts and provincial governments not to issue any further orders on the issue. 

Read more here.

12:21pm - Lahore, Pakistan — Confirmed virus cases rise to 1,670

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan rose to 1,670 on Monday after 45 new cases were reported in Punjab.

According to a spokesperson of the Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, the provincial tally now stands at 638.

12:03pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — NA speaker urges people to stay at home

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has urged the people to stay at home and practice social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. 

He also asked the people to follow the instructions issued by the government and medical experts in this regard, adding that the current health crisis was a unique one in world history.

Sanofi, Regeneron expand testing of potential coronavirus treatment

Pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and Regeneron have expanded a clinical trial of their rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara as a coronavirus treatment to patients outside the United States.

The companies said enrollments for the mid-to-late stage trial of Kevzara, an immune-system modifying drug known as a monoclonal antibody, have now started in Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Canada, and Russia. 

Read more here.

11:59am - Islamabad, Pakistan — Developing health sector real service to nation: SAPM Awan

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that developing the health sector is a real service to the nation.

In a statement issued on Monday, the SAPM said that the opposition was upset when government ministers spoke truthfully. 

“Developing the health sector was not a priority for the previous rulers,” Awan said. “What mattered to them was putting their name on the board.”

“For Imran Khan, the health of the nation comes first,” she said, adding that the incumbent premier had increased the health budget.

11:57pm - Lahore, Pakistan — Shehbaz urges govt to share data of virus

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has urged the government to share data regarding the coronavirus pandemic in the country, citing fears that Punjab was heading towards a disaster if the outbreak was not brought under control.

In a statement issued on Monday, the PML-N president said that it was a crime to hide the number of tests conducted from the general public.

“You cannot hide the facts or the stop the spread of the virus by not sharing the data,” Shehbaz said.

He added, that the only way to deal with this outbreak was to set up more quarantine centres. 

“There is a shortage of protective gear and testing kits in district hospitals,” he noted.

11:56am - New Delhi, India — No plan to extend coronavirus lockdown as poor struggle

India has no plans to extend a 21-day lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the government said on Monday, as it struggled to keep essential supplies flowing and prevent tens of thousands of out-of-work people fleeing to the countryside.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the country's 1.3 billion people to remain indoors until April 15 saying that was the only hope to stop the epidemic. But the order has left millions of impoverished Indians jobless and hungry.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba told Reuters partner, ANI, that there was no plan to extend the shutdown beyond the three weeks, rejecting reports that a prolonged closure was likely.

India has 1,071 cases of the coronavirus of whom 29 have died, the health ministry said on Monday.

11:55am - Islamabad, Pakistan — Government to address fears of order cancellation 

Secretary Commerce Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera has assured exporters that the government will try to address their fears of order cancellations due to the spread of the coronavirus.

The secretary directed the exporters to approach the relevant embassy and commercial attaches so they can pick up the matter with the buyers. He added that trade and investment officers will reach out to the buyers so orders are not cancelled. 

11:32am - Peshawar, Pakistan — Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health minister thanks people for staying home

11:23am - Islamabad, Pakistan – ‘Coronavirus chromosome found in Pakistan not as lethal as one found in China’

Pakistani scientist Dr Atta ur Rahman has revealed that the coronavirus chromosome found in Pakistan was not as lethal at the one found in China

“The coronavirus chromosomes found in Pakistan is different from what was found in China,” Dr Rehman told Geo Pakistan.

He added that the development was reported by the Jamil ur Rehman Centre for Genome Research, which is a part of Karachi University’s International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences.

11:21am - Berlin, Germany — Number of coronavirus cases in Germany rises to 57,298: RKI

The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany has risen to 57,298 and 455 people have died of the disease here, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.

Cases rose by 4,751 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 66, the statistics showed.

The highest number of cases, 13,989, are in the southern state of Bavaria, where the disease first appeared in Germany.

11:18am - Bangkok, Thailand — Country reports 136 new cases, bringing total to 1,524

Thailand saw 136 new coronavirus cases on Monday, raising the total number of infections to 1,524, said the spokesman of the government’s Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA).

Infections in Thailand are likely to keep rising, and recently new cases have been reported more in the provinces than in the Thai capital, Bangkok, spokesman Taweesin Wisanuyothin said.

No new deaths were reported, and the overall death toll stood at seven since the outbreak began in January.

11:00am - Lahore, Pakistan — This is not a time for politics: Sarwar

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has urged political parties not to play politics with the coronavirus crisis. 

The governor said that this is not a time for politics, adding that there is a need to fight against the virus. He added that PM Imran Khan is formulating a roadmap for the distribution of rations among the underprivileged.

10:59am - Lahore, Pakistan — Disappointing that opposition is doing politics over coronavirus: Buzdar

Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar has said that it was disappointing that the opposition was doing political point scoring on coronavirus. 

Buzdar has said that the government took the right steps to fight the virus. He added that PM Imran always emphasized on the need to take decisions together. 

10:51am - Lahore, Pakistan — Lockdown has decreased the number of positive cases 

Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid stated on Monday that the lockdown has decreased the number of positive coronavirus cases in the province. She added that so far no new cases have been reported in Lahore. The minister also said that the government is trying to update the media daily on the number of cases in the province.

10:35 - Islamabad, Pakistan — Pakistan's death toll rises to 19

Pakistan on Monday reported two new deaths from the coronavirus in the country, taking the country-wide tally to 19.

According to the national dashboard, the latest deaths were reported in Sindh.

Sindh’s Minister for Health and Population Welfare Dr Azra Pechuho said that the deceased. a 52 and 66-year-old, were residents of Karachi and were diagnosed with COVID-19 three days back. 

10:35am - Islamabad, Pakistan — Confirmed cases rise to 1,625

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan rose to 1,625 on Monday after 25 new cases were recorded in the country.

According to the national dashboard, six new cases were reported in Sindh, three in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three in Balochistan, five in Gilgit Baltistan and eight new cases were reported in Islamabad.

09:45am - Washington, United States — Trump extends ‘social distancing’ guidelines until April 30

President Donald Trump on Sunday extended his stay-at-home guidelines until the end of April, dropping a hotly criticized plan to get the economy up and running by mid-April after a top medical adviser said more than 100,000 Americans could die from the coronavirus outbreak.

The reversal by Trump, which he said would be disclosed in greater detail on Tuesday, came as the US death toll topped 2,460 from the respiratory disease, according to a Reuters tally, with more than 141,000 cases, the most of any country in the world.

“The peak, the highest point of death rate, is likely to hit in two weeks,” Trump told a coronavirus briefing in the White House Rose Garden, flanked by top advisers and business leaders, “Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won.”

He told Americans: “The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end.”

Read more

09:05am Abbottabad, Pakistan —  Funeral prayers of a coronavirus victim

Funeral prayers of Major (retd) Sardar Ilyas, who died due to coronavirus, were held in Abbottabad on Sunday.

Major Ilyas, a resident of the Kehal area, was receiving treatment at the CMH Hospital after testing positive for the virus. 

08:45am Sydney, Australia — Public movement restricted to capitalise on slowing coronavirus rates

Australian officials will use fines and the threat of jail to enforce a new rule limiting public gatherings to two people, as the country's coronavirus infection rate slowed but the death toll crept higher.

New South Wales and Victoria, the country's two most populous states, will introduce the penalties from midnight on Monday to enforce national rules set by the federal government on Sunday.

Australia is strengthening limited contact rules for the public as it seeks to capitalise on a slowdown in the growth of new coronavirus cases.

Officials said the rate of new infections has halved in the past week under existing restrictions on movement to about 4,200 people nationally, while the death toll rose to 17.

11:50pm/March 29 — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab tally rises to 593; official confirms sixth death

According to an update by Musarrat Cheema, the Punjab government's spokesperson, the province's total of confirmed infections now stands at 593.

Cheema confirmed that more than 14,000 tests have been carried out so far.

10:46pm/March 29 — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh releases notification reminding employers to pay workers by March 31

The Sindh government has issued a notification under the Sindh Payment Act, reminding the owners of all private organisations and factories to disburse their workers' salaries by March 31.

"All organisations will be bound to pay their daily wage workers, contractual employees and permanent employees," said the notification.

It further stated that a SESSI (Sindh Employees Social Security Institution) emergency cell has been established to deal with all grievances and inquiries.

10:30pm/March 29 — Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan — One more death takes region's tally to 2

One more death has been reported in Gilgit-Baltistan, taking the total number of deaths in the region to two.

According to Shams Mir, the region's information adviser, a healthcare worker from Nagar had died from the disease and buried with full state honours.

According to Mir, 12 new cases had been confirmed today, taking the tally to 123 in the region.

Out of 27 new tests, 15 came back negative.

Four patients have been discharged from the isolation ward after a full recovery.

"A high-level government delegation will visit the coronavirus-stricken red zone in Nagar tomorrow," he said.

10:22pm/March 29 — Karachi, Pakistan — 33 test positive out of 1,135 tests

The Sindh health department has reported that a total of 33 cases were found in Sindh from among 1,135 samples tested over the last 24 hours.

09:40pm/March 29 — Islamabad, Pakistan — Dr Mirza warns against paying heed to wrong advice by doctors

The prime minister's aide on health, Dr Zafar Mirza has warned everyone that no medicine can be used with a view to prevent the onset of COVID-19.

"Some local Drs are recommending use of specific medicines for prevention of #COVIDー19. Not right!" he wrote.

He went on to share the WHO's views on the matter, which has clearly said: “there is no evidence that current medicine can prevent or cure the disease. WHO does not recommend any medicine as a prevention or cure for COVID-19".

For March 29 coronavirus updates click here.

For March 28 coronavirus updates click here