Coronavirus updates, March 31: Latest news on the coronavirus pandemic from Pakistan and around the world

Nationwide tally of confirmed cases goes past 2,000; global coronavirus death toll surges past 37,000

Web Desk

KARACHI / LAHORE / ISLAMABAD / PESHAWAR / QUETTA: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 2,037 early Wednesday after new infections were confirmed in the country.

The province-wise break up of the total number of cases as of 12:08am, April 1, is as follows:

Total confirmed cases: 2,037

• Sindh: 676

• Punjab: 708

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 253

• Balochistan: 158

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 58

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 178

• AJK: 6

Deaths: 26

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 6

• Sindh: 8

• Balochistan: 1

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 2

• Punjab: 9

Globally, more than 37,000 deaths have been recorded, of which most have been in Europe since the virus first emerged in December.

Meanwhile, more than 785,000 COVID-19 cases have been registered in 200 countries and territories.

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 April 1 will continue here.

12:28am (April 1) — Karachi, Pakistan — Hyderabad update by Sindh health dept

Hyderabad has a total of 128 cases of which 94 are from the Tableeghi Jamaat, said the department's spokesperson.

12:08am (April 1) — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab overtakes Sindh once more with total tally at 708

According to an update by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, of the 708 total cases, 337 are from the Dera Ghazi Khan, Multan, Raiwind and Faisalabad quarantine facilities.

"Nine precious lives have been lost and one critical patient is being treated to the best," he wrote.

12:04am (April 1) — Peshawar, Pakistan — Quarantine for 200 people has come to an end

11:50pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Cambridge to make 'evidence-based' assessment for May/June exams

The Cambridge Assessment International Education has said that it will depend on data provided by schools and educational centres to make "evidence-based decisions about grades" for the May/June 2020 examinations, as most schools around the world remain closed due to the coronavirus.

A statement from Uzma Yousuf, Country Director, Pakistan, of Cambridge Assessment International Education, said:

“The decision on grades to be awarded to students will be made by Cambridge, using our own evidence combined with evidence from schools. We are asking schools to collaborate with us as we make evidence-based decisions about grades for each student in each subject they have entered for in the May/June 2020 exam series."

11:24pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — KP tally rises to 253

Thirty two new cases have emerged in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, taking the tally of infected in the province to 253, according to KP's focal person on the coronavirus, Zain Raza.

10:59pm — Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan — 12 more cases in region take tally to 178

10:51pm — Karachi, Pakistan — City reports two more recoveries

Two more people have recovered from the coronavirus in Karachi, taking the tally of recoveries in the province for the day to 10, according to the Sindh health department spokesperson.

Two hours prior, it had been reported 8 people have recovered.

The total number of recoveries in Sindh now stands at 51.

10:20pm — Abu Dhabi, UAE — Drones being used to sanitise cities

09:50pm — Rawalpindi, Pakistan — NCA, SPD employees donate salaries to support fight against COVID-19

To support national efforts in the fight against COVID-19 , scientists, engineers and employees of National Command Authority (NCA) and Strategic Plans Division (SPD) have contributed their salaries in COVID-19 relief fund, the military's media wing said.

- Employees of Special Pay Scale 11-14 - 3 days

- Employees of Special Pay Scale 8-10 - 2 days

- Employees of Special Pay Scale 1-7 - 1 day

Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, General Nadeem Raza, contributed one month’s pay in COVID-19 relief fund, the Inter-Services Public Relations said.

09:43pm — Quetta, Pakistan — New coronavirus cases reported, bumping provincial tally to 158 

Balochistan reported several new cases which bumped up the provincial tally to 158.

Earlier in the day, the provincial spokesperson had confirmed that 17 patients had recovered from COVID-19.

09:26pm — The new coronavirus: key terms explained

Reuters explains terms such as COVID-19, self-isolation, social distancing, and epidemic including others.  

09:23pm — Washington, USA — Coronavirus cases surge past 160,000

09:09 — Karachi, Pakistan — Eight patients recover from COVID-19 in Sindh

08:27pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh takes lead once more with 676 cases

The following is a breakdown of cases by the Sindh health department.

According to the department, all the patients of Tableeghi Jamaat are being kept in a facility in Hyderabad so will be counted in Hyderabad cases.


- Karachi = 274 cases (Tableeghi Jamaat cases have been moved to the Hyderabad Count)

- Dadu = 1 case

- Hyderabad = 128 cases (94 cases of Tableeghi Jamaat)

- Jacobabad = 1

- Cured = 18 (1 Hyd, 17 Khi)

- Deaths = 8

- Under treatment = 378

- Out of 378 cases, there are 343 cases of Local transmission

Pilgrims from Iran in Sukkur:

- Positive = 265

- Cured = 23

- Under Treatment = 242

Pilgrims from Iran in Larkana:

- Positive = 7

- Negative = 76

Grand Total - 676 cases in Sindh

Total Number of Cured Patients: 41

Total Number of Patients Under Treatment in Sindh: 627

Total number of tests conducted: 6578

08:22pm — Quetta, Pakistan — Balochistan okays Rs500m for quarantine centres 

07:33pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh sees 61 new cases in last 24 hours

According to a statement by the Chief Minister House in Sindh, the total number of cases in the province has reached 627, including 293 of local transmission.

A day earlier, the number of cases was 566. “This shows an increase of 61 cases during the last 24 hours," said the statement.

7:14pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — In the footsteps of other provinces, KP govt issues order for limited congregational prayers

According to the notice, only five people or less designated for the mosque shall offer congregational prayers.

"The general public will offer their prayers at their respective homes," reads the notice.

06:50pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Raiwind city put under complete lockdown

According to Geo News, Raiwind city has been put under quarantine and all general and medical stores have been shut down by police. No one is being allowed to leave their homes.

Adjacent to Raiwind city is a tableeghi mosque where it was suspected that 50 people have contracted the virus. Upon screening it was discovered that 27 do have the virus.

Many people have either been shifted to the Kala Shah Kaku quarantine facility or a facility in Kasur.

Even now roughly 2,200 people are present in the area. A team of doctors is currently continuing testing of people to ascertain whether there are more people infected.

06:38pm — Karachi, Pakistan — One more death in Sindh takes tally to 8

The Sindh Minister for Health and Population Welfare Dr. Azra Pechuho has confirmed one more death in Sindh from the coronavirus.

"The 74-year-old patient was a resident of Karachi and was brought to the hospital on 26th March where he was tested. The patient passed away today," said a statement by Pechuho.

She said that the patient had a history of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and diabetes.

"This bring the total number of deaths in Sindh to 8," added the statement.

05:34pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh health dept spokesperson says reports of 97 cases in Hyderabad untrue

According to the spokesperson, there are currently 57 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Hyderabad, and not 97 as is being reported "without verification" by some news outlets.

04:33pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh minister warns 'viral' letter 'incorrect'

Sindh education minister Saeed Ghani has shared a 'viral' letter on the province's Coronavirus Emergency Fund and warned everyone that its contents are 'incorrect'.

"Correct details will soon be officially released by the Sindh government," he said.

Here are some organisations you can donate to during the coronavirus outbreak

There is more we can do, collectively than just practice social distancing during a pandemic. We can help people.

Many organisations and individuals are working around the clock in Pakistan to bring food and other essentials to the hardest-hit segments of the population.

Here’s a list of organisations, you can donate to in this hour of need.

3:40pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Have instructed health department to increase testing capacity: CM Punjab

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has said he has directed the health department to increase the testing capacity in the province.

“Our cabinet is meeting daily to discuss the outbreak in the province,” Buzdar said while addressing a briefing.

“We will meet with the delegation of Chinese doctors and listen to what they have to say,” Buzadar said, adding, they will release home quarantine SOPs after meeting with the doctors.

The Punjab chief minister assured they had everything under control. “We have a committee at the district level to ensure every hospital had protective gears for their medical staff.”

The chief minister added doctors will get an extra month’s allowance. 

The chief minister added doctors will get an extra month’s allowance.

Responding to a question about reports of tableegi jamaat members being mishandled, Buzdar said he had asked the inspector general to ensure nothing of this sort happened and that all the correct SOPs were being followed.

“An SOP has been developed for dealing with members of the tableeghi jamaat. We will not allow anyone to manhandle them,” Buzdar noted.

3:30pm — Quetta, Pakistan — 17 patients recover from coronavirus in Balochistan

Seventeen patients were released from the Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Quetta on Tuesday after they recovered from the virus.

According to the provincial government spokesperson, the patients underwent a second test before being discharged.

This brings the total number of recovered patients to 19 in the province and 75 in the country.

3:15pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Two Pakistanis who returned from India test positive

Two Pakistanis returning from India via Wagah Border have tested positive for coronavirus.

Five Pakistanis had travelled to India on medical visas and had returned to the country on March 29.

3:05pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Shehbaz lauds Sindh govt for coronavirus measures

PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif called PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday to discuss the overall condition in the country.

The two leaders discussed the situation in the country due to the virus outbreak and agreed to work together during the crisis.

The PML-N leader also lauded the efforts of the Sindh government to curb the spread of the virus.

3:00pm — Dubai, UAE — First district lockdown imposed to slow virus

Dubai enforced the UAE's first full lockdown on a district housing the emirate's famous gold and spice markets on Tuesday, to disinfect the normally bustling tourist and trade area as part of efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

The United Arab Emirates has extended a daily overnight curfew for a nationwide disinfection drive to April 5, but Dubai announced late on Monday that a 24-hour curfew would be imposed on Al Ras district for two weeks starting Tuesday.

The UAE has confirmed 611 coronavirus cases, with five deaths. 

Read more here. 

2:50pm — Tehran, Iran — Death toll from virus climbs to 2,898

Iran's death toll from coronavirus reached 2,898, with 141 deaths in the past 24 hours, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur told state TV on Tuesday.

The country's infected cases also jumped to 44,606.

2:45pm — Moscow, Russia — Cases jump to 2,337 in record daily rise

The number of coronavirus cases in Russia jumped to 2,337 on Tuesday, an increase of 500, as the country recorded its biggest daily rise for the seventh day in a row.

In Russia, 18 people who contracted the coronavirus have now died, while 121 people have recovered.

CM Punjab visits corona crisis management cell in civil secretariat 

2:30pm — Berlin, Germany — Europe sends medical goods to Iran in trade test

France, Germany and Britain have exported medical goods to Iran in the first transaction conducted under a trade mechanism set up to barter humanitarian goods and food after the US withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal, Germany said on Tuesday.

Britain, Germany and France had said earlier this month they had offered a 5 million-euro ($5.5 million) package to Iran to help fight coronavirus there.

The countries added they were also sending medical material, including equipment for laboratory tests, protective body suits and gloves.

2:15pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Govt extends ban on entry of visitors to Kartarpur for two weeks

The government has extended the ban on the entry of visitors from the Pakistani side to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara for an additional two weeks, reported Radio Pakistan.

Photo: File

A notification in this regard has been issued by the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony.

2:10pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Naval chief to donate one month's salary to relief fund

Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi will donate one month’s salary to the coronavirus relief fund, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“Vice-admiral, rear admiral, and commodore level officers will donate three-day salary to the fund, while all junior officers will contribute two-day salary towards the national cause,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that chief petty officers, sailors and civilians in the force will donate one-day pay each.

2:00pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — PDMA dispatches 50,000 N95-masks to departments fighting virus 

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) has dispatched 50,000 N95 masks to departments involved in the fight against coronavirus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

According to PDMA, 40,000 masks have been given to the health department while the remaining 10,000 masks to other departments.

Officials added that 8,000 surgical kits and caps have been given to the health department, along with 750 litres of sanitizers and 5,000 protective kits to the districts as well.

1:45pm — Peshawar, Pakistan – OPDs close down in KP for 13 days

Outpatient departments (OPD) in the province will close for 13 days, a notification from the provincial government said.

“OPDs in the province will remain close from April 1 to April 13 to stop the spread of the virus,” added the notification.

1:30pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — KP food authority inspects food items in the city

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa food authority inspected the quality and availability of food in the city on Tuesday.

“Food supplies are being checked according to government SOPs,” officials said. “Expiry date and the quality of food was also being checked.”

Authorities’ added action was being taken against hoarders in the city.

Pakistan receives coronavirus prevention material from Chinese company 

1:15pm — New Delhi, India — 200 test positive for virus symptoms at Tableeghi Jammat: Indian media

At least 200 people were reported to have tested positive for coronavirus symptoms, Times of India reported on Tuesday.

According to the publication, 1,200 people were attending the religious gathering at a mosque in the Nizamuddin area.

Anadolu Agency said locals had said that a group of preachers from Malaysia and Indonesia had come and stayed in the mosque, which also houses several dormitories. 

1:00pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Registration for 'Corona Relief Tigers' force to start today

Registration for Prime Minister Imran Khan's 'Corona Relief Tigers' youth team will start from today.

Citizens would be able to volunteer for the force through the PM Office portal by filling out a digital form.

According to the Youth Affairs Ministry, “Those interested will have to provide their name, age, phone number and union council on the form to register for the force. Only those above the age of 18 can register for the force. Registration for the force will end on April 10.”

Read more here. 

12:45pm — Dar es Salaam, Tanzania — First death from virus reported in the country

Tanzania confirmed its first coronavirus death on Tuesday, health minister Ummy Mwalimu said in a statement.

The 49-year-old Tanzanian male, who had pre-existing conditions, had been admitted to Mloganzila Hospital in Dar Es Salaam for treatment.

Tanzania had 19 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Monday

12:30pm — Sukkur, Pakistan — Sindh Food Department foils wheat smuggling bid

The Sindh Food Department on Tuesday foiled a wheat smuggling bid to Punjab, the district food control said.

Officials said close to 12,000 tonnes of wheat was being smuggled to Punjab in 28 trucks from Sanghar and Mirpur Khas.

Officials added the wheat was being shifted to godowns in Sukkur.

12:20pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab reports six new cases

Punjab on Tuesday reported six new cases of the virus in the province, taking the provincial tally to 658.

According to a spokesperson of the primary and secondary health care, five patients in the province have been discharged.  

This takes the number of confirmed cases in the country to 1,872.

12:10pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran chairs federal cabinet meeting

Prime Minister Imran Khan is chairing a meeting of the federal cabinet in Islamabad.

The meeting will discuss a four-point agenda including the situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The meeting will also discuss the impact of the virus on the economy and the steps taken by the government to curb the outbreak in the country.

Great Pyramid in Egypt lights up in solidarity against virus

Egypt's famed Great Pyramid was emblazoned Monday evening with messages of unity and solidarity with those battling the novel coronavirus the world over.

"Stay safe", "Stay at home" and "Thank you to those keeping us safe," flashed in blue and green lights across the towering structure at the Giza plateau, southwest of the capital Cairo.

11:40am — Quetta, Pakistan — 20 shops sealed for violating lockdown orders

The district administration sealed 20 shops in the city on Tuesday for violating lockdown orders.

Authorities added they checked 428 vehicles during the lockdown and fined 28 for or not adhering to instructions.

11:30am — Islamabad, Pakistan — Federal cabinet meets today to discuss coronavirus situation

Prime Minister Imran Khan will chair a meeting of the federal cabinet today to discuss the situation arising out of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The meeting will discuss the impact of the virus on the economy and the steps taken by the government to curb the outbreak in the country.

Global coronavirus death toll climbs to 37,500

More than 777,000 people have been infected across the world and over 37,500 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections have been reported in more than 200 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

France recorded its worst daily coronavirus death toll on Monday, exceeding 3,000 for the first time, while Spain overtook China in the number of those infected with the virus.

The US death toll climbed past 3,000 on Monday, the deadliest day yet in the country's mounting crisis.

Mexico also declared a health emergency on Monday and issued stricter rules to contain coronavirus’ spread after its number of cases surged past 1,000 and the death toll rose sharply.

11:15am — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab to waive off Rs18bn taxes under ‘Economic Stimulus Package’

11:00am — Berlin, Germany — Number of confirmed cases rise to 61,913

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Germany has risen to 61,913 and 583 people have died of the disease, statistics from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Tuesday.

Cases rose by 4,615 compared with the previous day while the death toll climbed by 128, the tally showed. 

10:45am — Islamabad, Pakistan — More cases reported across the country

Pakistan on Tuesday reported 18 new cases in the country, taking the nation-wide toll to 1,866.

According to the national dashboard, seven new cases were reported in Islamabad, one in Punjab, four in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and six new cases in Gilgit Baltistan.  

The national dashboard also reported two new deaths in the country, one in Sindh and the other in KP.

According to the Sindh Health Department, the patient had been identified as a 70-year-old resident of Karachi who was =brought to the hospital yesterday where he was tested.

“The patient's result came out positive after he passed away. The patient had a history of multiple health problems and had caught the virus locally,” the health department said. 

10:30am — Lahore, Pakistan — Health Department team visits Darul Aman

A team from Punjab's Health Department visited the Darul Aman shelter home and took samples of the women and children staying there.

The team also briefed the women staying in the shelter home regarding precautions against the virus. 

10:25am — Peshawar, Pakistan — Rescue 1122 DG visits rescue station

Director-General of Rescue 1122 Dr Khateer Ahmad met with teams transferring suspected coronavirus patients on Tuesday.

Dr Ahmad said the rescue officials were at the front line in the fight against the virus.

He added the teams has been using protective equipment while transferring patients and making sure they disposed of them correctly after use.

10:15am — Lahore, Pakistan — CM Punjab to visit civil secretariat today

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar will visit an isolation centre set-up in the civil secretariat today.

The chief minister will be briefed about the facilities at the isolation centre.

He will later chair a meeting of the cabinet regarding the virus situation in the province and the steps to curb it at the secretariat.

10:10am — Hyderabad, Pakistan — 54 Tableeghi Jamaat members test positive for virus

Fifty-four more members of a Tableeghi Jamaat in Hyderabad have tested positive for coronavirus, health department officials said.

“Samples from 200 participants who attended the gathering in Hyderabad were taken, of which 90 have come back positive,” the health department official said.

There are now 94 confirmed cases in Hyderabad, the official added.

Govt launches Corona Helpline

The government of Pakistan has launched Corona Helpline on Whatsapp.

Citizens can get coronavirus related information, latest statistics and information regarding the nearest labs by sending a ‘Hi’ to 00923001111166.

10:00am — Karachi, Pakistan — 436 arrested for violating Section 144

Authorities in Karachi on Tuesday said they arrested 436 individuals and registered a first information report (FIR) against them for violating Section 144 during the lockdown in the city.

Authorities added they have arrested 1,264 individuals so far in the city.

9:50am — Tokyo, Japan — Virus infections top 2,000 cases

Coronavirus infections in Japan topped 2,000 cases on Tuesday, according to a Reuters calculation based on ministry data and media reports.

A centre for disabled people in Chiba prefecture, east of Tokyo, found seven more infections on Tuesday, bringing the total there to 93., Kyodo News reported.

9:45am — Beijing, China — Coronavirus epidemic 'far from over' in Asia: WHO official

The coronavirus epidemic is "far from over" in the Asia-Pacific region, and the current measures to curb the spread of the virus are merely buying time for countries to prepare for large-scale community transmissions, a WHO official said on Tuesday.

Even with all the measures, the risk of transmission in the region will not go away as long as the pandemic continues, said Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director for the Western Pacific at the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Kasai warned that for countries that are seeing a tapering off of cases, they should not let down their guard, or the virus may come surging back.

9:30am — Islamabad, Pakistan — Fawad Chaudhry warns NDMA, provincial govts against using fake testing kits

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has warned the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the provincial governments against using unverified testing kits to detect coronavirus.

“I want to give a warning to the provincial governments and the NDMA that there are non-certified coronavirus testing kits in the market. If affected persons are tested negative it means we are endangering lives of others, Chaudhry tweeted.

He urged the authorities to import only certified testing kits until DRAP certifies Pakistan-made kits.

9:15am — New York, US — US Open venue to host 350-bed temporary hospital

A portion of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is set to transform into a 350-bed temporary hospital on Tuesday, the USTA said, as the coronavirus outbreak strains resources in New York City.

Chris Widmaier, a spokesman for the US Tennis Association, which owns the tennis centre, told Reuters that the conversion of an indoor tennis facility on the venue would begin Tuesday.

"We're here to help – no two ways about it," Widmaier said. "New York is our home, we're all in this together."

9:00am — Washington, US — Trump says coronavirus guidelines may get tougher

US President Donald Trump said on Monday that federal social distancing guidelines might be toughened and travel restrictions with China and Europe would stay in place as he urged Americans to help fight the coronavirus with tough measures through April.

Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said more than 1 million Americans had been tested for the coronavirus, which he called a milestone.

The president announced on Sunday that the recommendations, which include encouraging people not go gather in groups larger than 10 and to avoid dining in restaurants or bars, would be through the end of next month after initially being put in place for 15 days to curb the virus's spread.

"The guidelines will be very much as they are, maybe even toughened up a little bit," Trump added.

8:45am — Seoul, South Korea — 125 new coronavirus cases recorded

South Korea reported 125 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of infections to 9,786, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. 

8:40am — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh reports 61 new cases

Sindh reported 61 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, taking the provincial tally to 627.

According to the Sindh Health Department, 45 new cases were reported in Karachi, 14 cases at a religious gathering in Hyderabad and two cases in Jamshoro. All the new reported cases were of local transmission.

This takes the number of confirmed cases in the country to 1,848.

8:30am — California, US — COVID-19 hospitalisations have doubled in four days: governor

California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Monday that the number of COVID-19 hospitalisations in the state had nearly doubled over the past four days and the number of ICU patients tripled during that time.

By Monday, 1,421 California patients had been hospitalised with COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, up from 746 four days ago. The number of patients requiring intensive care beds rose to 597 from 200, he said. 

Altogether, 5,763 people have tested positive for the disease in the state, he said.

8:20am — Quetta, Pakistan — Balochistan reports 10 new cases

Balochistan on Tuesday reported 10 new cases in the province, taking the provincial tally to 154.

8:15am — Beijing, China — 48 new cases reported

Mainland China reported on Tuesday a rise in new confirmed coronavirus cases, reversing four days of declines, due to an uptick in infections involving travellers arriving from overseas.

Mainland China had 48 new cases on Monday, the National Health Commission said in a statement, up from 31 new infections a day earlier.

All of the 48 cases were imported, bringing the total number of imported cases in China to 771 as of Monday.

8:10am — Washington, US — Pandemic to hit growth in Asia, China: World Bank

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to sharply slow growth in developing economies in East Asia and the Pacific as well as China, the World Bank said in an economic update on Monday.

The Bank said precise growth forecasts were difficult, given the rapidly changing situation, but its baseline now called for growth in developing economies in the region to slow to 2.1% in 2020, and -0.5% in a lower case scenario, compared to estimated growth of 5.8% in 2019.

In China, where the coronavirus outbreak originated in late December, growth was projected to slow to 2.3% in the baseline scenario, or as low as 0.1% in the lower case scenario, compared to growth of 6.1% in 2019.

Read more here. 

9:28pm/March 30 — 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 more here.

7:57pm/March 30 — 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.

For our March 30 coverage of coronavirus click here.

For our March 29 coverage of coronavirus click here.