Nationwide tally of confirmed cases approaches 2,900, global coronavirus deaths surge past 59,000, declared cases surpass 1 million
Updated Saturday Apr 04 2020
KARACHI / LAHORE / ISLAMABAD / PESHAWAR / QUETTA: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 2,824 on Saturday after new infections were confirmed in the country.
The province-wise break up of the total number of cases as of 12:23am, April 5, is as follows:
Total confirmed cases: 2,824
• Sindh: 840
• Punjab: 1,133
• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 372
• Balochistan: 186
• Islamabad Capital Territory: 75
• Gilgit-Baltistan: 206
• AJK: 12
• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 13
• Sindh: 14
• Balochistan: 1
• Gilgit-Baltistan: 3
• Punjab: 12
The worldwide number of officially confirmed fatalities from the novel coronavirus rose above 59,000 on Saturday, according to a tally compiled by AFP from sources.
More than 1 million declared cases have been registered in 200 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. Of these cases, at least 228,000 are now considered recovered.
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
According to the Punjab chief minister's regular post-midnight update, a total of 10,623 members of the Tableeghi Jamaat have been put into quarantine across 33 districts. So far test results have shown 296 to be positive for COVID-19.
The provincial tally has hit 1,133.
According to Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani, the total number of people to have been infected in the province is 186.
"Eleven new cases emerged today," he said, adding: "A total of 138 test results were received today of which 11 came back positive and 127 negative."
He said the eleven cases were locally transmitted, taking the total number of such cases to 49.
The number of people who have died from coronavirus passed 500 in Turkey today with over 23,000 testing positive.
Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said that in the first phase of the Ehsaas programme related to helping the poor, the provincial government will ensure 15,000 families in the provinces are provided food rations.
The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) wrote a letter to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, requesting him for additional PPE for doctors, nurses and health practitioners treating coronavirus patients.
The letter outlined the dangers posed to the life of the medical staff without proper equipment.
The association wrote a similar letter to Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan to highlight the dangers posed to the health workers at the forefront of the coronavirus.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) extended its de facto curfew for an indefinite period.
The UAE's disinfection drive, which consists of spraying streets, parks and public transport facilities, runs from 8pm (16:00 GMT) to 6am.
The curfew was imposed on March 26 and was extended till April 5.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has reported three more deaths and an increase in the total number of cases by 29.
The deceased patients were 50, 62 and 76 years old, respectively.
The overall tally of infected now stands at 372, while the number of deaths have hit 13, as confirmed by the provincial health department.
The New York state has reported its record single-day death toll of 3,565 persons over the past 24 hours which increased from 2,935 the previous day.
As per official figures, the state has reported 113,704 positive cases - 63,306 in New York City, where 2,624 have died.
The death toll from the coronavirus has reached 68 in Athens whereas the total number of confirmed cases has reached 1,673 after 69 more cases emerged today.
The government of Greece has decided to extend its lockdown till April 27.
10:00pm — Karachi, Pakistan — 12 more recover in Sindh
According to Murtaza Wahab, 12 more persons recovered from the coronavirus in Sindh. The total number of recovered persons in Sindh now stands at 86.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that a total lockdown in the country will not be successful if the government is unable to provide food to people's homes.
Balochistan reported 10 new cases, bumping the province's tally to 185, the provincial health department confirmed.
The infected include 11 doctors and eight security guards, the department said.
Britain has reported a record 708 daily deaths from COVID-19, including a five-year-old child, who is thought to be the country's youngest victim.
The health ministry said 4,313 people who tested positive for the virus in hospital had died as of 1600 GMT Friday while there were 41,903 confirmed cases as of 0800 GMT Saturday, up 3,735.
The toll has been steadily increasing by more than 500 deaths a day this week and the country is bracing for an expected peak in the next week to 10 days.
A total of 637 of the latest deaths were in England, the National Health Service (NHS) said.
"Patients were aged between five years and 104 years old. 40 of the 637 patients (aged between 48 and 93 years old) had no known underlying health condition," it said in a statement.
The NHS said it would not be giving further information about the five-year-old patient at the request of the family.
A 13-year-old boy from London, Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, died last week, days after testing positive for COVID-19. His family said he had no underlying illnesses.
In a conversation with Geo News, the famed Pakistani-American guitarist has revealed he has tested positive for the virus, a day after he had tweeted he may have contracted it.
"I am quarantined at home and do not feel well. I request you all to pray for me," he told Geo News.
The artist had gone to New York for some projects and was unable to return to Pakistan owing to a lockdown.
In a complex of holiday bungalows to the east of Madrid, Venezuelan refugees and homeless people have replaced the tourists, business meetings and wedding parties that usually fill the premises, Reuters reported.
The owner of the La Ciguena resort has turned the facility over to some of Madrid’s most vulnerable families, after he had to close the hotel because of the coronavirus outbreak sweeping through Spain.
“Since we’ve arrived, they’ve attended to our every need,” said Stephanie Paez, an eight-month pregnant Venezuelan refugee accompanied by her partner and mother.
She said her aim was to find a job, an apartment and get her residency papers once the coronavirus crisis was over.
The United Kingdom’s death toll from the coronavirus rose by 20% to 4,313 at 1600 GMT on April 3, the health ministry said, Reuters reported.
As of 0800 GMT on April 4, a total of 183,190 people have been tested of which 41,903 tested positive, the health ministry said.
Saudi authorities announced a lockdown and a partial curfew in seven neighborhoods of the Red Sea city of Jeddah, starting on Saturday, as part of measures to contain the new coronavirus outbreak, the interior ministry said in a statement, Reuters reported.
The ministry said residents in those neighborhoods could only go out for grocery shopping and medical care, between 6am (0300 GMT) and 3pm. Entering and exiting the neighborhoods will be restricted, it added.
Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases have risen by 6,082 in the past 24 hours, a slight decrease from the day before, according to data from the government’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Reuters reported.
The reported reduction in new daily cases, which were down from 6,174 new cases a day earlier, could be a sign that the rate of infection is beginning to level off, but the government cautioned it was far too early to identify a trend.
Germany now has 85,778 cases, up from 79,696 infections on Friday, with the highest level of infections in Bavaria, according to the RKI statistics. Deaths have increased to 1,158, the RKI said, from 1,017 deaths as of Friday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the government was creating a Facebook page — which would be launched by next week — to track down the needy people.
"People who want to donate can register themselves and we will connect the needy and the person who wants to donate through the page," he said while addressing at an event.
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Another coronavirus death was reported in Punjab, taking the death toll to 12, provincial authorities confirmed.
Meanwhile, the infected tally in the province stands at 1,087 after several new cases were reported.
The confirmed death toll from the coronavirus in the Netherlands has risen by 164 to 1,651, health authorities said, Reuters reported.
The National Institute for Health (RIVM) said the total number of infections had increased by 6% to 16,627 over the past 24 hours.
The actual number of deaths and infections is higher than the official figure due to a lack of widespread testing for the coronavirus, the RIVM has said.
Iran’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak climbed to 3,452 on Saturday, with 158 more fatalities recorded over the past 24 hours, Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpur said, Reuters reported.
The total number of cases diagnosed with the disease reached 55,743, of whom 4,103 are in critical condition, he said on state TV. Iran is the country worst affected by the pandemic in the Middle East.
Spain’s death toll from the coronavirus rose to 11,744 from 10,935 the previous day, the Health Ministry said, though it was the second straight second day in which the daily number of new deaths had fallen, Reuters reported.
A total of 809 people died from the disease over the past 24 hours, down from 932 in the previous period, the figures showed.
The total number of registered infections rose to 124,736 on Saturday from 117,710 on Friday, the ministry said.
Kuwait has recorded its first death from coronavirus, state news agency KUNA reported, citing a health ministry spokesperson.
The total number of people diagnosed with the disease increased by 62 in the past 24 hours, bumping the infected tally to 479, he said, according to KUNA.
The government submitted on Saturday to the Supreme Court of Pakistan a report on its national action plan for combating the coronavirus epidemic spreading across the country.
In its report, the government detailed the situation arising in the wake of the epidemic and the severity of suspected cases.
“By April 25, the number of the coronavirus cases are feared to reach 50,000,” the report stated.
Britain is unlikely to lift its stringent lockdown rules until the end of May, a leading government adviser has said, warning that the spread of coronavirus must first slow and intense testing be introduced.
A second senior government adviser, the chief pandemic modeler Graham Medley, said he feared Britain had painted itself into a corner, with no clear exit from a strategy that would damage the economic and mental well-being of many people.
“If we carry on with lockdown it buys us more time, we can get more thought put into it, but it doesn’t resolve anything — it’s a placeholder,” Medley told the Times newspaper.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan on Saturday said that wealthy should step up and help those in need as the country reels from a lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus epidemic.
"We will very soon defeat the coronavirus. The war against the virus cannot be waged with guns," Awan said at a media briefing on Saturday afternoon.
"Pakistan is facing corona and hunger together," she added.
Brazilians increasingly disapprove of President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, and overwhelmingly support governors and health officials he has attacked for advocating social-distancing measures, two polls showed, Reuters reported.
The surveys suggest Bolsonaro’s attacks on governors and even his own health minister may have backfired.
Bolsonaro’s coronavirus performance has been “bad” or “awful” according to 39 per cent of respondents surveyed this week, up from 33pc last month, according to pollster Datafolha. Those who consider his response to the health crisis “good” or “great” slipped to 33pc from 35pc previously.
Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar on Saturday said that the government had transferred a total of Rs1.5 billion in emergency cash assistance to some 170,000 needy individuals across the province.
"The money was transferred using mobile phone numbers and National Identity Card numbers. After bio-metric verification, the people can obtain the money from any mobile phone shop," he wrote on Twitter.
An ambulance driver wearing a white protective gown enters a Barcelona hotel and announces the arrival of three new "customers" — a trio of coronavirus patients discharged from hospital into luxury quarantine.
"Good morning! How are you? My name is Enrique Aranda and I am probably the first non health care worker you see in several days," says the director of the five-star Melia Sarria hotel, peering into the ambulance.
It took just three days to convert the hotel, which features contemporary decor and bathrooms with marble finishing, into a clinic.
"Some patients arrive thinking that they were taken out of hospital to be left to die, many people are frightened. I try to make them forget all that," said Aranda, wearing mask and gloves.
An Anti-Terrorism Court in Karachi on Saturday sent several suspects to jail on a judicial remand till April 14 for allegedly assaulting police officers in the port city on Friday afternoon.
The suspects had been filmed attacking the police on Friday as the police officers enforced orders to restrict congregational prayers across the province to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The chief cleric of the Ghousia Mosque in Liaquatabad is also among the suspects who were sent to jail on a judicial remand till April 14. The court has asked authorities to include anti-terror clauses when they file a challan against the accused.
Another nine patients in Sindh have recovered from the novel coronavirus, according to Adviser to Chief Minister Sindh on Law and Environment Murtaza Wahab.
The total number of virus recoveries in Sindh has reached 74, he added. "People should learn that isolation or social distancing is the only cure to #COVIDー19. These 74 isolated themselves, can you?" he wrote on Twitter.
From Europe to South America, US allies are complaining about the superpower’s “Wild West” tactics in outbidding or blocking shipments to buyers who have already signed deals for vital medical supplies, Reuters reported.
In France and Germany, senior officials said the United States was paying far above the market price for medical-grade masks from No. 1 producer China, on occasion winning contracts through higher bids even after European buyers believed a deal was done, and Brazil’s health minister reported a similar incident.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that Pakistan was walking a tight rope to ensure that there were measures in place to tackle the spread of the coronavirus while ensuring that people did not die of hunger.
"In the subcontinent, with a high rate of poverty, we are faced with the stark choice of having to balance between a lockdown necessary to slow down/prevent the spread of COVID19 & ensuring people don't die of hunger & our economy doesn't collapse. So we are walking a tightrope," he said on Twitter.
"We have locked down educational institutions, Malls, marriage halls, restaurants & other places where public congregates. But, to stop the devastation of the lockdown we have kept our agri sector open & now we are opening up our construction sector," he added.
Punjab Minister for Health Yasmin Rashid on Saturday met a group of medical experts from China who are in the city to advise health professionals on how to tackle the coronavirus outbreak in the province.
Chief Minister Usman Buzdar is also expected to meet the Chinese experts later today.
Australia reported more signs that the spread of the novel coronavirus has been stabilising, as New South Wales (NSW) health authorities defended the disembarking in mid-March of a virus-hit cruise ship, Reuters reported.
According to the federal health ministry data, there were 230 new cases of the coronavirus in the 24-hour period to early Saturday in Australia, bringing the total to 5,454 cases.
This suggests the daily increase rate has continued to stay at around 5 per cent in recent days, significantly lower than the 30pc jumps seen two weeks ago.
Karachi on Saturday entered a 13th straight day under a lockdown to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus across the city. Businesses remained shut, traffic suspended, and shopping malls closed.
Under a health advisory issued by the Sindh government, people also remained indoors. General stores, fruit and vegetable shops, and pharmacies, however, remained open to cater to essential needs of citizens.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Lahore today to review the measures taken by the provincial government to tackle the spread of the novel coronavirus in the province, according to sources.
PM Imran will meet with Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar, and other high-ranking provincial officials during the visit, added sources.
Thailand will temporarily ban all passenger flights from landing in the country to curb the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the country’s aviation agency said on Friday.
The ban on incoming flights will come into effect on Saturday morning and run until the end of Monday, the Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand said in an order published late on Friday.
Anyone arriving on a flight that took off before the order came into effect will need to be quarantined for 14 days upon arrival in Thailand, the order said.
Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar on Saturday morning said that the provincial government had disbursed emergency cash assistance to 170,000 deserving individuals affected by the coronavirus crisis.
"In the past twenty-four hours, emergency cash assistance worth Rs1500 million has been distributed among deserving individuals in Punjab," he said.
Sindh Minister for Information Nasir Shah on Friday appealed to members of a religious gathering to "remain wherever they are" after several other members of the gathering tested positive for the virus.
In a video message, Shah said the country's people were "experiencing challenging times" owing to the spread of the COVID-19, which has infected over 800 people in the province and over 2,600 across Pakistan.
"I'm humbly requesting our respected elders, friends, and brothers who have arrived in our Sindh province to remain wherever they are and to completely adhere to the health advisory," the minister stated.
China came to a standstill on Saturday to mourn patients and medical staff killed by the coronavirus, as the world's most populous country observed a nationwide three-minute silence.
At 10 am (0200 GMT), citizens paused, cars, trains and ships sounded their horns, and air-raid sirens rang out in memory of the more than 3,000 lives claimed by the virus in China.
Global cases of the new coronavirus have shot past 1 million with more than 53,000 fatalities, a Reuters tally showed on Friday, as death tolls soared in the United States and western Europe while the world economy nosedived.
In the space of just 24 hours, 6,095 infected people died - nearly twice the total number of deaths in China, where the virus and COVID-19, the disease it causes, originated.
Atop the grim tally of officially reported data are Italy, with 13,915 deaths, and Spain, with 10,935. But the United States is becoming the new epicentre, with 243,635 cases - by far the most of any nation - and 5,887 deaths.
The United States recorded nearly 1,500 deaths from COVID-19 between Thursday and Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, the worst 24-hour death toll globally since the pandemic began.
With 1,480 deaths counted between 8:30pm (0030 GMT) Thursday and the same time Friday, according to the university's continuously updated figures, the total number of people who have died since the start of the pandemic in the United States is now 7,406.
Surging deaths in New York City and New Orleans showed that a wave of lethal coronavirus infections expected to overwhelm hospitals, even in relatively affluent, urban areas with extensive healthcare systems, has begun to crash down on the United States.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Friday warned of possible cyber attacks under the guise of messages containing coronavirus information and advised people not to use WiFi at public places.
In a statement, the PTA told people to be wary of text messages claiming to provide information and updates on COVID-19. It added that everyone should "refrain from using open WiFi at public locations".
Internet service providers were also cautioned to remain alert of coronavirus-related cyber attacks.
Sindh faces a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and coronavirus testing kits, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah told Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday during a meeting he participated in via video link.
The testing kits provided by the provincial disaster management authority had "accuracy issues", which was why Sindh had opted not to use them, Shah added.
He said that the medical professionals working at the isolation centres and hospitals had to wear PPEs to avoid the risk of infection.
After the rise in the number of cases in Punjab, Pakistan's coronavirus tally shot up from 2,499 to 2,640. There have been a total of 136 recoveries so far and 40 deaths from the virus outbreak in Pakistan.
Punjab now has 1,069 confirmed cases, according to Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. Of these, 563 are under quarantine and 506 are non-quarantined.
One patient is critical and six have recovered, the chief minister added.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has issued a mandatory confinement order for everyone aged under 20 starting from midnight, as part of tougher measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus in Turkey, AFP reported.
In a television address, Erdogan also announced that vehicles would no longer be able to leave or enter 31 towns and cities, including Istanbul and Ankara, for 15 days.
People aged over 65 or those with chronic medical conditions are already subject to mandatory confinement in Turkey.
"Throughout the country, people aged under 20, that is to say born after January 1, 2000, will not be allowed to go out on the street" from midnight on Friday, Erdogan said.
France has reported 588 more coronavirus deaths in hospital, its biggest 24-hour toll in the country since the epidemic began, according to AFP.
The new deaths brought to 5,091 the total number of people who have died in hospital of COVID-19 in France, top health official Jerome Salomon told reporters.
There is no daily toll for those who have died of COVID-19 in old people´s homes in France. But Salomon said that a total of 1,416 people had died in such establishments from COVID-19 during the epidemic. This brings the total French toll to at least 6,507.
France has been in lockdown since March 17 in a bid to slow the spread of the epidemic, with only essential trips allowed outside that have to be justified with a signed piece of paper.
For our April 3 coverage of coronavirus click here.
For our April 2 coverage of coronavirus click here.