Coronavirus updates, April 13: Latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from Pakistan and around the world

Nationwide tally of deaths nears 100, positive cases cross 5,400; SC asks govt to remove SAPM Dr Zafar Mirza

Web Desk

KARACHI / LAHORE / ISLAMABAD / PESHAWAR / QUETTA: The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 5,553 on Monday after new infections were confirmed in the country.

The province-wise break up of the total number of cases as of 12:43pm, April 14, is as follows:

Total confirmed cases: 5,553

• Sindh: 1,452

• Punjab: 2,672

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 800

• Balochistan: 231

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 131

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 224

• AJK: 43

Deaths: 96

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 35

• Sindh: 31

• Balochistan: 2

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 3

• Punjab: 24

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 1

Officials have recorded more than 1.9 million cases and as many as 117,000 deaths since the virus emerged in China in December.

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: General updates coming in from Pakistan

Red: Reports on new cases in Pakistan

Maroon: Reports on new deaths in Pakistan

Green: Reports on recovered patients in Pakistan


Live updates for April 14 will begin here

12:34pm (April 14) — Peshawar, KP — One more person dies of COVID-19, 56 new cases bump provincial tally to 800

11:58pm — Paris, France — COVID-19 death toll rises by 574 to 14,967

The death toll in France from the new coronavirus outbreak has risen to 14,967 from 14,393 a day earlier, the French public health authority said, Reuters reported.

The body added 6,821 patients were currently in intensive care units, down from 6,845 on Sunday.

The health authority said it was important to remain vigilant because hospitals were still taking in a very large number of patients.

11:49pm — Paris, France — Macron extends coronavirus lockdown till May 11

French President Emmanuel Macron announced he was extending a virtual lockdown to curb the coronavirus outbreak until May 11, adding that progress had been made but the battle not yet won.

“Over the next four weeks, the rules must be respected,” the president said in a televised address to the nation.

He said that by May 11, France would be able to test every citizen presenting COVID-19 symptoms.

10:58pm — Punjab, Pakistan — Provincial govt establishes field hospitals for COVID-19 patients

10:36pm — Rome, Italy — Daily coronavirus cases decline, deaths rise

Deaths from the COVID-19 epidemic in Italy rose by 566 on Monday, up from 431 the day before, but the number of new cases slowed to 3,153 from a previous 4,092, Reuters reported.

The number of new cases was the lowest since April 7.

The total death toll since the outbreak came to light on February 21 rose to 20,465, the Civil Protection Agency said, the second highest in the world after that of the United States.

The number of officially confirmed cases climbed to 159,516, the third highest global tally behind those of the United States and Spain. There were 3,260 people in intensive care on Monday against 3,343 on Sunday — a tenth consecutive daily decline.

Of those originally infected, 35,435 were declared recovered against 34,211 a day earlier.

10:19pm — Geneva, Switzerland — COVID-19 10 times more lethal than swine flu

The novel coronavirus is 10 instances extra lethal than swine flu — which caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009 — the World Health Organization said, calling for management measures to be lifted “slowly”, AFP reported.

“We know that COVID-19 spreads fast, and we know that it is deadly, 10 times more deadly than the 2009 flu pandemic,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus advised a digital briefing from Geneva.

9:52pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — President holds meeting with AJK President, Governors on COVID-19

President Dr. Arif Alvi chaired a consultative conference with all provincial governors and the president of Azad Jammu and Kashmir to seek their cooperation and suggestions on meeting the challenge of COVID-19 pandemic, APP reported.

All the governors presented their respective views and briefed President Alvi about the situation arising out of the current pandemic and appreciated the measures taken by the government against the spread of COVID-19.

The meeting supported the idea of smart lockdown that allowed only essential industries like healthcare, food and energy to operate.

The meeting especially lauded the services of healthcare workers and others providing essential services.

9:45pm — Karachi, Pakistan — CAA issues new COVID-19 prevention guidelines

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) issued new coronavirus prevention guidelines, after which every plane will be disinfected before boarding starts.

The flights will ensure having protective suits, N-95 masks, googgles, and other protective equipment, the CAA said. 

Boarding passes will be issued skipping a seat for every passenger, the CAA said, adding that during the flight, temperature of every passenger will be monitored with an interval of 90-minutes.

Food will be served only in flights which will last longer than 2.5 hours, the CAA added. 

9:20pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — Former cricketer Zafar Sarfraz dies of coronavirus

Former cricketer Zafar Sarfraz succumbed to coronavirus at Lady Reading Hospital, officials confirmed.

Sarfaraz, 52, was diagnosed with COVID-19 six days ago. He was on a ventilator from the past three days, hospital officials said.

The 52-year-old had played first-class matches for Peshawar.  

9:08pm — New York, USA — Over 10,000 die from COVID-19 in the state

Over 10,000 people died from coronavirus across the New York state, CNN reported.

There were 671 deaths on Sunday, a state official said. He noted that it was "not as bad as it has been in the past."

9:04pm — Ottawa, Canada — COVID-19 deaths rise by almost 9% to 734: public health agency

 The number of people killed by the coronavirus in Canada rose by almost 9% to 734 in a day, official data posted by the public health agency showed on Monday, Reuters reported.

By 11 a.m. eastern time (1500 GMT), the total number of those diagnosed with the coronavirus had risen to 24,804. The respective figures at the same time on Sunday were 674 deaths and 23,719 positive diagnoses.

9:00pm — Pakistan — Rs25.68 billion distributed under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme

8:51pm — Gilgit, Pakistan — Quarantine Centres set up in 10 districts: CM GB

Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman said that quarantine facilities had been established in 10 districts across the region.

Over 1,100 rooms of hotels have reserved for quarantine, he said, adding that if GB had received testing kits earlier the lockdown could have been reduced.

8:32pm — Rawalpindi, Pakistan — Train services to remain suspended till April 25: Sheikh Rashid

Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said that the government had decided to extend the suspension of train services till April 25, as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country.

"Train services that we wanted to resume from April 15 have been pushed back to April 25," said the federal minister. "Before operating trains from the first of Ramazan, we will review the decision once again," he added. 

Read complete story here.

8:13pm — London, UK — Coronavirus deaths rise above 11,000

A total of 11,329 people have died in hospitals across the United Kingdom after testing positive for coronavirus, up by 717 in a day, the health ministry said, Reuters reported.

The number of confirmed cases has risen by 4,342 to a national tally of 88,621.

7:58pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Exports can contract by 19.7% if COVID-19 lasts longer than expected: WB

The World Bank forecasted that if coronavirus lasts longer than expected, Pakistan’s exports could plunge to negative growth of 19.7% in the current fiscal year (FY) 2019-20 as compared to the previous one, APP reported.

The negative impact of global lockdown due to coronavirus would persist longer and could go beyond FY-20, said the World Bank in its twice-a-year-regional update ‘South Asia Economic Focus’ adding that under the baseline scenario, the growth rate of exports of Pakistan is likely to contract by 5.3% during the year 2020-21.

However, the World Bank has projected that the exports in 2021-22 would witness a positive growth of 7.3 percent.

7:48pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — More than a dozen medics in KP hospitals impacted by virus: official

Over a dozen health professionals, including nine doctors and seven nurses, have been impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, an official of the Provincial Doctors Association, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said Monday.

Speaking to Geo News, the KP medic body's president, Dr Fazal Manan, said the coronavirus had infected nine doctors and seven nurses. Five doctors and four professor-doctors were separately quarantined, he added, whereas eight were performing their duties at public hospitals and one at a private facility.

The health professionals have been provided protective gear in a limited manner, Dr Manan added, noting that doctors were using N-95 masks for weeks.

Doctors assigned to separate wards of hospitals have also been given protective gear; however, those working in the out-patient department (OPD) were not, he mentioned.

Read complete story here.

7:38pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran reviews corona relief package

7:02pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Wagah border to be closed from April 16-29 

The Wagah border will remain closed from April 16 - 29, a notification issued by the interior ministry said.

The Kartarpur border will also remain closed till April 24, according to the notification.

Pakistan's western border will remain closed from April 13-26, the notification said.

As per the notification, Pakistan has decided to seal its borders with Afghanistan, India, and Iran for the next two weeks.

6:48pm — London, UK — 18,000 test conducted in 24 hours: PM's spokesperson

A total of 18,000 tests for coronavirus were conducted in the United Kingdom in 24 hours and the country was making good progress towards its target of 100,000 daily tests, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Monday, Reuters reported.

The spokesman said the 18,000 figure applied to the 24 hours up to 0800 GMT on Sunday and excluded Northern Ireland.

“New capacity is coming on stream all of the time and I think we are making good progress,” the spokesman said.

6:44pm — Moscow, Russia — Govt may draw on defence ministry resources to combat COVID-19: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday the coronavirus situation was getting worse and that Russia may draw on the Defence Ministry’s resources to tackle the crisis if needed, Reuters reported.

Putin, who was speaking at a meeting with senior officials broadcast on state television, said the situation was constantly changing and that the next few weeks would prove decisive in its battle to halt the contagion. 

6:34pm — Jakarta, Indonesia — Study warns Ramadan exodus would fuel coronavirus

Indonesian researchers have warned the government that plans to allow millions of people to leave for their home villages at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan next month could send coronavirus infections soaring, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, a separate study showed the health system in the world’s fourth most populous country was likely to be overwhelmed by demand for intensive care units even with strong efforts to suppress the outbreak.

President Joko Widodo has resisted pressure for a total ban on the Ramadan exodus, known in Indonesia as “mudik”, citing tradition and economic factors, instead seeking to persuade people to stay put and using only limited curbs on transport.

Health experts have already said that Indonesia faces a sharp rise in cases after a slow government response masked the scale of infections in a country that has already suffered 399 dead - more than any Asian country except China.

6:31pm — Online learning: Here is what we can learn from China's experience

6:15pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Local transmissions of COVID-19 has risen to 52%

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said that local transmissions of the novel coronavirus has risen to 52% and that the government was trying to trace people who had been in contact with the COVID-19 patients.

He also said that Pakistan would be able to manufacture N-95 masks in the coming days. "By the end of the month, we will be able to test 20,000 - 25,000 people per day.

6:06pm — Ehsaas Programme aims to benefit minorities equally: Sania Nishtar

5:54pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — IHC judges, officials to donate in PM's corona relief fund

The Islamabad High Court has announced that each judge will give Rs100,000 in the PM’s corona relief fund, said a circular issued by the court.

The circular added that the officers of the court will give their two-days salary to the fund.

5:53pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — NCC to meet again tomorrow to decide future course of action: Asad Umar

Federal minister Asad Umar stated that the National Coordination Committee will meet again tomorrow to decide on the future course of action that the country will take regarding the coronavirus.

The minister, in a press conference, shared that in today’s meeting the NDMA chairman briefed the CMs and PM regarding the essential supplies needed in the fight against coronavirus. The minister added that the provinces thanked the NDMA chairman for ensuring that they have adequate supplies in their inventory.

5:37pm - London, United Kingdom — UK's Johnson will follow medical advice on when to return to work 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will follow medical advice on when he should return to work, his spokesman said on Monday, declining to speculate on how long his full recovery from the coronavirus might take.

“He was only released from hospital yesterday and any decisions which he makes in relation to when he returns to government work will be following the advice of his medical team,” the spokesman said.

5:32pm - Peshawar, Pakistan — KP govt has quarantined 173 areas of the province

Khyber Paktunkhwa Health Department has stated that 172 different ares in the province have been quarantined in the province.

According to the department, the area has the total oopultation of 224,276 people.

5:26pm - Manila, Philippines — ADB triples rescue package to $20 billion for developing members

The Asian Development Bank has announced that it was tripling the size of its rescue package to $20 billion to help developing countries in Asia counter the severe macroeconomic and health effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

It previously announced an initial $6.5 billion in financial support to developing countries in the region for their immediate responses to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

The additional $13.5 billion package, the ADB said, includes about $2.5 billion in concessional and grant resources.

5:21pm - 7 more patients recover in GB

5:20pm - Muzaffarabad, AJK — Govt extends lockdown till April 21

The Azad Jammu and Kashmir government stated that they have decided to extend the lockdown till April 21, announced spokesperson of the government Mustafa Bashir.

The spokesperson added that they will hold a review meeting on April 20 regarding the lockdown. He added that PPEs have been dispatched to the doctors and medical staff.

5:08pm - PM Imran lauds KP govt for its efforts

Prime Minister Imran Khan lauded the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for the measures adopted by the provincial government to tackle the coronavirus crisis.

In a meeting with KP health minister, PM Imran warned that the further spread of the virus will test the country’s health system and urged that we have to be ready for that.

5:03pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — IHC disposes plea challenging formation of corona tiger force

Islamabad High Court has disposed of a petition challenging the government’s decision to use the Corona Relief Tiger Force for the distribution of rations rather than using local government representatives’.

IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah asked the petitioner to not to involve the court in political matters and asked them to reach out to the metropolitan corporation.

The court while disposing of the plea directed the petitioner to contact the relevant forum.

4:50pm - Peshawar, Pakistan — Two headmasters arrested for violating lockdown

Authorities in Peshawar on Monday arrested two headmasters for gathering students despite a lockdown in the city, said the spokesperson for the deputy commissioner of the district.

The head of the schools had gathered the students to announce their annual results. The official added that further action will be taken after an inquiry report is submitted by the officials.

4:40pm - Hanoi, Vietnam — Vietnam's cases climb to 265, no deaths

Vietnam’s health ministry reported five more confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, taking the country’s tally to 265, with no deaths.

Nearly 122,000 coronavirus tests have been carried out in Vietnam, it said, and 72,500 people have been under quarantine.

4:36pm - Peshawar, Pakistan — Nine doctors, seven nurses test positive in KP

President of Provincial Doctors Association Dr Fazal Manan has claimed that nine doctors and seven nurses have contracted the coronavirus in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Dr Manan has claimed that doctors are using N-95 for days rather than using it for one day. He added that doctors working in the OPDs are also working without protective equipment.

4:25pm - Karachi, Pakistan — Police seal factory for violating lockdown

Police have arrested two supervisors of a factory and sealed the premises in New Karachi’s industrial area for violating the section 144 imposed in the city.

The police officials say that the factory was open during the lockdown and close to 125 people were working there. They added that a case has been registered against the accused.

4:17pm - Karachi, Pakistan – Sindh govt starts screening in 12 districts

The Sindh government on Monday began screening for the virus in 12 districts across the province.

“We decided to start screening after an increase in cases in the province. Right now we are ready to screen 1,950 people,” said provincial health minister Dr Azra Pechuho.

She added, “In Hyderabad, 241 people, 248 in Tando Allahyar, 128 people in Umerkot, 307 in Nawabshah and 66 people in Jamshoro will undergo screening. ”

“In Thatta, 242, 105 in Badin, 222 in Dadu and 44 people will undergo screening in Matiari,” she added.

4:10pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — Govt tracking FIRs related to Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme: SAPM Dr Nishtar

Special Assistant to PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Sania Nishtar has said that the government is tracking FIRs of fraud and embezzlement regarding the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme.

Dr Nishtar thanked the law enforcement and security agencies for helping combat corruption and arresting the suspects involved in the cases.

3:55pm — Madrid, Spain — Death toll rises to 17,489

Spain's overnight death toll from the coronavirus fell to 517 on Monday from Sunday's 619, bringing the total death toll to 17,489, the Health Ministry said.

The ministry added that overall cases rose to 169,496 from 166,019. 

Global cases at 1.8 million, death toll crosses 113,000

More than 1.8 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 113,849 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.

3:40pm — Tehran, Iran — Death toll rises to 4,585

Iran's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has risen to 4,585, with 111 more overnight, a health ministry official said on Monday, adding the total number of infected cases had reached 73,303 in the country.

On Sunday, the government lifted a ban on travel between cities within Iranian provinces, while restrictions on trips between provinces will end on April 20, state media reported.

"45,983 of those infected with the virus have recovered ... There were 1,617 new infected cases in the past 24 hours," Alireza Vahabzadeh, an adviser to Iran's health minister, said on Twitter.

3:29pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — Three ministries sealed in Pakistan Secretariat  

Authorities have sealed the ministries of Food Security, Housing and Overseas Pakistanis after an employee tested positive for the virus in the Pakistan Secretariat.

3:24pm - Lahore, Pakistan — Countrywide tally of recovered patients rises to 1,119

The number of recovered patients in the country rose to 1,119 after 233 patients recovered in Punjab.

3:21pm - Lahore, Pakistan — Nationwide death toll rises to 95

Pakistan's death tally due to the coronavirus rose to 95 after Punjab reported one more death on Monday.

3:16pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran chairs NCC meeting

A meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan is underway in Islamabad.

The NCC after consultation will decide on the future course of action regarding the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

3:15pm - Quetta, Pakistan — Nationwide tally of confirmed cases rises to 5,478

The nationwide tally of confirmed cases in the country rose to 5,478 after Balochistan reported one more case.

According to a provincial government spokesperson, 46 reports were received by the government of which 45 came back as negative.

The new case takes Balochistan's tally to 231. 

2:51pm - Jakarta, Indonesia — Indonesia reports 316 new cases, 26 deaths

Indonesia on Monday announced 316 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 4,557, according to data provided by a health ministry official, Achmad Yurianto.

Yurianto said there were also 26 new coronavirus-related deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 399.

2:48pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran urges overseas Pakistanis to donate to corona fund

2:37pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — SC adjourns hearing of suo motou case on coronavirus

The Supreme Court adjourned the hearing of the suo motu case regarding the coronavirus after the attorney general assured the apex court that the government will take effective measures to stop the spread of the virus.

The lawyer also assured the court that the government will focus on the social sector along with the health sector. The court stated that it was also assured that Prime Minister Imran Khan will develop an effective strategy with the help of the chief secretaries of the province.

2:15pm - Lahore, Pakistan — Nationwide tally of confirmed cases rises to 5,477

The nationwide tally of patients tested for the coronavirus rose to 5,477 after new cases were reported in Punjab.

According to spokesperson of Punjab's primary and secondary health care department, the province reported 62 new cases taking the provincial tally to 2,656.

2:10pm - Islamabad, Pakistan - SC declares Punjab’s ban on inter-provincial travel as ‘null and void’

The Supreme Court on Monday ended the Punjab government’s decision putting a ban on inter provincial travel without a coronavirus test and said the move was illegal.

The Supreme Court stated that that Punjab or any other province cannot impose such a ban as it it unconstitutional.

1:54pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran calls cabinet meeting

PM Imran Khan on Monday summoned a meeting for the federal cabinet to review the coronavirus situation in the country.

In the meeting the cabinet will approve the decision taken by the Economic Coordination Committee and the National Coordination Committee.

1:45pm — Manila, Philippines — 18 new deaths, 284 more cases recorded

The Philippine health ministry on Monday reported 18 new coronavirus deaths and 284 additional infections.

The health ministry said total deaths have reached 315, while confirmed cases have increased to 4,932.

1:30pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — Block B of Pakistan Secretariat empties after employee tests positive 

Block B of the Pakistan Secretariat has been emptied after an employee tested positive for coronavirus, said a notification issued on Monday.

The secretariat serves as the headquarters for the cabinet and federal government.

1:20pm - Moscow, Russia — Russia reports new record daily rise of cases

Russia on Monday reported 2,558 new cases of the novel coronavirus, a record daily rise, bringing its overall nationwide tally to 18,328.

Russia’s coronavirus crisis response centre said that 148 people diagnosed with the virus have died so far, an overnight rise of 18.

1:19pm - Bangkok, Thailand — Thailand reports 28 new coronavirus cases, 2 new deaths

Thailand reported 28 new coronavirus cases and 2 new deaths on Monday.

Of the new cases, 18 are linked to previous cases, 7 without connection to old cases, and 3 are Thai nationals who had traveled to South Sulawesi province, Indonesia for a religious gathering last month.

Majority of the new cases are in the capital Bangkok, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman of the government's Center for COVID-19 Situation Administration.

Since the outbreak escalated in January, Thailand has reported a total of 2,579 cases and 40 fatalities, while 1,288 patients have recovered and gone home

1:00pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — SC asks govt to remove SAPM Dr Zafar Mirza   

The Supreme Court has asked the government to remove Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza from his post.

CJP Gulzar Ahmad issued the directives while hearing a suo motu notice regarding the coronavirus situation in the country.

“We are not satisfied with the performance of Dr Zafar Mirza,” remarked the judge, adding that they will issue directives to remove him from the post.

Attorney general warned the court that it would be disastrous to remove Dr Mirza from the post. He also requested the court to leave the matter for the government to sort.

Read more here.

12:56pm - Karachi, Pakistan — Bilawal directs PPP workers to take part in relief efforts

Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari directed party workers to take part in the countrywide relief efforts for those affect by the coronavirus.

The PPP chairman also gave the responsibility to party secretary general Nayyar Bukhari to reach out to the party leaders and ticket holders across the country. 

12:52pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — ECC gives go ahead to provide 200,000 tonnes additional wheat to utility stores 

The Economic Coordination Committee approved to give an additional 200,000 tonne of wheat to the utility stores, announced the finance ministry.

The decision was taken to ensure that wheat is sold at a lower price, said the ministry.

12:43pm - Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab govt imposes travel restrictions to curb spread of virus

Punjab government on Monday restricted citizens to travel to or within province in a bid to curb the virus spread and has directed the officials to ensure that the people travelling should have a negative test results in order to leave or enter a district.

“Patients will be permitted to enter their provinces only after completing their quarantine period for 14 days”, the Punjab Home Department notified, adding that people travelling to other districts or within the province should abide by section 144 – which prohibits the assembly of four or more people in an area.

The provincial ministry also said that ‘Form A and B’ would only be handed to patients who would test negative for the coronavirus and have completed their quarantine period.

12:42pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — WHO donates 15 testing machines and 15,000 kits to govt

World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday donated 15 testing machines and 15,000 testing kits to Pakistan to help the country in its fight against the virus,  reported Radio Pakistan.

WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala, while addressing the handover ceremony, said that the world body has provided this equipment to support Pakistan's efforts in preventing spread of  coronavirus. 

NDMA Chairman Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal said that there was no lack of Personal Protection Equipment in the country as we have achieved the capacity to fulfill country's needs through local resources. 

"At present we are not importing a single piece of PPE, except N-95 masks and all we are buying from the local market," said Lt Gen Afzal. 

12:37pm - Peshawar, Pakistan — KP's top public health official tests positive for virus

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Minister Taimur Jhagra announced that the provincial director of public health and part of the COVID-19 response team Dr Ikramullah has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr Ikramullah for his service and wish him a full recovery so he is back to fight this fight for our province. He is an asset that we all are proud of,” tweeted the minister.

Jhagra shared that he was revealing the information because the government had promised to be “truthful in all matters related to this disease”. He added that the announcement was being made with Dr Ikram's permission.

The minister also announced that the premises used by the doctor are being sanitised, and assured that “close contacts will be tested for their safety”.

“D. Ikram had to take the risk of attending a workplace so others are safe. Many of us do, and accept the risk, above all thousands of frontline workers,” said the minister.

12:29pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — CJP lashes out at govt on handling of coronvirus situation 

Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed lashed out at the federal government on Monday while hearing a suo motu case about the government's performance in handling the coronavirus situation.

The top judge, while heading a five-member bench formed to hear the case, remarked that the government had not done anything at this point.

“There is an army of ministers and advisors in place but there is no work being done,” remarked CJP Ahmed. He added that “corrupt people” have been kept as advisors in the government.

During the hearing, Justice Ahmed also questioned the credentials of the Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza.

Read more here.

12:17pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — Newly-installed spray gate in SC becomes dysfunctional 

The newly-installed disinfection spray gate at the Supreme Court building has become dysfunctional a day after being installed.

12:14pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran to chair NCC meeting today 

National Coordination Committee (NCC) will meet today under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad to review the steps taken for the control of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The meeting will also discuss the strategy to ensure continuity of the industrial and economic activities and future planning.

The committee is likely to decide providing more relief to the people, who are facing difficulties and hardships due to lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.

12:10pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — PM to share exclusive message for overseas Pakistanis

12:08pm - Pakistani mission in South Korea asks students to get in touch with embassy

12:06pm - Lahore, Punjab — Punjab govt bars landlords from evicting tenants

Punjab government has announced that no landlord will be allowed to evict a tenant forcefully for two months starting from April 10 in the province, said a notification shared by CM Buzdar’s focal person on digital media.

12:02pm - Karachi, Pakistan — CM Murad wants national consensus on plan to fight virus

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah urged for a need to develop a national consensus for developing a national plan to fight the coronavirus in the lockdown.

CM Shah also defended the decision to impose a lockdown in the province to stem the spread of coronavirus.

"We took the extreme step after reviewing and observing what other countries were doing to curb the spread of the virus," Shah said while addressing a press conference. 

11:33am - Karachi, Pakistan — Nationwide tally of confirmed cases crosses 5,400

The nationwide tally of patients tested for the coronavirus rose to 5,415 after new cases were reported .

According to Sindh government spokesperson, the province reported 41 new cases taking the provincial tally to 1,452.

11:33am - Karachi, Pakistan — Nationwide recoveries rises to 886

The nationwide tally of recovered patients rose to 886 after new recoveries were reported in Sindh.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in a press conference stated that 30 more people recovered from the infection taking the provincial tally to 419.

11:28am - Karachi, Pakistan — Nationwide deaths from coroanvirus rises to 94

The nationwide tally of deaths due to the the coronavirus rose to 94 after one more death was reported in the country.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah in a press conference announced that one more death has been reported in the porinvce taking its tally to 31. 

11:24am - Karachi, Pakistan — 6,000 arrested in metropolis for lockdown violation

Police have said they have arrested nearly 6,000 people in the metropolis for lockdown violations since its imposition four weeks ago.

“We have registered 1,885 cases against those violating violations,” police said. “On Sunday we arrested 580 people for violating lockdown orders.”

Authorities added 11 union councils in the city have been sealed to stem the spread of the virus. “These areas include Gilani Railways, Railway Station, Dalmia, Jamali Colony, Gulistan-e-Johar,” they said.

11:09am - Islamabad, Pakistan — IHC turns down plea challenging govt's decision on reduction in fees of private schools

Islamabad High Court rejected a petition challenging the government’s decision to slash school fees by 20% and extend the holidays due to the coronavirus outbreak.

During the hearing, IHC’s Justice Aamir Farooq remarked that the private schools should have announced a reduction in fees themselves due to the situation in the country.

“If schools do not profit for two months then what is a problem in that?” asked the judge. He added that if they take up this petition then the decrease in the fees may go to 15% or rise to 50%.

The IHC judge turned down the petition and sent it back to the Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority set up for the federal capital for review.

10:35pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — Govt pairs up with data analytics start up to tackle virus

Prime Minister Focal Person for Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus announced that the government has paired up with startup Love for Data to help the government make “data-driven decisions” in the fight against coronavirus. 

10:27pm - Frankfurt, Germany — Germany's coronavirus cases rise by 2,537, deaths by 126

Germany’s number of confirmed coronavirus infections has risen by 2,537 to 123,016, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Monday.

That was lower than a 2,821 increase reported on Sunday, and marked the third decline after four days of increases.

The reported death toll has risen by 126 to 2,799.