Coronavirus updates, April 25: Latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from Pakistan and around the world

Nationwide death toll jumps above 260, confirmed cases cross 12,500 over 2.8 million infected globally

Web Desk

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 12,658 on Saturday after new infections were confirmed in the country.

The province-wise break up of the total number of cases as of 8:05pm, April 25, is as follows:

Total confirmed cases: 12,658

• Sindh: 4,232

• Punjab: 5,326

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 1,793

• Balochistan: 721

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 223

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 308

• AJK: 55

Deaths: 265

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 93

• Sindh: 78

• Balochistan: 10

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 3

• Punjab: 78

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 3

Officials have recorded more than 2.8 million cases and 196,000 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 26 to continue here.

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11:27pm — Quetta, Pakistan — 90% implementation on 20-point agreement observed: Maulana Anwarul Haq

Quetta deputy commissioner Aurangzeb Badini and the ulema held a press conference to review adherence to the 20-point agreement on congregational prayers reached between the government and religious leaders of the country.

According to Maulana Anwarul Haq, the agreement is being implemented to a 90% extent.

The deputy commissioner, distributed panaflexes on the 20-point agreement. He also warned that high-ranking police officials will routinely visit mosques and anyone found lurking outside will be arrested.

11:17pm — London, UK — NHS reminds people to pray taraweeh at home, help curb coronavirus

World Covid-19 death toll exceeds 200,000

The total number of people to die worldwide after contracting the novel coronavirus has surpassed 200,000, figures show.

The Coronavirus Resource Centre, run by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, shows that the global death toll stands at 200,698 as of Saturday.

The figures for infections are likely to underestimate the true scale of the pandemic due to suspected under-reporting and differing testing regimes.

Death toll figures are also controversial, with some countries reporting deaths as confirmed Covid-19 cases on the basis of symptoms and in the absence of a positive test, while others are not including them.

10:56pm — Lahore, Pakistan — 'Very sad' to learn of 'national hero' Dr Muhammad Javed's passing: Shehbaz Sharif

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif has expressed grief over the passing of Peshawar doctor Muhammad Javed, who passed away today after contracting the virus.

"Very said to learn that another national hero, Dr Muhammad Javed, has laid down his life in the line of duty," he wrote.

"We pay rich tributes to our doctors and paramedics who are fighting the pandemic at the frontlines even without PPES. The nation will always remember their services!" said the PML-N leader.

10:46pm — Quetta, Pakistan — District wise distribution of cases in Balochistan

10:20pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — International flights to remain suspended in Pakistan till May 15

International flights across all airports in Pakistan will remain suspended till May 15, said the Aviation Division spokesperson on Saturday. 

The exceptions to the ban include special flights, those carrying diplomats, and cargo aircraft. Previously, the government had suspended international flights till April 30.

10:15pm — Karachi, Pakistan — 82% of coronavirus cases in Sindh have been locally transmitted 

According to the latest figures from the provincial government, 82% of the coronavirus cases have been reported due to the local transmission of the virus. 

As per the health department, out of 4,232 cases, 3462 have been locally transmitted. More than 38,000 samples have been tested and 760 Tableeghi Jamaat members have tested positive for the virus in the province.

10:05pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — SAPM Dr Zafar Mirza urges people to be responsible

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza urged people to be responsible and stay indoors to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. 

The prime minister's aide noted that people did not abide by the government's safety precautions on the first Ramazan fast and came out in large numbers to buy food items and other things. 

9:50pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Ban on pillion riding in Lahore extended till May 9

The Punjab government on Saturday extended the ban on pillion riding in Lahore till May 9. However, the elderly, women, and LEA personnel have been exempted from the ban. 

9:35pm — Rome, Italy — 450 deaths recorded in Italy over past 24 hours

The number of deaths in Italy recorded over the past 24 hours fell to 415. On Friday, the number of deaths reported throughout the country had been 420. 

The total number of people who have died after contracting the virus now stands at 26,384 while the number of people who have recovered from the virus stands at 63,120. 

9:25pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh government starts mental health service 

Sindh information minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah announced on Saturday that the provincial government has started a mental health service for those quarantined. 

"CM Sindh @MuradAliShahPPP has started a special service for mental health named ‘Counseling and Psycho Social Support Service’ to help overcome anxiety and depression in quarantine / isolation. #UNICEF and #UNDP has provided support in this regard. Helpline # 1093," he tweeted. 

9:10pm — Abu Dhabi, UAE — Etihad Airways extends suspension of scheduled flights to May 16

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways extended its suspension of scheduled passenger flights to May 16, according to the airline. 

Etihad had announced that it will partially resume services from May 1. However, in a new statement, it said that all passenger flights will remain grounded till May 16. 

8:50pm — New Delhi, India — Lockdown restrictions eased for small businesses

India on Saturday restricted some lockdown conditions for small businesses, as its economy continues to bear the brunt as more cases of the coronavirus emerge across the country. 

The government said that retailers could resume operations with the staff numbers reduced by half and all social distancing measures including staffers wearing masks and gloves were in place. 

8:35pm — London, UK — Chelsea FC says will not ask footballers to take pay cut

Amid the worsening coronavirus situation, Chelsea FC has said that it will not ask its first-team members to take a pay cut. However, the club said that it has asked team members to continue to donate to charities. 

Speculation in British media is rife that Chelsea is pushing for a 10% cut in salaries of footballers as football remains suspended in the country. The EPL, on the other hand, has voiced a reduction of 30%. 

8:22pm — London, UK — Coronavirus death toll crosses 20,000

The coronavirus has claimed 20,000 lives in Europe, as more than 800 people died in hospitals across the country on Saturday. 

The statement comes six weeks after the UK government's chief medical adviser had said that keeping the death toll under 20,000 would be "a good outcome in terms of where we would hope to get".

8:05pm — Quetta, Pakistan — 65 new cases reported in Balochistan

Sixty-five new cases of the coronavirus were reported in Balochistan, according to the provincial government's spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani. 

This puts the total number of coronavirus affected in the province at 721. 

7:55pm — Gilgit, Pakistan — One more case reported in GB

Another case of the novel coronavirus was reported in Gilgit-Baltistan on Saturday, taking the total tally to 308. 

According to the government's official figures, as of now, there are 89 active cases in the territory. Of the total number of patients, 216 have recovered. 

07:45pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — 85 new cases confirmed in KP, 4 reported dead

Eighty-five new cases of the novel coronavirus were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa today, according to the KP health department. The total number of cases of the virus have reached 1,793.

According to the health department, four more died from the infection while the 13 more patients recovered from the virus. 

07:20pm — Doctors, nurses in Punjab go on hunger strike to protest lack of PPE

Doctors and nurses in Lahore went on a hunger strike to protest against the non-availability of personal protective equipment. The doctors said that they direly needed PPEs as they were on the frontline in the battle against the coronavirus. 

Doctors in Punjab go on hunger strike to protest non-availability of PPE

07:00pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh health minister Azra Fazal Pechuho tests negative for COVID-19

Azra Fazal Pechuho, the health minister for Sindh, has tested negative for COVID-19, the provincial health department has said.

An employee of the department had tested positive, after which the minister got herself tested.

Test results of other employees are pending. A total of nine samples were collected for testing.

06:43pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh issues SOPs for online businesses

Among the standard operating procedures issued for businesses, besides safety precautions such as no handshakes and frequent handwashing, is the maintenance of a "daily log of medical history".

Delivery persons are required to display an identity card from their workplaces and a log of each delivery is also to be maintained. In the unfortunate instance an employee contracts the virus, the employer must bear responsibility and all expenses for the treatment.

Those handling deliveries must always wear protective gear, carry hand sanitisers, place the delivery items on the customer's doorstep and wipe them with a disinfectant.

A distance of at least one metre is to be observed at all times and cash handling minimised. Receipts must be sent electronically.

Businesses must operate with their shutters down. No customer is allowed to enter the shop premises.

06:41pm — Paris, France — Coronavirus toll at 1100 GMT

The new coronavirus has claimed at least 197,303 lives since its outbreak in China in December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT.

More than 2,821,030 cases were registered in 193 countries and territories.

Of these cases, at least 766,300 are now considered recovered.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organization (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections.

The United States has the highest number of deaths with 51,949 out of 905,333 cases.

Italy is in second place with 25,969 deaths out of 192,994 cases, followed by Spain (22,902 deaths and 223,759 cases), France (22,245 deaths and 159,828 cases and Britain with 19,506 fatalities and 143,464 cases.

China — excluding Hong Kong and Macau — has to date declared 4,632 deaths and 82,816 cases, just 12 more since Friday.

Europe has a total of 120,140 deaths and 1,344,172 cases. The United States and Canada have 54,278 deaths and 948,872 cases, Asia has 7,830 deaths and 193,796 cases, Latin America and the Caribbean have 7,416 deaths and 149,539 cases, the Middle East has 6,204 deaths and 147,530 cases, Africa has 1,330 deaths and 29,138 cases and Oceania has 105 deaths and 7,991 cases.

06:34pm — Geneva, Switzerland — 'No evidence' people with coronavirus are immunised: WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that there is no evidence that people who test positive for the new coronavirus are immunised and protected against reinfection.

The warning suggests that the issuance of "immune passports" may promote the continued spread of the pandemic.

"There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from #COVID19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection," WHO said in a statement.

"As of 24 April 2020, no study has evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 confers immunity to subsequent infection by this virus in humans."

Some governments, wanting a gradual return to work and the resumption of economic activity, have put forward the idea of issuing documents attesting to the immunity of people on the basis of serological tests revealing the presence of antibodies in the blood.

But the effectiveness of an immunisation thanks to antibodies has still not been established and the available scientific data do not justify the granting of an "immune passport" or a "certificate of absence of risk", warns the WHO.

06:18pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Second sortie of Chinese equipment

The government has announced the arrival of the second installment of medical emergency relief items sent by China to aid Pakistan in its fight against the virus.

The items include PCR testing kits, surgical masks, protective suits, N95 masks and ventilators.

06:13pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Govt to introduce 'Telehealth Portal'

The prime minister's aide on health, Dr Zafar Mirza has announced the government's plans to open a 'Telehealth Portal' on

Dr Mirza has invited doctors in Pakistan and abroad to volunteer for the effort to bring healthcare to patients isolating at home and wishing to know more about COVID-19.

WHO recommended guidelines for taking care of COVID-19 patients

06:00pm — Quetta, Pakistan — Jam Kamal Khan tells Balochistan youth to 'be more careful'

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan has warned 21 to 40 year olds to "be more careful" as they are "seen outside more" and have ranked high in the age-wise division of infections in the province.

There are 150 patients who are 21-30 year olds and 158 patients aged between 31 and 40 who have contracted the virus in Balochistan.

05:12pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab reports five deaths, 475 new cases

The Punjab health department has reported five more deaths in the province, taking the grim total to 78.

More than 475 patients have tested positive in the province over the last 24 hours, taking the tally of infected to 5,326.

In Lahore alone, 214 tested positive, taking the city's total tally to 1,157. Rawalpindi has 81 new cases, taking the total to 197 and Gujrat 42 new cases which have increased the city's tally to 211 infections.

Currently, 28 patients are said to be critically ill.

On a positive note, 1,096 have recovered in the province.

05:00pm — Kabul, Afghanistan — 200 Pakistanis stranded in Kabul sent home: Pakistan embassy

The Embassy of Pakistan in Kabul has announced that 200 Pakistanis stranded in the Afghan capital have been sent back to the country.

The people have been sent via Torkham, said a statement.

The embassy, in its statement, thanked the Afghan foreign ministry for providing security to the group of Pakistanis.

It wished the travellers a safe and pleasant journey back home.

04:55pm — Paris, France — Virus death toll in Europe tops 120,000: AFP tally

The new coronavirus has killed more than 120,00 people in Europe with more than three quarters of those fatalities in Italy, France, Spain and Britain, according to an AFP tally on Saturday 1100 GMT using official figures.

With 120,140 deaths and 1,344,172 cases, Europe is the continent hardest hit by the pandemic that emerged late last year.

Italy has the most deaths with 25,969 followed by Spain with 22,902, France with 22,245 and Britain with 19,506.

4:05pm — Moscow, Russia — 5,966 new cases recorded in past 24 hours

The number of new coronavirus cases in Russia has risen by 5,966 over the past 24 hours, bringing its nationwide tally to 74,588, the country's coronavirus crisis response centre said on Saturday.

It also reported 66 new deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, bringing the total death toll in Russia to 681.

3:50pm — Geneva, Switzerland — No evidence that recovered COVID-19 patients cannot be reinfected: WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that there was currently “no evidence” that people who have recovered from COVID-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second coronavirus infection.

In a scientific brief, the United Nations agency warned governments against issuing “immunity passports” or “risk-free certificates” to people who have been infected as their accuracy could not be guaranteed.

Read the full story here.

3:40pm — Tehran, Iran — Death toll rises by 76 to 5,650

Iran’s death toll from the new coronavirus has risen by 76 to reach a total of 5,650, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said on Saturday.

The total number of people diagnosed with the disease is 89,328, of whom 3,096 are in a critical condition, he added. 

3:30pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — MNA Munir Khan Orakzai tests positive for virus

MNA Munir Khan Orakzai has tested positive for the virus, the politician’s son said on Saturday.

“My father was on a ventilator at Hayatabad Complex last night. He is doing much better now,” Orakzai’s son told Geo News.

The rest of the family is also undergoing tests, he added.

Global coronavirus cases exceed 2.8 million, death toll crosses 196,000

Some 2.8 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 196,298 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.

3:20pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — CM KP’s assistant tests positive for virus

Assistant to KP chief minister for local government Kamran Bangash has tested positive for coronavirus, the provincial health minister tweeted on Saturday.

“It is sorrowful news about the corona test resulting positive for Kamran Bangash. May Allah give him the strength to beat the virus. We are all praying for him. It can’t be emphasized enough that it is absolutely necessary for everyone to observe social distancing,” CM Mahmood Khan said.

3:15pm — Lahore, Pakistan — 30 telemedicine centres providing health services in province: Punjab governor

Punjab Governor Punjab Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar has said thirty telemedicine centres are providing health services in the province.

“10,000 doctors are providing health services to people on these telemedicine centres,” he told reporters.

The governor added 3,000 PPE kits have been allocated for doctors of Multan division.

Chinese govt extending all possible assistance in fight against COVID-19: envoy

3:05pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Decision to resume train services to be taken on May 10: railways minister

Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed says the decision to resume train operations in the country will be taken on May 10.

“If the lockdown is lifted earlier the train service will start within 24 hours,” he said while addressing a press conference in Lahore.

He added, fifteen trains have been reserved for booking fifty per cent passengers.

“Disinfection gates are being manufactured in railways workshop by railways engineers,” he added.

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2:45pm — Jakarta, Indonesia — 396 new cases detected, 31 more deaths

Indonesia reported on Saturday 396 new coronavirus cases, taking the total number to 8,607, data provided by health ministry official Achmad Yurianto showed.

Thirty one more people who had tested positive for the virus died, taking the total number of deaths to 720, according to the data.

The world's fourth most populous country has been hit hard by the virus, with the highest numbers of deaths in Asia outside of China.

Fact check: Health experts say there is no evidence that eating alkaline foods can prevent or cure COVID-19 

2:30pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — NCOC meeting underway to review latest COVID-19 situation

A meeting of National Command and Operation Centre is underway in Islamabad with Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar in the chair.

The meeting will review the implementation of test, trace and tracking strategy, stock position of utility stores, update on flights and indigenousness development of critical medical equipment.

2:25pm — Islamabad, Pakistan – Pakistan to carry out 50,000 tests per day starting next week

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal has said the country will start conducting 50,000 coronavirus tests per day starting next week,

Speaking to journalists, the NDMA chairman said that a meeting held at the National Command and Operations Center had decided that virus detection kits would be provided to all the concerned departments in the country to enhance testing capacity.

He added that earlier only those people underwent a test that showed symptoms of the virus; however, randomised testing will be done now.

Read the full story here.

2:15pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Death toll from coronavirus rises to 256

The death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 256 in the country after Sindh reported three more deaths.

2:10pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh reports 287 more cases, nationwide tally rises to 12,227

Sindh on Saturday reported 287 more cases to take the nationwide tally of confirmed cases to 12,227.

Confirmed cases in the province now stand at 4,232.

In a video statement on Twitter, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said, 3,352 were under treatment at the moment while 802 patients had recovered so far in the province.

2:00pm —Tokyo, Japan — City reports 103 new coronavirus cases

Tokyo reported 103 new cases of coronavirus infections on Saturday, reported Kyodo news.

The latest figures bring total coronavirus infections in Japan's capital city to 3,836 cases, Kyodo reported.

On Saturday, the total number of coronavirus infections in Japan had reached nearly 13,000 cases, with 345 deaths, NHK said.

1:35pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Govt to bring back 7,000 stranded Pakistanis weekly: FM Qureshi

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has the country has increased its capacity to bring back 7,000 stranded Pakistanis from abroad every week, reported Radio Pakistan.

Addressing the US-based Pakistanis via video link today, he expressed the confidence that this figure will go up in the coming weeks.

Qureshi said they were working on bringing back all 60,000 registered stranded Pakistanis before Eidul Fitr.

He added that 10,000 Pakistanis have already been brought back.

1:20pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Govt has distributed Rs69b under Ehsaas Cash Programme so far: Asad Umar

Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has said the government has so far distributed Rs69 billion to 570,000 f families across the country under Ehsaas Cash Emergency Programme, reported Radio Pakistan.

He added the government was also working on increasing the number of testing laboratories and isolation wards to effectively contain the virus.

1:00pm — Berlin, Germany — Confirmed cases rise by 2,055 to 152,438

Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 2,055 to 152,438, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.

The reported death toll rose by 179 to 5,500.

12:50pm — Singapore, Singapore — 618 new cases detected

Singapore has registered 618 new coronavirus infections, its health ministry said on Saturday, taking the city-state's total number of COVID-19 cases to 12,693.

The vast majority of the new cases are migrant workers living in dormitories, the health ministry said in a statement.

The island of 5.7 million people now has one of the highest infection rates in Asia, according to official figures.

12:40pm — London, UK — Britain nears grim milestone of 20,000 virus hospital deaths

Britain could hit the grim milestone of 20,000 COVID-19 deaths later on Saturday when the daily count is added to the current toll of 19,506 people who tested positive for the virus and died in hospital, reported Reuters.

The death toll from COVID-19 in hospitals across the United Kingdom increased on Friday by 684 in 24 hours to 19,506.

Paramedics and ambulances are seen outside the Excel Centre, London while it is being prepared to become the NHS Nightingale Hospital. Photo: Reuters

Britain has the fifth-highest official coronavirus death toll in the world, after the United States, Italy, Spain and France.

12:30pm — London, UK — UK to start trials on whether plasma could help COVID-19 patients

Britain is to start trials to see whether plasma collected from donors who have recovered from COVID-19 could be an effective treatment for patients who are severely unwell with the disease, reported Reuters.

Up to 5,000 severely ill patients with COVID-19 could soon be treated each week with plasma as part of a new approach to treating the virus, the health department said on Saturday.

Plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can be transfused to patients who are struggling to produce their own antibodies against the virus.

Read the full Reuters story here.

Govt launches ‘Yaran Watan’ initiative for overseas health professionals 

12:00pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Traders granted bail against surety bonds worth Rs150,000 each

A judicial magistrate on Saturday granted bail to Karachi traders against surety bonds worth Rs150,000 each.

On Thursday the judicial magistrate had sent six traders to prison on a 14-day judicial remand day for violating the government’s lockdown orders imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus in the metropolis.

Police had arrested Hammad Poonawala, Muhammad Ahsan, Muhammad Khalil, Javed Abdul Shakoor, Malik Aqeel and Faisal Hasan Zai when they gathered in Karachi's Garden area on Tuesday to 'reopen' markets in defiance of Sindh government orders.

11:45am — Islamabad, Pakistan — Fourth meeting of provincial info ministers to be held today: SAPM Awan

The fourth meeting of the provincial information ministers chaired by Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan will be held today.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, the SAPM said that on the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the session will take forward the process of distribution of protection kits amongst journalists and media workers.

She added that these kits will prove to be important for the protection of the journalists dispensing their duties while fighting against in the coronavirus.

In pictures: Ramadan 2020 under lockdown

Worshippers perform Taraweeh prayer at Kaaba in the Grand Mosque on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan during the outbreak of the coronavirus in the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Reuters 
Muslim patients perform Ramadan prayers at the Singapore Expo Convention Hall and Exhibition Centre, which has been converted into a facility for patients recovering from the coronavirus, in Singapore in this still image obtained from a social media video. Photo: Reuters
Imams conduct a social media live stream of the Taraweeh prayer in an almost empty mosque, on the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan as mass prayers in places of worship are suspended due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo: Reuters

A man prays outside National Mosque as it is closed during the movement control order due to the spread of the coronavirus on the first day of holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo: Reuters
Mamadou Diomande, Imam of 220 mosque prays with his family during the first day of the holy month of Ramadan, amid the spread of the coronavirus in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Photo: Reuters

11:20am — Bangkok, Thailand — 53 new coronavirus cases detected, one new death reported

Thailand reported 53 new coronavirus cases and the death of a 48-year-old Thai man who was infected with the virus along with four other family members.

According to Reuters seven other new cases were reported from the southern province of Yala, where authorities are aggressively testing the population because of high infection rates there.

Since the outbreak escalated in January, Thailand has reported a total of 2,907 cases and 51 deaths.

11:00am — New York, US — ‘Virus came to New York from Europe, not China’

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday pointed to research showing that strains of the novel coronavirus entered his state from Europe, not China, and said that travel bans enacted by US President Donald Trump were too late to halt its spread.

“We closed the front door with the China travel ban, which was right,” Cuomo told a briefing. “But we left the back door open because the virus had left China by the time we did the China travel ban.”

Cuomo said as many as 2.2 million people took flights from Europe to New York and New Jersey airports in those two months, many of them likely carrying the highly contagious respiratory illness COVID-19.

“We acted two months after the China outbreak. When you look back, does anyone think the virus was still in China waiting for us to act two months later?” Cuomo said. “The horse had already left the barn by the time we moved."

Read more on this here. 

Facebook introduces virtual 'rooms'

Facebook has unveiled a new video chat service with virtual "rooms" where people can pop in to visit friends, aiming at users turning to the popular Zoom platform during the pandemic.

Through the Facebook Messenger application, users will be able to start video call sessions that as many as 50 friends can join.

Read more here. 

10:30am — Islamabad, Pakistan — Pakistanis stranded in Afghanistan return through Torkham border

Pakistanis stuck in Afghanistan have started to return to the country via the Torkham border, the district police office (DPO) said on Saturday.

According to the DPO, there are 500 Pakistanis in Afghanistan at the moment. “All those returning citizens will be quarantined on return,” the DPO added.

10:20am — Islamabad, Pakistan — President Alvi visits Islamabad’s mosques to review arrangements for Taraweeh prayers

President Arif Alvi along with Minister for Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri visited different mosques in Islamabad last night to examine the arrangements made for Taraweeh prayers.

According to Radio Pakistan, the president expressed satisfaction over the arrangements to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Photo: APP

Photo: APP

10:15am — Lahore, Pakistan — Two more flights carrying stranded Pakistanis arrive

Two more flights carrying stranded Pakistanis arrived in Lahore on Saturday morning, a spokesperson for the district administration said.

“Passengers from both the flights have been shifted to a quarantine centre at the Lahore airport after undergoing screening,” the spokesperson added.

10:10am — Peshawar, Pakistan — Doctor passes away after contracting virus

A doctor at Peshawar’s Hayatabad Medical Complex passed away on Saturday after contracting coronavirus.

According to hospital director Dr Shehzad Faisal, the patient, Dr Mohammad Javed had been ventilator after he contracted the virus last week.

10:00am — Islamabad, Pakistan — Death toll from coronavirus rises to 253

Death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 253 after Punjab reported more deaths.

According to the national dashboard, Punjab reported five more deaths overnight, taking the provincial tally to 73.

9:50am — Islamabad, Pakistan — Nationwide tally of confirmed cases jumps to 11,940

Confirmed cases in the country jumped to 11,940 after new cases were detected in Punjab and Islamabad.

According to the national dashboard, Punjab reported 195 new cases while Islamabad recorded nine new cases of the virus.

Punjab has so far reported 5,046 cases of the virus while Islamabad has recorded 223.

9:45am — New York, US — NYC to serve free meals to Muslims during Ramadan

New York City will provide 500,000 free halal meals to Muslim during Ramadan as a part of a meal distribution programme, reported Bloomberg.

"One of Ramadan's most noble callings is to feed the hungry," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "To remember to be there for those in need. And that is harder than ever now that people can't go to their mosques."

According to de Blasio, about 400,000 halal meals will be distributed through various community organisations during the holy month.

City officials expect the food crisis to become more acute. The mayor has estimated the city will lose at least 475,000 jobs due to the lockdown forced by the pandemic.

9:30am — New York, United States — Afraid of bringing the coronavirus home? Health experts have answers

9:20am — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab government issues notification for extension of virus lockdown

9:15am — Lima, Peru —