Updated Monday Apr 27 2020
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 14,057 on Monday after new infections were confirmed in the country.
The province-wise break up of the total number of cases as of 12:03am, April 28, is as follows:
• Sindh: 4,956
• Punjab: 5,640
• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 1,984
• Balochistan: 853
• Islamabad Capital Territory: 245
• Gilgit-Baltistan: 320
• AJK: 59
• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 104
• Sindh: 85
• Balochistan: 13
• Gilgit-Baltistan: 3
• Punjab: 91
• Islamabad Capital Territory: 3
Officials have recorded more than 2.9 million cases and 205,000 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
Governor Sindh Imran Ismail late Monday confirmed that he had tested positive for coronavirus.
Ismail, In a tweet, said: "I have just been tested Covid 19 positive, Allah Kareem inshallah will fight it out."
Read the complete story here.
National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal said Pakistan would attain the capacity to conduct 40,000 tests for the coronavirus per day, APP reported.
Talking to the media after receiving an consignment of 18 tonnes medical equipment from China, he said the National Disaster Risk Management Fund (NDRMF) had collaborated with the NDMA in procuring the medical equipment valuing $50 million from China. Today’s consignment included 15 x-Ray machines, 159 ventilators, 200 thermal guns, 290,000 surgical masks, 15,000 protective gowns, 30,000 gloves 5,000 safety goggles and other personal protective equipment (PPE).
Three to four more flights carrying mostly PPE and and ventilators would arrive soon, he added.
Pakistan's port city once again led in terms of the number of coronavirus cases in Sindh, recording 269 of the province's 341 new patients over the past 24 hours, with Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah saying social distancing was not being observed in the economic hub's slums despite serious efforts.
Shah said cases were rising day by day as social distancing was not being practised in the katchi abadis, or informal settlements despite efforts from officials and authorities. It is regardless next to impossible to do so as slums are highly-populated areas of the metropolis, with closely-knit communities and people often living in cramped spaces with inadequate facilities.
Of the 269 cases, 90 were in the East district, 50 in South, 40 in Korangi, 39 in West, 30 in Malir, and 20 in Central. Karachi — the worst-affected division — had on Sunday reported 301 of the province's 383 new cases.
Read the complete story here.
Balochistan Health Department confirmed another death from the COVID-19 and 72 new infections.
The total death toll of the province stands at 14, while the infected tally is 853, the department said.
So far, 176 people have recovered and 663 cases are active, it added.
Canada’s death toll from the coronavirus grew by less than 10% for the eighth day in a row, data showed on Monday, and Canada’s most populous province prepared to explain how it intends to restart its economy.
The total number of people killed by the coronavirus in Canada rose by 5% to 2,617 in a day, figures posted by the public health agency showed on Monday.
The figure for those diagnosed with the coronavirus had climbed to 47,327, according to a statement. On Sunday there were 2,489 deaths and 45,791 positive diagnoses.
The increase in deaths on Monday was the lowest day-on-day rise seen since the toll jumped by 12% on April 19. Canada’s top medical official said on Sunday she was encouraged by signs the death toll was expanding more slowly.
The premier of Ontario, the most populous of Canada’s 10 provinces, is due later on Monday to announce plans to gradually lift restrictions that have shuttered parts of the economy.
Around 82% of all cases have been recorded in Ontario and neighboring Quebec, the second most populous province.
The head of the World Health Organisation warned on Monday that the new coronavirus pandemic was far from over and said that he was "deeply concerned" about the impact of the disruption of normal health services, especially on children.
"The pandemic is far from over," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, adding that the body was concerned about increasing trends in Africa, eastern Europe, Latin America and some Asian countries.
"We have a long road ahead of us and a lot of work to do," he said.
Turkish authorities have detained 402 people over "baseless and provocative" social media posts about the coronavirus pandemic, the interior ministry said on Monday.
According to AFP the official said some of the posts in question included claims that a lockdown would last longer than all-day weekend curfews announced by the government and accusations that authorities were lying about the number of deaths.
"In the past 42 days, 6,362 social media accounts have been analysed, and 855 suspects have been confirmed while 402 have been caught," the ministry tweeted.
Russia said Monday that the permanent members of the UN Security Council have agreed to hold a video conference on the coronavirus pandemic.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that "all the leaders of the other countries of the ‘five’ have supported this initiative."
Lavrov said "the ‘five’ is considering now how to make its own contribution to creating ways to fight the coronavirus."
"With this aim, a video conference has been agreed in principle. Now it’s being decided on what precise day it could happen," the diplomat said in an online address.
India's federal medical research agency on Monday asked state governments to stop using coronavirus testing equipment brought from China because of conflicting results, reported Reuters.
The decision by the Indian Council of Medical Research comes after several states had complained about the quality of the equipment from two firms.
"ICMR, thereafter, has also evaluated the kits of Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics. The results have shown wide variation in their sensitivity, despite early promise of good performance for surveillance purposes."
"Given this, states are advised to stop using these kits procured from above-mentioned companies and return them to be sent back to the suppliers," it said.
A further 329 people have died of the novel coronavirus in English hospitals, bringing the total to 18,749, health officials said on Monday.
Of the 329, 22 had no known underlying health condition and were aged between 29 and 89 years old.
It is a Ramadan like never before for Muslims across Asia as mosques that would normally be packed for prayers are deserted and in some places locked up as governments enforced measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
At Indonesia’s main Istiqlal mosque, the biggest in Southeast Asia, the call to evening Maghib prayers and a message asking people to pray at home echo in the empty hall - a stark contrast to last year when thousands thronged in to pray.
In Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, the gates of the Mayor Mohammad Hanif Jame Mosque were padlocked.
In the Pakistani city of Karachi, police patrolled outside the Faizan-e-Madina, one of the city’s biggest mosques, to stop worshippers from gathering and no one was performing Taraweeh, a special prayer during Ramadan.
In India, only five worshippers joined an evening prayer on the first day of Ramadan in New Delhi’s imposing Jama Masjid as the call to prayers drifted out over the deserted courtyard.
The UN human rights office voiced concern about more than a dozen countries that have declared states of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic where police have arrested or detained hundreds of thousands of people and killed others, Reuters reported.
“Emergency powers should not be a weapon governments can wield to quash dissent, control the population, and even perpetuate their time in power,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement that denounced shootings and detentions without being specific.
A top official from her office said about 80 countries have declared emergencies due to the new coronavirus, including 15 where the allegations were deemed most troubling.
They were: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Peru, Honduras, Jordan, Morocco, Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Iran and Hungary.
Haircuts, massages and shopping for garden supplies topped the agenda for Swiss on Monday as the country slowly started easing restrictions on public life imposed in March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Reuters reported.
Queues formed in front of garden centres as people battling cabin fever emerged from six weeks of staying at home at the government’s urging.
“I think it is about time. We have to live our lives, so I think it is important that we keep doing our activities and contact with people is so important, even in a queue like that,” shopper Christiane Ansermet said as she waited to enter the Schillinger garden centre in the town of Gland on Lake Geneva.
Read more here.
The parliamentary committee on coronavirus has recommended immediately freeing the traders jailed in Sindh for violating lockdown measures, according to a letter it sent to the provincial government.
Release the jailed traders after issuing them a warning, the letter advised.
The move comes after colleagues of the jailed traders raised the issue in the parliamentary committee's meeting.
The Peshawar Traffic Police on Monday took steps to ensure the implementation of the government's orders pertaining to the lockdown.
Shop owners were advised to close their outlets by 4pm every day, SSP Traffic Waseem Ahmad Khalil said. Legal action would be taken against those who violated the government's orders, he added.
The SSP said pamphlets on preventive measures against the novel COVID-19 virus were distributed along Khyber Road and Grand Trunk (G.T.) Road.
A cancer patient who had contracted coronavirus earlier has recovered here in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Deputy Commissioner Shahid Ali Khan said Monday, bringing the total number of recoveries to 19.
However, two others tested positive, taking the number of cases to 48.
On the other hand, Assistant Commissioner Talha Zubair was being tested for the virus over apparent symptoms, Khan added.
Nearly 73,000 tests have been conducted in Punjab, a provincial committee formed to devise a strategy to tackle the pandemic was informed.
The testing capacity will be enhanced and a team of experts will be formed in this regard.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is mulling to make face mask mandatory for people especially in public within a week to avert spread of coronavirus, provincial minister for health Taimur Saleem Jhagra said.
He warned that Pakistan would have to deal with coronavirus for one or more years and therefore the government was considering various mandatory precautionary measures to be adopted by public among which initially wearing of mask would be made mandatory.
The Minister said that until now the government was dealing with coronavirus patients to safe precious lives and contain the outspread of the infectious disease.
Metropolitan Tokyo confirmed 39 more cases of coronavirus infection , Governor Yuriko Koike said, the fewest since March 30 and the second consecutive day of new cases below triple digits.
But Koike stressed at a video conference that the situation offered no grounds for optimism, saying that the number was usually low on Mondays as fewer test samples are brought in. “We can’t let our guard down,” she said.
Japan declared a state of emergency in Tokyo, the country’s coronavirus epicentre, and six other areas on April 7 that it later extended nationwide to fight a widening outbreak.
Japan as a whole has 13,504 confirmed cases and 377 deaths, public broadcaster NHK said. In Tokyo, 3,947 cases in total have been confirmed.
Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal said that the local transmission of coronavirus cases was increasing after the province's tally reached 781.
"We got to know that local transmission was increasing after random testing was conducted in the province," he said.
"The testing capacity has increased and we are conducting more tests everyday," Kamal said, adding: "So far, 35 have tested positive during random testing."
The Sindh cabinet on Monday approved the coronavirus ordinance which bars all private employers from layoffs and making it mandatory for them to pay dues during the lockdown.
The ordinance also gives exemption for utility bills to a certain extent.
Moreover, schools have been directed slash fees by 20%. The ordinance house owners from moving out tenants in case of non-payment of rent.
Indonesia's number of reported cases of the coronavirus has risen by 214 to 9,096, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said on Monday.
Death rose by 22 to 765 while 1,151 people have recovered, Yurianto said.
The death toll from the outbreak of new coronavirus in Iran rose by 96 in the past 24 hours to 5,806, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said.
The total number of diagnosed cases of new coronavirus in Iran, one of the countries hardest hit by the outbreak in the Middle East, has reached 91,472, he said.
In India calls for easing its lockdown have been growing over a strict shutdown which is due to end on May 3.
Prime Minister Narendra began talks with the chief ministers of the country's 28 states to decide on what restrictions should be kept in place.
Ashok Gehlot, the chief minister of the western state of Rajasthan, said any extension of the severe lockdown could lead to people starving and the government should allow economic activity to begin in less-affected areas
India's has 27,891 confirmed infections of the new coronavirus, according to government data on Monday, the second-highest amount in Asia after China.
More than 500 garment factories in Bangladesh that supply to global brands reopened on Monday after a month-long shutdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
"We are making sure the workers wear masks, wash hands at the entrance, undergo temperature checks, and maintain physical distancing," said Mohammad Hatem, vice president of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association.
The number of daily fatalities from the novel coronavirus reported in Spain rose on Monday to 331, up from 288 the previous day, the health ministry said.
The overall death toll caused by the disease rose to 23,521 from 23,190 the day before. The total number of diagnosed cases rose to 209,465 from 207,634 the day before.
Russia reported 6,198 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday versus 6,361 on the previous day, which took the national tally of infections to 87,147.
The Russian coronavirus crisis response centre said that 50 more deaths of coronavirus patients were confirmed in the last 24 hours.
In the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, Russia surpassed mainland China, which reported the total of 82,830 cases on Monday.
The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has said it has not received any instructions from the government to re-open its offices.
“We will reopen after receiving instructions from the government,” a NADRA spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added, in case of opening of NADRA offices, all necessary precautions will be taken.
“To avoid any inconvenience during Ramadan, people are requested to visit our offices only after receiving instructions from us,” the spokesperson added.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said that the government is increasing the number of beds at the quarantine centres as the number of cases rise.
“The number of beds has been increased from 1,200 to 1,500 at the Expo Centre. At the PAF Museum site, 600 beds have been added, while 150 beds have been added to the Gadap Hospital,” he said.
He added a 120-bed centre will be set-up at the Damba Goth Hospital.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the government would outline plans for an easing of the coronavirus lockdown in the coming days but warned that there would be difficult judgments required, reported Reuters.
"We simply cannot spell out now how fast or slow or even when those changes will be made, though clearly, the government will be saying much more about this in the coming days," Johnson said outside his Downing Street office.
"I want to serve notice now that these decisions will be taken with the maximum possible transparency and I want to share all our working and our thinking, my thinking, with you the British people."
Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar has said the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved the ‘small business package’ for small businesses and industries.
"The package will be presented to the Cabinet tomorrow," Azhar said while briefing the media after the ECC meeting.
He added that the package worth Rs75billion has been approved for the poor. “Details of the package will be uploaded after approval from the Cabinet,” he said.
Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology’s medical officer Dr Shafqat has tested positive for the virus, the hospital said on Monday.
“Dr Shafqat was at the frontline in the fight against coronavirus,” the hospital said.
The senior doctor is under treatment at the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology, the hospital added.
A meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre under the chairmanship of Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar is reviewing the implementation of Ramadan guidelines and the reopening of markets.
The meeting is being attended by provincial ministers, special assistants and other officials. Chief secretaries of all the provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir are also attending the meeting via video link.
Death toll from the novel coronavirus rose to 286 after Punjab and Sindh reported new deaths in the provinces.
Punjab reported one, while Sindh reported three new deaths in the province.
Confirmed cases in the country rose to 13,749 after Punjab reported more cases.
According to data by the primary and secondary health department, 80 new cases were recorded in the province, to take the provincial tally to 5,526.
Confirmed cases in the country rose to 13,699 on Monday after Sindh reported more cases.
According to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, 341 cases were reported in the province today, taking the provincial tally to 4,956.
He added that 3,946 patients were under treatment, of which 24 were in a critical condition.
China said on Monday it is a victim of COVID-19 disinformation and not an instigator, responding to a question about a European Union report that alleged China was spreading disinformation about the outbreak.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang made the remarks during a daily press briefing
Some 2.97 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 205,948 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.
PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb has said the prime minister, his ministers and spokespersons should focus on fighting the coronavirus pandemic and providing relief to the public.
“Instead of worrying about Shehbaz Sharif, focus on giving relief to the public,” she said.
“This is not the time to do politics, this is the time to save lives,” Aurangzeb added.
Bill Gates who is funding the production of the seven most promising ideas for a vaccine ha said a vaccine for coronavirus could be ready within a year.
“If everything went perfectly, we’d be in scale manufacturing within a year,” Gates said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS.” “It could be as long as two years.”
Read the full interview on Bloomberg here.
Dubai has lifted its full lockdown on two commercial districts which have a large population of low-income migrant workers after the United Arab Emirates eased nationwide coronavirus curfews over the weekend.
Lockdown in the Al Ras and Naif districts which had been sealed off as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus was lifted on Sunday evening.
The UAE has reported more than 10,300 cases and 76 deaths resulting from the virus.
Frustration is on the rise among patients at a field isolation facility at the Expo Centre as reports of mismanagement, poor sanitary conditions and delay in coronavirus tests emerge.
Some patients under treatment at the centre told The News that most of the patients were extremely vexed due to poor management and lack of facilities, and most importantly, delays in their confirmatory tests for coronavirus, which was resulting in further delays in their release from the facility.
Read more on this here.
Ministry of Industries and Production will present phase one of a relief package for small industries to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for approval today.
Minister Hammad Azhar had said millions of small businesses and industries will benefit from this package after its approval from the ECC and the Cabinet.
“The ministry is also working on a collateral free financing for SME's for phase 2 of the relief package. That phase would also include targeted/prioritised relief measures for sectors most hit by COVID-19,” he had said on Sunday.
A special flight of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) carrying another cache of protective equipment from China reached Islamabad on Monday, reported Radio Pakistan.
The protective equipment includes 15 x-ray machines, 119 ventilators, 200 thermal guns, and other materials.
China reported three new confirmed coronavirus cases on April 26, down from 11 a day earlier, with no new deaths, the country's health authority said on Monday.
Of the new cases, two were imported, down from five imported cases on the previous day, the National Health Commission said in its daily bulletin.
Thailand on Monday reported nine new coronavirus cases and one death, bringing the country's totals to 2,931 cases and 52 fatalities.
It is the first time since the outbreak started in January that there have been no new local transmissions reported in Bangkok, said Taweesin Wisanuyothin, a spokesman for the government's Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration.
Meetings have been called to discuss the matric and intermediate exams in the country.
One meeting will be chaired by the head of the Sindh education boards while the other will be attended by the officials of education boards from other provinces and regions.
The meetings will discuss SOPs regarding the upcoming exams.
Chairman NDMA Lt. General Muhammad Afzal confirmed on Monday that the country can now conduct 30,000 tests daily.
“We will increase our testing capacity in the coming days. Right now we can conduct 30,000 tests daily,” he told the media.
He added, “In the coming days our labs will be able to around 30,000 to 40,000 tests daily.”
The chairman added that another consignment of relief aid arrived from China this morning. “More relief aid will be coming in the next few days,” he added.
Three more flight attendants of PIA have tested positive for the virus, a spokesperson of the national carrier confirmed on Monday.
“All three returned on a flight from London to Islamabad,” the spokesperson said, adding the three have been quarantined at a hotel after their tests came back positive.
Ten PIA employees have tested positive for the virus till now.
Some 2.91 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 203,264 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.
Authorities in Punjab have registered 2,105 first information report (FIR) against lockdown violations, DIG operations said on Monday.
“More than 100,000 people have been sent back home for violating lockdown orders,” the DIG said, adding, that authorities have so far stopped 174,000 motorcyclists at checkpoints.
Saudi Arabia will continue the suspension of international and domestic flights until further notice, except for emergency cases, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, an interior ministry spokesman said on Sunday.
Train, bus and taxi services also remain suspended and people employed in the state sector will continue working from home, the spokesman told a news conference broadcast on state television.
The kingdom recorded 1,223 new cases of the coronavirus in the last 24 hours, raising the total number to 17,522.
The number of Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases increased by 1,018 to 155,193, data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases showed on Monday.
The death toll rose by 110 to 5,750, according to the tally.
National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser will chair a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on coronavirus in Islamabad today, reported Radio Pakistan.
Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar will brief the committee on the impact of lockdown and immediate steps required to protect the economy with particular reference to the industrial sector.
Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood will also brief the committee on the effects of lockdown concerning trade and commercial activities in the country.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to 10 Downing Street on Sunday, Sky News reported, after spending a week in the hospital with COVID-19 and two weeks recovering at his country residence.