Coronavirus updates, April 29: Latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from Pakistan and around the world

Nationwide death toll jumps to 346, confirmed cases cross 15,700; over 3.1 million infected globally

Web Desk

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 15,504 on Wednesday after new infections were confirmed in the country.

The province-wise break up of the total number of cases as of 12:48am, April 30, is as follows:

Total confirmed cases: 15,738

• Sindh: 5,695

• Punjab: 6,061

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 2,313

• Balochistan: 974

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 297

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 333

• AJK: 65

Deaths: 346

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 122

• Sindh: 100

• Balochistan: 14

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 3

• Punjab: 103

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 4

Officials have recorded more than 3.1 million cases and 216,000 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 30 to continue here.

12:48am (April 30) — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab reports three more deaths, confirmed cases rise to 6,061

The Punjab disaster management authority has reported three more deaths in the province, taking the grim total to 103.

A rise in the province's cases to 6,061 was also reported.

So far, 1,780 people have recovered in the province.

11:59pm — Karachi, Pakistan — 'No truth in rumours of lockdown ending in Sindh': information minister

Sindh information minister Nasir Hussain Shah has refuted rumours circulating of the Sindh government deciding to end the lockdown.

"There has been no decision to end the lockdown. There was simply a consultative session held today to debate an easing in restrictions," he said.

Shah said that the government is mulling on easing some of the SOPs announced for businesses.

"The matter is still under discussion. If a decision is made, the people will be informed through a formal announcement," he said.

11:57pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Zulfi Bukhari thanks Pakistanis in KSA for 'overwhelming response' to Virtual Townhall Meeting

11:30pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — Chief minister tells KP residents to call 1700 for virus-related assistance

11:24pm — Quetta, Pakistan — Balochistan 'self-sufficient' in hand sanitisers

10:57pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Deputy commissioner takes survey on masks after 36 positive cases reported

10:10pm — Matiari, Pakistan — 26 govt officers quarantined for testing after meeting Governor Imran Ismail

Twenty-six government officers have been put into quarantine given that they attended an event held in Governor Imran Ismail's honour last week.

The event was held on April 22. Ismail announced he has tested positive on April 27.

The quarantined individuals include the Matiari deputy commissioner, superintendent of police and district health officer.

"We will all be tested for the coronavirus," said the deputy commissioner.

10:01pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Zong donates Rs7 million to PM's relief fund

Zong has donated Rs7 million to the prime minister's relief fund for COVID-19.

A cheque was presented by Zong Chief Regulatory Officer (CRO) Kamran to Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfikar Bukhari at his office, said a government press release.

SAPM Zulfikar Bukhari thanked the officer for the company's generous donation and "urged the the private sector to join the government’s efforts in fight against the coronavirus", said the statement.

09:51pm — Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — 'Things will soon return as they were'

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, who heads the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, has given glad tidings to worshippers, saying that the day is not far when the mosques will reopen for prayer.

“Things will return, God willing, as they were, as the State is keen on creating a sound and healthy environment,” the Saudi Gazette quoted him as saying.

9:33pm — Tehran, Iran — 728 people die after drinking neat alcohol to prevent COVID-19

9:20pm — Sana'a, Yemen, — Multiple COVID-19 cases recorded first time; UN fears more

 Yemeni authorities reported multiple coronavirus infections for the first time on Wednesday, after the United Nations said it feared the disease could be spreading undetected in a country where millions are already facing famine, Reuters reported.

The five new COVID-19 cases were detected in Aden, a southern port which is interim headquarters of a government ousted from the capital Sanaa more than five years ago by the Iran-aligned Houthi group in a war that has created the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

Previously Yemen had detected only a single case.

International health officials have long warned that Yemen’s population could be extremely vulnerable to an outbreak, which would be difficult to detect in a country where health infrastructure has been degraded by poverty and war.

9:12pm — Sarajevo, Bosnia — sharp rise in coronavirus cases after relaxing lockdown

Bosnia reported its sharpest daily rise in new coronavirus infections this month after its two autonomous regions had gradually begun to ease lockdowns, Reuters reported.

There were 93 new infections and two deaths in the previous 24 hours, compared with 20 new infections a day earlier and 49 the day before that, officials said.

The total number of infected people rose to 1,677 with 65 deaths, while 29,130 have been tested.

9:09pm — Toronto, Canada — Coronavirus outbreak slows as cases top 50,000, but long fight looms

Canadian hospitals had beds to spare as the country hit 50,373 confirmed coronavirus cases, and several provinces were relaxing public health measures, but health experts were already worrying about a future wave of infections, Reuters reported.

While it is too soon to say whether Canada’s epidemic has peaked, it has slowed, thanks to swift workplace closures and other physical distancing measures: New cases doubled every three days early in the epidemic, and now double every 16 days, the government said on Tuesday. Since the first death on March 9, the virus has killed 2,904 in total. In the United States, an average of 2,000 died each day in April, a Reuters tally found.

“I really thought we were on track for something similar to what we were watching unfold in Italy and subsequently in New York (a month ago),” said epidemiologist Ashleigh Tuite of the University of Toronto. “I think big picture, across the country, we’ve done OK.”

“The measures we’ve taken so far are working. In fact, in many parts of the country, the curve has flattened, but we’re not out of the woods yet,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday. “We’re in the middle of the most serious public health emergency Canada has ever seen and if we lift measures too quickly, we might lose the progress we’ve made.”

8:56pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh govt mulls over easing lockdown restrictions: sources

The Sindh government is considering to soften lockdown restrictions, sources said. The provincial chief Murad Ali Shah will take Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Arif Alvi into confidence regarding the matter.  

According to sources, the lockdown restrictions will be eased after Friday after which markets will resume operations under SOPs issued by the government. 

8:41pm — Quetta, Pakistan — Balochistan reports 59 new infections

Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani confirmed 59 new infections in the province, bumping provincial tally to 974.     

8:40pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — KP reports eight more deaths, 153 new cases

8:32pm — London, UK — Family of Pakistani doctor who lost life battling coronavirus pay her glittering tributes

The grieving family of British Pakistani Dr Mamoona Rana has paid a heartfelt tribute to the dedicated and popular doctor, who has become UK's first female doctor to sacrifice her life after contracting the novel coronavirus while saving National Health Service (NHS) patients during her services as a frontline worker.

Dr Rana’s face has become the defining image of the horror NHS frontline workers face in the line of duty.

The female doctor, 48, was originally from Lahore and lived in East London with her husband Dr Azeem Qureshi, and the couple’s eight-year-old daughter.

Read complete story here.

8:28pm — Tokyo, Japan — Country to extend state of emergency due to coronavirus: Nikkei

The Japanese government is planning to extend the state of emergency over the new coronavirus pandemic by about one month for the entire country, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The government will make a final decision after hearing from experts at a meeting on Friday, the Nikkei said.

The state of emergency is currently scheduled to end on May 6.

8:22pm — UNICEF WASH partners spread awareness among communities on important safety measures against COVID-19

8:16pm — Abu Dhabi, UAE — 14 tons of medical and food supplies sent to Pakistan

8:10pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Country prepares to ease coronavirus curbs with infections below projections

Pakistan is preparing to loosen coronavirus lockdown restrictions as the number of infections and deaths are well below previous projections, officials said, Reuters reported.

“The mortality numbers are nowhere near the same as we see in other countries,” Planning Minister Asad Umar, who oversees the response to the virus, told journalists.

He said infections and deaths in Pakistan were lower 30-35% lower than projections and, if things remained this way, the country could open up further in coming days.

Umar said that despite the rising numbers, the disease was under control, but the economic cost had been “tremendous” as revenues and exports had been hit during a month-long lockdown.

8:08pm — Wellington, New Zealand — Ardern spoke to Queen on pandemic response

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that she spoke to Queen Elizabeth II after the country emerged out a strict lockdown that helped contain the spread of the coronavirus, Reuters reported.

Ardern said she recently received a message saying the Queen was eager to “touch base” and see how New Zealand was doing under circumstances of the global pandemic.

“What I came away with was a genuine and strong sense that her Majesty was really interested in knowing how we were doing and was heartened to know that we were doing ok,” Ardern said at a news conference.

7:59pm — Brussels, Belgium — Medical workers clap as 100 year-old patient recovers from COVID-19

7:56pm — Washington, US — US still worried about China's labs amid coronavirus: Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States remains worried about laboratories in China and the world needs to get to the bottom of how the novel coronavirus began there, Reuters reported.

The United States and China have traded insults and accusations during the deadly coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 200,000 people around the world and brought the global economy to a crawl.

“I can tell you there were real concerns about the labs inside of China,” Pompeo said in an interview with Fox News. “I’m still concerned that the Chinese Communist Party is not telling us about all of what’s taking place in all of the labs.”

6:58pm — Gilgit, Pakistan — GB reports three more COVID-19 infections

6:53pm — Bucharest, Romania — Church condemns posters depicting doctors and nurses as saints

Romania’s Orthodox Church said on Wednesday a series of outdoor posters depicting nurses and doctors on the frontlines of the new coronavirus outbreak as saints were blasphemous and an insult to Christian iconography, Reuters reported.

The city hall of capital Bucharest said it would ask advertising firms to remove the posters, part of a wider European campaign that depicts nurses and doctors in a style that mixes comic book elements with religious art.

The posters, created by Romanian illustrator Wanda Hutira and part of a “Thank you doctors” campaign by ad agency McCann Worldgroup, were generally well-received, but they also drew divisive comments on social media.

“It is a campaign to promote a dystopian vision over the situation induced by the pandemic,” the Church’s spokesman Vasile Banescu told Reuters. He said the posters were “a visual mistreatment of Christian iconography.”

“It is not just a blasphemous act but also an insult to the very honourable profession of doctors who, like all of us, do not think they are saints or improvised saviours and do not demand a public cult.”

Bucharest city hall said in a statement it would ask outdoor advertising firms to remove the posters “which could be replaced with images that bring homage to hero doctors without hurting the faith of passersby.”

The outdoor displays do not require city hall approval.

“(The posters) were a daring artistic choice but one which is in no way following a political, religious or any other kind of purpose,” McCann Romania said in a statement. “It is a gesture of gratitude for doctors.”


6:34pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Murtaza Wahab appeals masses to cooperate with LEAs

Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab appealed masses to cooperate with the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) as the spread of COVID-19 was not possible without their services.

"Police, Traffic Police, and Rangers personnel are executing their duties everyday," he said, adding that they only do this to keep us safe from coronavirus.

"So far, 45 police personnel have tested positive for the infection," Wahab added. 

6:25pm — New Delhi, India — Country has 1,000 coronavirus deaths but expert says no exponential rise

India has recorded its 1,000th novel coronavirus death, but the head of a government think-tank said that its 1.3 billion people, strained from weeks of lockdown, were not experiencing the feared exponential surge in infections, Reuters reported.

Health officials say the shutdown has prevented an explosive surge of infections that would have crippled India’s modest health care system.

“Our analysis finds that the rate of growth in positive cases and fatalities has been consistently lower - linear but non-exponential,” said Amitabh Kant, chief executive of the government thinktank Niti Aayog.

Aayog urged a phased exit from the shutdown, but the government has a difficult decision ahead.

6:17pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Grand Health Alliance slams govt over non-availability of protective gear

Grand Health Alliance leader Dr Mahmood said that protective gear was not provided to medical workers treating COVID-19 patients at Mayo hospital.

Addressing a press conference he said: "Grand Health Alliance is protesting against non-availability of protective gear form past 14 days [...] Where are the protective kits that arrived from Turkey."

Dr Mahmood regretted that the government had not approved their request to let medical workers take a week off after working for a week — as a safety measure against coronavirus.

"We had 10 demands which [the government] promised to fulfil", but has failed to deliver, he lamented. 

6:07pm — Sydney, Australia — Country moving towards 'COVID-safe' society, but travel ban stays: PM

Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday bans on international travel and large gatherings would stay in place even as the government eases lockdowns and moves towards a “COVID-safe” economy and society.

“When we move back into this more COVID-safe economy and society, it is important to know that with the easing of those restrictions, of course there will continue to be additional cases,” Morrison told reporters in the capital.

“It won’t be exactly like it was before. I can’t see international travel occurring anytime soon. The risks there are obvious. I can’t see (Australians) going along to a game for a while, those larger mass gatherings,” Morrison said.

6:05pm —  London, UK — Death toll steins at 27,241, opposition Labour leader Starmer says

The United Kingdom’s COVID-19 death toll is probably higher than 27,241 making it one of the worst-hit countries in Europe, opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said as he questioned the government’s response to the outbreakm Reuters reported.

Broader data published on Tuesday showed fatalities topped 24,000 nine days ago, but Starmer said his calculations showed 27,241 had died.

“That makes a total to date of 27,241 recorded deaths from coronavirus and that’s probably an underestimate because of the time lag,” Starmer told parliament while asking foreign minister Dominic Raab about the number of deaths.

“We are possibly on track to have one of the worst death rates in Europe,” Starmer said. “Far from success, these latest figures are truly dreadful.”

6:00pm — Karachi, Pakistan — PTI's Firdous Naqvi to challenge Sindh's COVID-19 Ordinance in court

PTI's Firdous Shamim Naqvi announced he would challenge Sindh government's COVID-19 Emergency Relief Ordinance, 2020 — approved in the provincial cabinet on April 27 — in court.

Raising tensions between Sindh and the Centre, the leader of Opposition in the provincial assembly said he "strongly condemned" the ordinance aimed at providing relief to people hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

It is important to note that the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Ordinance, 2020, mandates a 20% reduction in school fees, protection of employees against mass layoffs, and offers relief in utility bills.

Read complete story here.

5:53pm — Washington, US — GDP shrinks 4.8% in 2020 first quarter due to coronavirus 

5:49pm — Riyadh, Saudi Arabia — 1,325 new coronavirus cases and five more deaths registered

5:36pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran, Bill gates exchange views over coronavirus

Prime Minister Imran Khan and co-Founder of Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates held a telephonic conversation to exchange views on coronavirus crisis.

PM Imran praised the Bill Gates Foundation and other international organisations for helping Pakistan in these pressing times.

5:25pm — Quetta, Pakistan — Govt to induct microbiologists, molecular biologists, and virologists to enhance testing capacity

5:20pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Interior Ministry extends visas issued to foreign nationals amid COVID-19

5:13pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran, Iran's Hassan Rouhani  exchange views on COVID-19

5:05pm — Tokyo, Japan — Abe says impossible to hold Olympics unless pandemic contained

 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the Tokyo Olympics could not take place next year unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained, as the city’s governor requested an extension of Japan’s state of emergency, Reuters reported.

“We’ve been saying the Olympic and Paralympic Games must be held in a complete form, in that athletes and spectators can all participate safely. It would be impossible to hold the Games in such a complete form unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained,” Abe said in response to an opposition lawmaker.

The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government last month postponed the Games until July 2021 because of the coronavirus crisis.

5:00pm — The last places on earth without the coronavirus

Despite infecting more than three million people around the world, there are still 34 countries and territories that have yet to report a single case of the novel coronavirus, Reuters reported.

These include Comoros, Lesotho, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and tiny far-flung island nations in the Pacific such as Nauru, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands.

As of April 20, 213 countries and territories of the 247 recognised by the United Nations have seen at least one case of the COVID-19. Of these, 186 have also experienced local transmission — where the virus has spread within the community. There have been deaths in at least 162 of them.

4:56pm — North Carolina, US — Pug becomes first US dog diagnosed with coronavirus

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4:40pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — NDMA sets up hotline to register complaints of medical workers

 The National Disaster Management Authority established a hotline for medical workers where they can register their complaints.

The cell number 051-111-157-157 will be active 24/7, the NDMA said, adding that medical workers can also complain about the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).  

4:30pm — Dubai, UAE — With fever checks and masks, mega-mall reopens

Clutching bags from designer boutiques in their gloved hands, customers are back at Dubai Mall, one of the world's largest shopping havens that has reopened under strict safeguards against coronavirus, AFP reported.

At a main entrance where customers hand over their sports cars and luxury SUVs for valet parking, employees greet them with black T-shirts reading "Welcome back".

Smiling as they point an infrared thermometer "temperature gun" at visitors' foreheads, they check for the fever that is a telltale symptom of COVID-19 infection.

Dubai Mall is a key attraction of the city state that has built its wealth and world renown on mega-projects and a diversified economy to become a tourism and shopping hub, as well as for finance and real estate.

With more than 1,300 stores arrayed around a vast lake and overlooked by the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower, Dubai Mall attracts some 80 million visitors a year and its reopening on Tuesday was a symbolic step as the country emerges from lockdown.

4:22pm — TikTok, Gates pledge $20 million to help Africa tackle COVID-19

The social media platform TikTok and the philanthropic Gates Foundation donated $10 million each to the vaccine alliance GAVI to help fund efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, Reuters reported.

GAVI said the funds would be used to distribute and deploy any new vaccines against COVID-19 once they are developed, trialled and licensed.

It would also help prevent “a potentially catastrophic impact on immunisation programmes across the developing world,” GAVI Chief Executive Seth Berkley said in a statement.

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3:55pm — Manila, Philippines — Coronavirus infections breach 8,000 mark

The Philippines' health ministry said on Wednesday that confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in the country have risen to more than 8,000.

The health ministry recorded 254 new infections, 28 additional deaths and 48 more recoveries. It brought the total cases to 8,212, deaths to 558 and recoveries to 1,023.

3:45pm — Jakarta, Indonesia — Indonesia announces 260 coronavirus cases, 11 deaths

Indonesia confirmed 260 new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, taking the total in the Southeast Asian nation to 9,771, said health ministry official Achmad Yurianto.

Yurianto reported 11 new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 784.

3:30pm — Tehran, Iran — Death toll from coronavirus outbreak reaches 5,957

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak in Iran rose by 80 in the past 24 hours to 5,957, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said.

The total number of diagnosed cases of new coronavirus in Iran has reached 93,657, he said.

3:20pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Pakistan extends visas of foreigners till June 30

The interior ministry has extended visas of foreigners in the country till June 30 in the wake of the coronavirus situation.

“All the relevant departments have been notified about the extension,” the ministry said.

3:15pm — London, UK — UK to start second round flights from April 30 to May 7 for stranded citizens

The British government has announced there will be a second round of direct charter flights from April 30 to May 7 for stranded Britons in Pakistan.

“For this round of flights the cost of a ticket from Islamabad and Lahore is £522 and from Karachi is £498,” it said said.

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2:45pm — Madrid, Spain — Coronavirus death toll rises to 24,275

Spain recorded 325 deaths from the novel coronavirus overnight, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

The overall death toll from the virus, however, rose by 453 to 24,275, it said, adding that the number of diagnosed cases rose by 2,144 from Tuesday to 212,917.

2:30pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Federal, provincial govts should continue with coordinated strategy to combat pandemic: President Alvi

President Arif Alvi has pressed upon the federal and provincial governments to continue with a coordinated strategy to prevent the spread of the virus, reported Radio Pakistan.

Reviewing the situation in Balochistan, the president expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the provincial government to help the needy during the lockdown.

2:15pm — Beijing, China — Beijing to lower COVID-19 emergency response level

Beijing's has said it will lower its COVID-19 emergency response level effective on Thursday, removing quarantine requirements for some people arriving from other low-risk parts of the country.

2:00pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — FM Qureshi says parliament's virtual or physical session to be convened after consensus

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said the decision to convene parliament's virtual or physical session will be taken after consultation with all the political parties, reported Radio Pakistan.

Qureshi said all the parliamentary leaders have presented suggestions regarding convening the session.

“These suggestions are being sent to the National Assembly speaker who will take the final decision in light of the input from parliamentary leaders,” Qureshi said.

1:50pm — Singapore, Singapore — 690 new coronavirus cases recorded

Singapore's health ministry confirmed 690 more coronavirus infections on Wednesday, taking total cases there to 15,641.

Most of the new cases are among migrant workers living in dormitories in the city-state, which has among the highest number of coronavirus infections in Asia.

1:35pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh reports eight more deaths, taking tally to 100

Sindh reported eight more deaths on Wednesday taking the grim total to 100 in the province.

Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are the other two provinces with fatalities above 100.

Pakistan has reported 335 deaths from the virus so far.

1:30pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh reports 404 new cases, nationwide tally rises to 15,289

Confirmed cases in the country jumped to 15,289 after new cases were detected in Sindh.

According to the Sindh government spokesperson, 404 new cases were recorded in the province taking the provincial tally to 5,695.

“In the last 24 hours, 208 people have recovered from coronavirus in Sindh,” he added.

1:15pm — Chaman, Pakistan — 336 Pakistanis return via Bab-e-Dosti gate

Pakistanis stuck in Afghanistan continued their return through the Bab-e-Dosti gate at the Pak-Afghan border on Wednesday.

“336 citizens have returned from Afghanistan so far,” DHO Dr Rafiq Mengal said.

He added that samples of 284 people at the quarantine centre have been taken. “Results of 154 people have come back, of which two have tested positive for the virus,” Dr Mengal said.

1:00pm — Sialkot, Pakistan — CM Punjab meets Tiger Force

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar met the Tiger Force in Sialkot today.

“In the first stage members of the force will be assigned work in Sialkot,” Buzdar said.

“Youth will be deployed outside mosques and utility stores,” he added.

12:55pm — Moscow, Russia — Coronavirus cases near 100,000 milestone

Russia on Wednesday reported 5,841 new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing its overall nationwide case tally to 99,399.

The official nationwide death toll reached 972 on Wednesday after 108 people with the virus died in the last 24 hours, Russia's coronavirus crisis response centre said.

12:45pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Faisal Edhi’s son tests negative for coronavirus

Faisal Edhi’s son, Saad Edhi has tested negative for the coronavirus after reports of his father testing positive a second time for the virus emerged on Wednesday.

“My father’s staff in Islamabad have also tested negative for the virus,” Saad said.

He added that the family in Karachi has not undergone tests for the virus since they were not showing any symptoms.

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12:15pm — Lahore, Pakistan — CM Punjab to visit field hospital, Ehsaas centre in Silakot 

12:00pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Transport associations in Sindh demand resumption of bus services

The operators of inter and intra-city transport in the province have demanded that the Sindh government should readily adopt SOPs for the reopening of the passenger bus services as the continued suspension of this service is causing grave economic sufferings of the people associated with the sector.

According to The News, the delegation members said the operators of the bus service had kept their service halted for over one-and-half-month, showing complete confidence in the provincial government’s lockdown measures against the spread of the coronavirus.

Read the full story here.

Global coronavirus cases jump past 3.1 million, death toll crosses 216,600

More than 3.11 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 216,667 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.

11:35am — Karachi, Pakistan — Faisal Edhi tests positive for coronavirus for second time

Social worker Faisal Edhi has tested positive for coronavirus for a second time, a spokesperson for the Edhi Foundation said.

“Faisal Edhi’s second test was done yesterday,” the spokesperson said.

Edhi had first tested positive for the virus on April 22.   

11:25am — Islamabad, Pakistan — NDMA dispatches fourth consignment of equipment to Balochistan, GB

National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is dispatching the fourth consignment of personal protection equipment (PPE) for doctors and health workers of Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan reported Radio Pakistan.

According to a spokesperson of the NDMA, the consignment includes surgical masks, N-95 masks, protective gowns, gloves, shoe covers, surgical head covers, face shields, protective goggles, and sanitizers.

11:15am — Islamabad, Pakistan — 65% affected by coronavirus below the age of 50: officials

Health ministry officials have said that 65% of those infected with the virus were below the age of 50 in Pakistan.

“A large portion of those infected with the virus are men,” the health ministry officials said, adding that 80% of the dead were above the age of 80.

Freed from lockdown New Zealanders head for burgers, coffee and beach

New Zealanders queued on Tuesday for takeaway burgers, fries and coffee, after being freed from a month-long lockdown.

Surfers prepare to enter the water for a sunrise surf at Sumner Beach as level four COVID-19 restrictions are eased in Christchurch, New Zealand, Tuesday, April 28, 2020. Photo: AP 

10:50am — Washington, US — US oil jumps more than 14%, above $14 a barrel

US oil prices rebounded strongly on Wednesday, a day after a massive sell-off triggered by a major US fund selling its short-term holdings of the commodity amid virus-triggered storage concerns.

Read the full story here.