Coronavirus updates, May 2: Latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from Pakistan and around the world

Nationwide death toll crosses 400, confirmed cases surge past 18,800; more than 240,000 dead globally

Web Desk

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 18,822 on Saturday after new infections were confirmed in the country.

The province-wise break up of the total number of cases as of 8:36pm, May 2, is as follows:

Total confirmed cases: 18,822

• Sindh: 7,102

• Punjab: 6,854

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 2,907

• Balochistan: 1,172

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 365

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 356

• AJK: 66

Deaths: 432

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 172

• Sindh: 122

• Balochistan: 16

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 3

• Punjab: 115

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 4

Officials have recorded more than 3.34 million cases and more than 238,000 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 May 3 to continue here.

11:41pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — PM says tells COVID-19 positive people to 'act responsibly', quarantine themselves

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that quarantining should not be viewed as imprisonment and a responsible society is one in which people realise the importance of quarantining themselves for the safety of their loved ones and people at large.

"If my test had come back positive it would have been my responsibility to distance myself from others," he said. "So we cannot beat people into submission [...] if someone tests positive they should themselves decide to quarantine."

11:27pm — Rome, Italy — Italy's virus toll jumps by 474, highest since April 21

Italy has reported a spike in its daily deaths from the coronavirus, with 474 fatalities reported by the civil protection service the highest since April 21.

The country's toll two days before it begins to roll back a nearly two-month national lockdown stands at 28,710, second only to the United States.

11:08pm — Paris, France — More than 240,000 coronavirus deaths worldwide: AFP tally

More than 240,000 people have died of the new coronavirus worldwide with over 85% of the deaths in Europe and the United States, according to an AFP tally at 1530 GMT based on official figures.

There have been 240,231 deaths out of 3,371,435 global cases since the virus emerged in China in December. Europe is the worst-hit continent accounting for 141,475 deaths out of 1,516,635 cases.

The United States has the highest number of deaths at 65,173, followed by Italy (28,236), Britain (28,131), Spain (25,100) and France (24,594).

10:48pm — London, UK — Protesters gather outside New Scotland Yard to demand an end to lockdown

One of a small group of anti-lockdown protesters is arrested by police officers as they gather outside New Scotland Yard in Victoria, London on May 2, 2020, during the nationwide lockdown to curb the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. Britain´s overall death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 28,131 on Saturday, as new data indicated that people in disadvantaged areas were worse hit. —AFP/JUSTIN TALLIS
One of a small group of anti-lockdown protesters speaks to a police officer as they gather outside New Scotland Yard in Victoria, London on May 2, 2020, during the nationwide lockdown to curb the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. — AFP/JUSTIN TALLIS
A small group of anti-lockdown protesters throw all caution to the wind for a group hug as they gather outside New Scotland Yard in Victoria, London on May 2, 2020, during the nationwide lockdown to curb the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. — AFP/JACK TALLIS

10:30pm — London, UK — British government says virus death toll up 621 to 28,131

The UK has announced 621 more deaths in the coronavirus outbreak, taking the overall cumulative toll to 28,131, just behind Europe's worst-hit country Italy.

The government said that 182,260 people had tested positive for COVID-19, up 4,806 on Friday. But hospital admissions had fallen, it added.

09:56pm — Dubai, UAE — Burj Khalifa lights up with 'red hearbeat' to thank all those who have 'selflessly saved lives'

09:13pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Sania Nishtar urges unemployed persons to apply for assistance through portal

Sania Nishtar, the head of the PTI's flagship Ehsaas Programme, has urged all those rendered unemployed by the lockdown in the country, to apply for monetary assistance via the Ehsaas Portal.

"The prime minister, today, has launched the Corona Fund Ehsaas Application Portal to support unemployed individuals.

"Under Category 4 of the emergency cash programme, those individuals will be given Rs12,000 who have been terminated from employment," said Nishtar, sharing a link to the portal.

She said the same principles set for the emergency cash programme will be applicable to this disbursement. Those eligible for Category 4 will be determined via a transparent method based on 'data analytics'.

Disbursement will be made after biometric verfication and details of the beneficiaries and the disbursed amount will be made available to the general public, she said.

08:36pm — Quetta, Pakistan — Balochistan reports 36 more cases

Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani has notified 36 more cases in the province, taking the tally of infected to 1,172.

Of the new cases, 35 are from Quetta and one from Ziarat.

Of the total, local transmissions number 1,021.

08:06pm — Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan — Region sees rise in cases by 16, five recoveries

07:24pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — 'Disinfection spray' work carried out at press club after reports of journalists testing positive

06:14pm — Karachi, Pakistan — PM has 'double standards' when it comes to the lockdown: Sindh info minister

Sindh information minister Nasir Hussain Shah has said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has "double standards" when it comes to the lockdown in the country to curb the coronavirus.

"When we ask the Centre for support, they dredge up the 18th Amendment [leaving the matter to the province]," said Shah, in a statement on Twitter.

"The spread of the virus is a result of the Centre's incompetence," he added.

He also regretted that when doctors voice their legitimate concerns, they are labelled as "hired" by the provincial government.

05:40pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — KP reports 11 more deaths, rise in cases to 2,907

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health minister Taimur Khan Jhagra has reported 11 more deaths in the province, taking the grim total to 172.

A rise in the number of cases has also been reported by 108 to 2,907.

So far, 728 people have recovered, of which 38 recoveries were made in the last 24 hours.

04:57pm — Tehran, Iran — Country reports lowest virus infections since March 10

Iran has said there is a "clear drop" in the number of new coronavirus infections as it reports 802 fresh cases, the lowest daily count since March 10.

The new cases brought to 96,448 the number recorded in Iran since it announced its first cases in mid-February.

"This shows a clear drop in the number of new infections compared to recent weeks, despite our active testing," health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on state television.

He added that 77,350 of those hospitalised have since been discharged, claiming it is a "one of the highest recovery percentages in the world."

New deaths from COVID-19 rose slightly to 65 in the past 24 hours, reaching a total of 6,156, Jahanpour said.

04:45pm — Karachi, Pakistan — The Centre has left no stone unturned in diving the nation: Saeed Ghani

Sindh education minister Saeed Ghani, in a fiery media briefing, has taken great exception to the prime minister and his party members' criticism of Sindh's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

"They have left no stone unturned in creating a political divide [at this critical time]," said Ghani.

"If you wanted to create this mess, you could have done so after the coronavirus [crisis is dealt with]. Is this the time for such things?"

04:22pm — Karachi, Pakistan — 253 children infected in Sindh

Sindh chief minister's law adviser Murtaza Wahab has issued a stark warning to Sindh residents of the rising number of infections in children and women.

He said that to date 253 children have been diagnosed with the virus and of the overall number of cases in the province, 26% are female. He said of the recently infected, a greater number were women.

Wahab said the trend points towards the fact that families are increasingly being exposed to the virus. He pleaded everyone to take precautionary measures. "Your home could be next. Please isolate and practice social distancing so the disease is kept away from your homes."

4:00pm — Jakarta, Indonesia — 292 new coronavirus cases reported, 31 new deaths

Indonesia recorded 292 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, taking the total number of infections to 10,843, said a health ministry official said.

The spokesperson added said that 31 new deaths had been reported, taking the total number of fatalities to 831. 

3:30pm — Tehran, Iran — Coronavirus deaths rise by 65 to 6,156

Iran's death toll from new coronavirus increased by 65 in the past 24 hours to 6,156 on Saturday, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in a statement.

The total number of diagnosed cases in Iran, one of the hardest hit Middle Eastern countries, has reached 96,448, he said, adding that 2,787 were in critical condition. 

2:55pm — Madrid, Spain — Spain's coronavirus death toll tops 25,000

Spain's coronavirus death toll hit 25,100 on Saturday after 276 people died overnight, the health ministry said.

Total cases rose to 216,582 from 215,216 on Friday.

Spain has had one of the worst outbreaks in the world, but is past its peak and gradually easing lockdown restrictions.

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2:30pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab to start conducting 6,000 tests daily from tomorrow: CM Buzdar

Punjab Chief Minister has said the province will start conducting 6,000 tests daily from tomorrow.

“The Punjab government has no shortage of kits,” Buzdar told a press conference. “We have started smart sampling in six districts.”

The chief minister said they conducted 3,700 tests yesterday. Through sampling, we will see where the “A level three lab is being set-up in Punjab,

He added that they have sent recommendations to the government regarding the reopening of businesses.

Virus death toll in Europe climbs over 1.5 million: AFP tally

2:15pm — Moscow, Russia — Russia's daily coronavirus case tally hits new high

Russia reported 9,623 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, its highest daily rise, bringing the total to 124,054.

The nationwide death toll rose to 1,222 after 57 people died in the last 24 hours, Russia's coronavirus crisis response centre said, after revising the previous day's tally.

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2:00pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh reports 4 more death, tally rises to 421

Death toll from the novel coronavirus jumped to 421 on Saturday after new deaths were reported in Sindh.

According to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Sindh reported four nine new death to take the provincial tally to 122.

1:50pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh reports 427 new cases, nationwide tally jumps to 18,662

Nationwide tally of confirmed cases rose to 18,662 after Sindh reported 427 new cases on Saturday.

According to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, the provincial tally of confirmed cases now stands at 7,102.

He added 1,341 people have recovered from the virus in the province while 54 were in a critical state with 18 on a ventilator.

The chief minister added that 5,639 were under treatment at the moment in the province. “Karachi has reported 376 cases of the virus,” Shah said. 

He added the province has conducted 61, 020 tests so far.

1:40pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran directs Punjab, KP govts to take action against hoarders

PM Imran has directed the governments of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to take serious action against hoarders.

“Prices of items should be brought down under any circumstances, otherwise strict action will be taken,” the premier said, adding the provincial governments to take measures to reduce inflation.

Read more here.

1:30pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Fawad Chaudhry says political parties harming themselves by not embracing technology

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has criticised political parties for not embracing technology and holding virtual sessions amid the pandemic lockdown in the country.

“Political parties are harming themselves and the people by opposing the use of technology.” Chaudhry tweeted.

“A virtual session of the parliament is the need of the hour. The representatives of the people must participate in the decision-making process in this difficult time,” he added.

Robots on hand to greet Japanese coronavirus patients in hotels

Coronavirus patients with light symptoms arriving to stay at several Tokyo hotels are likely to get a lift from a pleasant surprise - a robot greeter in the lobby.

Photo: Reuters

Japan is now using hotels to house patients who have tested positive for the coronavirus but whose symptoms are too light to need hospitalisation.

Photo: Reuters

1:10pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Rs2.3 million disbursed under Ehsas Emergency Cash Programme so far: Sania Nishtar

Special Assistant to PM on Poverty AlleviationSania Nishtar has said that so far Rs2.3million under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme’s second category.

“Payment to those falling in category-3 will begin next week, she said.

1:00pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran to launch web portal for those who have lost jobs due to pandemic

Prime Minister Imran Khan will launch a web portal today for those who have lost their jobs due to coronavirus pandemic, reported Radio Pakistan.

To mobilise additional resources, the prime minister has also set up a Covid-19 Relief Fund through which funds will be disbursed to those who have lost their jobs as a result of the crisis.

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Source: World Economic Forum Twitter

12:30pm — Singapore, Singapore — 447 new coronavirus cases, smallest rise in 2 weeks

Singapore's health ministry on Saturday confirmed 447 new coronavirus infections, the smallest daily rise in two weeks, taking the city-state's tally of cases to 17,548 with 16 virus-related deaths.

Most of the new cases are among migrant workers living in dormitories, the ministry said. 

Global coronavirus cases climbs to 3.34mn, death toll crosses 237,000

More than 3.34 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 238,137 have died, according to a tally by John Hopkins.

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

Photo: John Hopkins 

12:15pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — More than 400 stranded Pakistanis arrive from Dubai

More than 400 Pakistanis arrived from Dubai via a special flight on Saturday.

250 passengers arrived in Peshawar, while 118 landed in Multan. All the passengers were shifted to a quarantine centre after being screened at the airport.

12:00pm — New Delhi, India — India records highest single-day tally as cases cross 37,000

India recorded 2,293 new cases in the past 24 hours, the biggest single-day tally, according to the Union Health Ministry.

Confirmed cases in the country have risen to 37,336.

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11:40am — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab reports 121 new cases, tally rises to 6,854

Nationwide tally of confirmed cases rose to 18,235 after Punjab reported 121 new cases on Saturday.

According to the primary and secondary health centre spokesperson, the provincial tally of confirmed cases now stands at 6,854.

The spokesperson added 2206 people have recovered from the virus in the province while 22 were in a critical state.

So far the province has conducted 88,899 tests, the spokesperson added.

The province has also reported 115 deaths from the virus.

11:30am — Gujrat, Pakistan —Three more recover from coronavirus

Three more patients recovered have recovered from the coronavirus in Gujrat, the deputy commissioner said on Saturday.

“The three patients have been discharged from Aziz Bhatti Shaheed Teaching Hospital after recovering,” the deputy commissioner said, adding 54 patients are under treatment at the hospital. 

11:20am — Lahore, Pakistan — TEVTA chairman donates Rs72billion for Corona Relief Fund

Technical & Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) Chairman Ali Salman donated Rs72billion to the provincial Corona Relief Fund on behalf of his workers.

“People have been donating generously towards the find,” Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said.

He assured that the money will be spent towards those in need during the pandemic. “This is not the time to do politics but to come together and help those in need,” Buzdar said.

11:00am — Geneva, Switzerland — Countries must ease lockdowns slowly, be ready for virus to jump back: WHO

Countries must lift lockdowns gradually, while still being "on the look-out" for COVID-19 and ready to restore restrictions if the virus jumps back, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday. 

Vulnerable people in institutions, including those in long-term care facilities, prisons and migrant dormitories, must be protected, its top emergencies expert Dr Mike Ryan said.

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Morgue chaos follows coronavirus spike in Brazil

With Brazil emerging as Latin America’s coronavirus epicentre with more than 6,000 deaths, coffins are running out in the country.

Manaus, the city of about 2 million people has been overwhelmed by death due to the virus.

According to data, the city of Manaus is recording at least 130 a day and is running out of space in morgues and coffins as the death toll rises.

10:30am — Bangkok, Thailand — Six new coronavirus cases reported, no new deaths

Thailand reported six new coronavirus cases and no new deaths on Saturday, bringing the total number of cases to 2,966.

While more than half of Thailand's nearly 3,000 cases were concentrated in Bangkok, Phuket has the highest rate of infection per population, a government spokesperson said.

Since Thailand first detected the coronavirus in January, a total of 54 patients have died, 2,732 have recovered and 180 are still hospitalised, according to official figures.

10:15am — Singapore, Singapore — Singapore prepares to ease some coronavirus curbs

Singapore will start easing some curbs put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus over the next few weeks, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Saturday.

Selected activities such as home-based businesses, laundry services and barbers will be allowed to operate from May 12. Some students will be allowed to go back to schools in small groups from May 19.

Some work premises will be allowed to gradually reopen, taking into account their importance to the economy and supply chains and their ability to minimise risks of transmission.

The city-state's 5.7 million people has among the highest number of infections in Asia.

10:00am — Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran to announce small business package today

Prime Minister Imran Khan will announce the small business package for business owners today.

The package which was approved last week by the Economic Coordination Committee will benefit 3.5 million small businesses.

According to Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, 95% of all commercial and 80% of all industrial connections in the country will benefit from the cash injection.

The minister, while sharing details of the package for small businesses, had stated that the government will pay electricity bills for up to three months for those consuming 5 kilowatt (commercial customers) or 70 kilowatt (industrial customers) of electricity.

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9:40am — Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran wishes speedy recovery to Russian PM Mishustin

9:30am — Islamabad, Pakistan — Recoveries rise to 4,715 in Pakistan

Pakistan had reported 400 recoveries in the last 24 hours taking the number of recovered patients to 4,715 in Pakistan.

9:15am — Islamabad, Pakistan — Punjab reports 9 more death, tally rises to 417

Death toll from the novel coronavirus jumped to 417 on Saturday after new deaths were reported in Punjab.

According to the national dashboard, Punjab reported nine new death to take the provincial tally to 115.

9:10am — Islamabad, Pakistan — Punjab, Islamabad report new cases, nationwide tally jumps to 18,000

Confirmed cases in the country jumped to 18,000 after new cases were reported in Punjab and Islamabad.

According to the national dashboard, 393 cases were detected in Punjab while the federal capital reported 22 new cases of the virus.

As of now, Punjab has reported 6,733 and Islamabad 365 cases of coronavirus.

9:00am — Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Malaysia rounds up migrants to contain coronavirus spread

Malaysian authorities are rounding up undocumented migrants as part of efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus, the country’s police chief said after hundreds of migrants and refugees were detained in the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Over 700 migrants were taken into custody, including young children and ethnic Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, during Friday’s raid in a downtown area where thousands of migrants and asylum-seekers live, rights groups had said.

“We cannot allow them to move freely... as it will be difficult for us to track them down if they leave identified locations,” Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid was quoted as saying.

8:45am — Houston US — Americans begin to surface from isolation as states ease clamp-downs

Americans in about half of US states, led by Texas and Georgia, began emerging on Friday from home confinement while California and New York held fast to business closures and other restrictions imposed in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Texas on Friday began a phased-in reopening of businesses shuttered more than a month ago, with restaurants, retail stores and malls allowed to open at 25% capacity.

Photo: Reuters

California has also seen protests over Governor Gavin Newsom's sweeping stay-at-home orders, which remain fully in place, and crack-down on beachgoers who have defied those restrictions.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, which has lead the country in coronavirus deaths, said on Friday that all state schools, colleges and universities would remain closed for the remainder of the academic year due to the pandemic.

Photo: Reuters

Washington State, where Seattle was an early hot spot for the virus, extended its lockdown to May 31, Governor Jay Inslee announced.

Global coronavirus cases over 3.29 million, death toll crosses 232,800

More than 3.29 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 232,806 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.

8:30am — Berlin, Germany — Confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 945 to 161,703

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany rose by 945 to 161,703, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.

The death toll rose by 94 to 6,575.

8:15am — Beijing, China — One new coronavirus case reported

China reported one new coronavirus case for May 1, down from 12 a day earlier, data from the country’s health authority showed on Saturday.

The new case was imported, the National Health Commission (NHC) said, down from six imported cases a day earlier.

The total number of confirmed cases in the country has reached 82,875. With no new deaths on Friday, the toll remained at 4,633

11:12pm/May 1 — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab launches 12-book library for little children

8:41pm/May 1 — Karachi, Pakistan — 'Why is the premier so put off by the offer to work together during a national crisis?': Saeed Ghani

PPP's Saeed Ghani in a statement on Twitter wonders why the premier is so opposed to national unity at a time the country is fighting the coronavirus outbreak and needs a coordinated response.

08:19pm/May 1 — Lahore, Pakistan — Nawaz Sharif's surgery put off due to coronavirus: Maryam

Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif has said that her father's surgery had been postponed due to the coronavirus crisis.

"Doctors say he is a high risk patients which is why every kind of precaution needs to be taken," she said.

"His treatment continues," added Maryam.

She requested everyone to keep Nawaz Sharif in their special prayers during Ramadan.

For our May 1 coverage of coronavirus click here.