Coronavirus updates, May 1: Latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from Pakistan and around the world

Nationwide death toll crosses 400, confirmed cases cross 17,600;

Web Desk

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 17,699 on Friday after new infections were confirmed in the country.

The province-wise break up of the total number of cases as of 8:01pm, May 1, is as follows:

Total confirmed cases: 17,699

• Sindh: 6,675

• Punjab: 6,340

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 2,799

• Balochistan: 1,136

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 343

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 340

• AJK: 66

Deaths: 408

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 161

• Sindh: 118

• Balochistan: 16

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 3

• Punjab: 106

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 4

Officials have recorded more than 3.19 million cases and more than 230,000 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 2 to continue here.

12:12am (May 2) — Paris, France — Europe's virus death toll passes 140,000: AFP tally

The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic in Europe has passed 140,000, according to an AFP tally at 1740 GMT compiled from official sources.

Europe is the hardest-hit continent with 1,495,293 confirmed cases and a total of 140,096 deaths — out of 234,987 worldwide.

The European countries with the highest death tolls are Italy with 28,236, followed by Britain on 27,510, Spain 24,284 and France 24,594.

See: A world hushed by the coronavirus

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

11:05pm — New York, USA — US sport shutdown will cost $12 billion: report

The $100 billion US sports landscape will lose $12 billion in revenue due to the coronavirus shutdown, ESPN has reported, with deeper cuts if NFL and college gridiron games are wiped out.

Analysis of the magnitude of business losses includes superstar salaries to pay for stadium workers but it might be a conservative estimate because it does not include outdoor recreational sport, gambling or such individual sports as golf, tennis and NASCAR, the most popular form of US auto racing.

10:51pm — Quetta, Pakistan — Balochistan reports two more deaths, taking toll to 16

09:42pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — On Labour Day, president says govt 'fully cognizant' of hardships faced by labourers in lockdown

08:41pm — 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 — 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.

08:01pm — Quetta, Pakistan — Balochistan tally rises to 1,136

Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani has reported a rise in the province's cases by 87 which takes the total tally to 1,136.

He said of the new cases, 86 belong to Quetta and one to Pishin. With this, the total number of local transmissions now number 985.

07:54pm — Gilgit, Gilgit-Baltistan — Region reports seven recoveries, one new case

7:28pm — Beijing, China —  Lockdown eased in Hubei, where coronavirus began

China’s central province of Hubei, where the novel coronavirus behind the pandemic was first detected, will lower its emergency response level from Saturday in the latest relaxation of lockdowns put in place to contain the virus, Reuters reported.

Hubei will lower the level from the highest to the second-highest from May 2, the province’s health commission said in post on its public WeChat account Friday.

Hubei is the last province to lower its provincial emergency response level, a major milestone in China’s fight against the pandemic. The virus is believed to have originated in a wet market in the province’s capital Wuhan in December.

Hubei will also adjust prevention and control measures against the epidemic following the response level downgrade, the official Xinhua news agency quoted Yang Yunyan, vice governor of Hubei, as saying. The Xinhua report did not explain what adjustments would be made.

Beijing on Thursday announced a similar easing of restrictions, saying it would mean removing 14-day quarantine requirements for people arriving from low-risk parts of the country, releasing those currently in quarantine and ending the requirement to wear masks outdoors.

Hubei has reported no new coronavirus cases for 27 days as of the end of April 30.

7:24pm — London, UK — Rock band Queen pay tribute to frontline health workers

7:19pm — Washington, US — Experts say COIVD-19 could spread for another two years

7:17pm — Beijing, China —Military sent medical equipment to Pakistan, several other countries

7:02pm — Taipei, Taiwan — Students eat their lunch on desks with plastic partitions as preventive measure

6:57pm — London, UK —Britons fear leaving homes even if lockdown lifted, poll shows

Many Britons would be uncomfortable leaving their homes even if the government ordered the lifting of strict coronavirus lockdown restrictions in a month’s time, according to a poll on Friday, Reuters reported.

Prime Minister Johnson said the country was now past the peak of the pandemic and promised to set out a plan next week on how it might start gradually easing restrictions to allow a return to normal life.

A survey by Ipsos Mori showed that more than 60% would be uncomfortable returning to bars and restaurants, using public transport or going to a large gathering such as a sporting event.

Over 40% would still be reluctant to go to the shops or send their children to school and over 30% would be worried about going to work or meeting friends.

The survey data found that the vast majority of Britons were complying with the lockdown not because they had been ordered to by the government but because they do not want to catch or spread the virus.

6:52pm — Balcony protests, e-rallies as epidemic curtails May Day demonstrations

Workers of the world scaled back their traditional May Day demos Friday with coronavirus lockdowns forcing many to rally online instead, while a determined few hit the streets in face masks.

There were arrests in the Philippines and Turkey as dozens broke mandatory home confinement to hold public pickets, but most gatherings on this unusual Labour Day went without incident.

The traditional festival of the workers' movement usually attracts millions of people to loud and boisterous marches, and occasional violent confrontations with police.

But with strict social distancing rules in most countries to halt the spread of the virus, many union leaders opted to delay public gatherings or move events online.

Read complete story here.

6:50pm — Karachi, Pakistan — PPP lambastes Centre over non-provision of protective gear to medical workers

Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari slammed the PTI-led government on Friday over its "failure to fulfil basic demands of the doctors fighting coronavirus on the frontline".

Bilawal, addressing a press conference, said: "Can you imagine Pakistan declaring war and sending its army without guns, bullets, and a uniform?"

The PPP chairman lamented that the doctors were only demanding two things — protective gear and a reduced burden on hospitals so that they may carry out their jobs more effectively.

Read complete story here.

05:30pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — KP reports 15 deaths, 172 new cases

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa health department has reported 15 deaths, taking the grim total to 161 in the province.

A rise in the number of infections in the province by 172 was also reported, taking the total to 2,799.

4:50pm - Lahore, Pakistan — Railways minister assures that no worker will be sacked 

Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad has said that not a single employee will be sacked from the Railways due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In his message on 'Labour Day', he said that the COVID-19 had badly affected the labour class. He added that millions of people would go below the poverty line due to the pandemic across the world.

4:45pm - Karachi, Pakistan — State's responsibility to meet needs of doctors: Bilawal 

Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has likened doctors to soldiers and said that it is expected of the state to fulfil their needs.

In a press conference in Karachi, he said that it is unfathomable that a soldier should be sent to a war zone without weapons. 

"It is the state's responsibility to provide doctors and health professionals protective equipment," said Bilawal.

He added that the Sindh government was trying to ensure that the doctors are given the protective equipment they require.

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4:15pm - Paris, France — Macron says May 11 will not signal return to normal life

President Emmanuel Macron warned on Friday that the end of the national lockdown on May 11 would only be a first step as France looks to move out of the crisis created by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

“May 11 will not be the passage to normal life,” Macron said during a speech to mark May 1. “There will be several phases and May 11 will be one of them.”

4:10pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — President Alvi asks MNAs to be in contact with their constituents 

President Arif Alvi in a letter to the members of the National Assembly (MNA) instructed them to be in touch with their constituents and be a part of their loss.

The president also urged the MNAs to stay in contact with the doctors and paramedical staffs in their constituencies and urged them to fulfil all their needs.

President Alvi urged the lawmakers to work with the well off people in their constituency and reach out to the poor constituents. He also asked them to carry out coronavirus awareness campaigns in their areas.

3:45pm - Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab officials deliberate on mobilisation of Corona Tiger Force

Punjab chief secretary and IG police chaired a meeting of all divisional commissioners and regional police officers to formulate an action plan regarding the mobilisation of Corona Tiger Force.

The chief secretary assured everyone that the government will give all opportunities to the youth to serve their country. The IG also assured that the police will provide all assistance to ensure that the SOPs are followed.

The meeting was also attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister Usman Dar.

3:30pm - Karachi, Pakistan — SBP issues Rs3.2 bln in loans to hospitals

The State Bank of Pakistan announced that it has issued Rs 3.2 billion in loans to hospitals to help them in the fight against coronavirus.

The bank stated that it is issuing the loans at a 0% interest rate to the hospitals. It added that the bank has also received applications of loan applications worth Rs 3.6 billion at a 3% interest rate.

3:20pm - Karachi, Pakistan — Nationwide tally positive cases crosses 17,000

Sindh on Friday reported its record daily rise in virus cases of the province taking the nationwide tally to 17,439.

According to Chief Minister Sindh Murad Ali Shah, 662 new cases were reported in the provinces and 446 of those cases were reported from Karachi. 

Sindh's tally of positive cases now stands at 6,675. 

3:20pm - Karachi, Pakistan — Nationwide death tally rises to 391

Nationwide death toll form the coronavirus rose to 391 after new deaths were reported in Sindh.

According to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, six more people lost their lives to the coronavirus taking the provincial tally to 118. He added the death rate of the coronavirus patient of the province stood at 1.76. 

3:20pm - Karachi, Pakistan — Pakistan's tally of recovered patients rises to 4,388

Pakistan recovery from the coroanvirus cases rose to 4,388 after 73 patients recovered from the virus.

2:55pm - Tehran, Iran — Iran death toll from coronavirus rises by 63 to 6,091: Health Ministry

Iran’s death toll from the outbreak of the new coronavirus increased by 63 in the past 24 hours to 6,091, Health Ministry spokesman Kianush Jahanpur said in a statement on state TV on Friday.

The total number of diagnosed cases of the new coronavirus in the Islamic Republic, one of the Middle Eastern countries hardest hit by the outbreak, has reached 95,646, including 2,899 in critical condition, he added.

2:55pm - Hardest working section of workforce worst hit by COVID-19: SAPM Bukhari  

2:45pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran thought about the labourers when the coronavirus hit the country: Shibli Faraz

Federal Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz stated Prime Minister Imran Khan thought about the labourers when the coronavirus hit the country.

Faraz, in a press conference speaking about the government’s efforts on Labour Day, stated that PM Imran under the Ehsaas programme gave a package to them of Rs 200 billion. He added that through the programme Rs12,000was also distributed to the labourers.

The minister, in his press conference, said that with apart from precaution we also need to take care of the workers so their daily life is not affected.

“Mr Khan has instructed that the current pandemic should be avoided and it should not affect the people’s lives,” said the senator.

2:40pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — NCOC directs RSPs to enhance community mobilisation 

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Friday directed the rural support programmes across the country to enhance community mobilisation to contain the coronavirus, said a press release issued by ISPR.

The NCOC meeting, which was chaired by Minister for Planning Development Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar, observed the existing structure of RSPs in the country.

According to the ISPR, the meeting noted that community mobilisation was of “utmost significance to cope with any pandemic or national crisis”. 

2:35pm Jakarta, Indonesia — Indonesia reports 433 new cases, eight deaths

Indonesia confirmed on Friday 433 new coronavirus infections, taking the total number of cases to 10,551, health ministry official Achmad Yurianto said.

Yurianto reported eight new deaths, taking the total number of fatalities to 800, while 1,591 people have recovered.

Indonesia has tested more than 76,500 people for the virus.

2:30pm - Madrid, Spain — Spain's coronavirus death toll climbs to 24,824: health ministry

Spain’s coronavirus death toll rose to 24,824 on Friday as 281 more people died from causes related to the disease overnight, the health ministry said.

The number of new coronavirus cases diagnosed in the country rose to a total 215,216 on Friday from 213,435 the day before, the ministry said on its website.

The previous day’s death toll was 268.

2:20pm - Peshawar, Pakistan — Advisor KP CM announces Rs 7 million package for health workers passing away due to virus

Advisor to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Information Ajmal Wazir has stated that Rs7 million will be awarded to health care workers dying due to the coronavirus in the province.

The adviser, in a press conference, stated that the same package will be awarded to all employees from grade 1 to 22. He added that CM KP will put forward the provincial government’s recommendations regarding the lockdown in tomorrows NCC meeting.

2:10pm - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Malaysia reports 69 new cases with 1 new death

Malaysia reported 69 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 6,071.

The number of fatalities rose by one to 103.

Earlier on Friday, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said Malaysia would allow the majority of businesses to resume operations from May 4, partially easing restrictions imposed to contain the spread of the outbreak.

2:00pm - School dropout manages to maintain social distance on bike

1:50pm - Amazon extends work from home regime till Oct 2 Inc has told staff whose job can be done from home that they can do so until at least October 2, pushing out the timeline on a return to work for many employees as it faces scrutiny over conditions in its warehouses.

“Employees who work in a role that can effectively be done from home are welcome to do so until at least October 2,” an Amazon spokesman said in an emailed statement on Friday, adding it was applicable to such roles globally.

The statement did not specify how much of the company’s overall workforce that covered and which roles.

It said the company is investing funds in safety measures for employees who wish to come to the office “through physical distancing, deep cleaning, temperature checks, and the availability of face coverings and hand sanitizer.”

1:45pm - Rawalpindi, Pakistan — Flag march held to raise awareness for coronavirus

Law enforcement agencies in Rawalpindi held a flag march to raise awareness regarding the coronavirus in the city.

The march which started from police line area of Rawalpindi urged people to be cautious during this time.

1:40pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — CJSC Gen Raza attends Made in Pakistan exhibition organised by ministry of science and technology

1:25pm - Singapore — Singapore confirms 932 new cases, taking total to 17,101

Singapore reported 932 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the health ministry said, taking the city-state’s total infections to 17,101.

1:20pm - Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab minister tests negative for virus

Punjab’s Minister for Higher Education Yasir Humayun has tested negative for the coronavirus, said a spokesperson for the provincial government.

The spokesperson stated that the minister has shifted to his home from a local hotel where he was quarantined. He added that the had been moved to an isolation centre after he returned from the US on Wednesday.

1:15pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — PM recommends book for youth to read during lockdown

1:10pm - Moscow, Russia — Russia reports record daily rise in cases after PM's infection

Russia on Friday reported a record daily rise in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, a day after Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin announced he had been diagnosed with the new virus and was temporarily stepping down to recover.

The nationwide case tally rose by 7,933 cases and now stood at 114,431, Russia’s coronavirus crisis response centre said.

It said 96 people diagnosed with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, had died in the last 24 hours. That raised the official overall death toll up to 1,169.

Mishustin, the prime minister, told President Vladimir Putin on Thursday that he had been diagnosed with the virus and would self-isolate. First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov will serve as acting prime minister in his absence.

1:10pm - Berlin, Germany — Germany's confirmed cases rise by 1,639; deaths up 193

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 1,639 to 160,758, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday.

The death toll rose by 193 to 6,481.

1:05pm - Islamabad, Pakistan — GIll says it is federal govt's mandate to manage charity work

Federal government spokesperson Shahbaz Gill on Friday informed PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari that it was the federal government mandate to manage the charity work in the country.

Gill also stated that it was the centre’s mandate to point out the mistakes, adding that he was disappointed that the PPP was doing politics over coronavirus.

1:00pm - Lahore, Pakistan — PML-N worried by PM Imran's troublesome remarks 

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that PM Imran talking against his own decisions was troublesome.

The PML-N warned Pm Imran that confusion can be harmful for the country can lead to riots in the country. They party also demanded PM Imran to clarify that if he did not impose the lcokdown than who took the decision. 

12:55pm - ADB providing much needed medical supplies to Pakistan

12:50pm - SBP says 303,000 borrowers benefiting from deferred payments

12:45pm - Karachi, Pakistan — MQM-P leader praying for recovery of NA speaker's family 

MQM-Pakistan leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui has expressed regret over the positive test of National Assembly Asad Qaiser and his family.

The lawmaker from Karachi said that he was praying for the complete recovery of Speaker Qaiser and his family recover from the virus soon.

12:40pm - Lahore, Pakistan — Provincial finance secretary warns provincial govt is under severe financial stress

Punjab’s Finance Secretary Abdullah Sumbal has warned the cabinet that the provincial government is under severe financial stress.

The secretary stated that the federal government will have to offer a bailout of at least Rs75 billion to control the economic crisis in the province.

“Federation should increase its overdraft support or give loans with easy conditions,” said the secretary. He also shared that the federal government owes Rs128 billion to the province.

Sumbal warned that if the federal government does not aid the province then it would not be able to pay its employees. He added that supplementary grant worth Rs62 billion to the departments have also been stopped.

12:10pm - Karachi, Pakistan — Food authority raids restaurants violating SOPs

Sindh Food Authority carried out multiple raids across the province and sealed restaurants violating the home delivery SOPs set for them.

The officials said that the action was taken against those restaurants that violated the SOPs. They added that a bakery was sealed and a fine of Rs100,000 was imposed on it.

The authority also found six local restaurants violating the SOPs and imposed altogether a Rs 500,000 fine on them.

12:05pm - San Francisco, USA — Apple boosts revenues, profits dip in pandemic-hit quarter

Apple on Thursday reported profit slipped as it boosted revenue from services and wearables in a pandemic-cobbled start to the year for the iPhone maker.

Profit dipped to $11.2 billion on sales of $58.3 billion in the fiscal second quarter, compared to net income of $11.7 billion on revenue of $58 billion in the same period a year earlier.

"Despite COVID-19´s unprecedented global impact, we´re proud to report that Apple grew for the quarter, driven by an all-time record in services and a quarterly record for wearables," chief executive Tim Cook said in an earnings release.

12:00am - Peshawar, Pakistan — Health Minister Taimur Jhagra visits District Command and Control Centre 

11:55am - London, UK — Britain may have hit its daily testing target: minister

Britain may have hit its daily target of 100,000 COVID-19 tests, or come close, putting in place the beginnings of a network to test, track and trace people through the pandemic, housing minister Robert Jenrick said on Friday.

“I don’t have the figures yet, they’ll be published later today. But it looks like we’ll either meet the target or come close so we will have very significantly increased the amount of testing in this country,” he told BBC TV.

“It’s an important stepping stone. We’ve now built the beginnings of the network that we’ll need of testing, tracking and tracing for the next phase of fighting the virus.”

11:45am - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Malaysia to ease virus curbs as outbreak slows

Malaysia will allow most businesses to re-open from next week, the prime minister said Friday, easing a lockdown to fight the spread of the coronavirus as the country´s outbreak slows.

The Southeast Asian nation in mid-March ordered the closure of all but essential businesses as well as schools and asked people to stay home, as cases surged.

But the number of new infections has slowed markedly in recent weeks, with fewer than 100 reported most days. In total, the country has recorded about 6,000 cases and 100 deaths so far.

11:35 - London, United Kingdom — Irish airline Ryanair plans 3,000 job cuts over virus

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair said Friday that it plans to axe up to 3,000 pilot and cabin crew jobs, with air transport paralysed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Dublin-based Ryanair added in a statement that most of its flights will remain grounded until at least July and predicted it would take until summer 2022 before passenger demand recovers.

11:25am - Budapest, Hungary — PM warns of potential second wave of coronavirus in October-November

Hungary needs to prepare for a potential second wave of the coronavirus outbreak in October-November, even though the spreading of the virus will likely slow in the summer, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio on Friday.

Orban also said if authorities manage to reduce the death rate from the pandemic in Budapest, where 80% of deaths have been recorded, only then will current restrictions be eased in the capital city. Hungary will lift a large part of restrictions in the countryside from Monday.

11:10pm - Lahore, Pakistan — Buzdar asks health minister, secretary to submit report on patients protest at Expo centre

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has summoned a report from the provincial health minister and secretary regarding the protest by patients under treatment at the field hospital set up at Expo Centre Lahore.

“Patients should be provided with the best facilities for treatment,” CM Buzdar said as he instructed officials to investigate the matter. 

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11:00am - Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab Home and health dept functional despite May 1 holiday

Sources in Punjab secretariat have stated that the offices of the provincial health and home department are open despite the May 1 public holiday.

“Holiday of employees of t=both the departments were suspended due to the coronavirus,” said the sources. They added that the control room formed at the Home Department is operational today.

10:50am - Multan, Pakistan — 63 people in quarantine centre sent home

District authorities in Multan have announced that 63 people in the quarantine centre were sent some after they were tested negative for the virus. 

Tiger force volunteers educating masses in Sialkot

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10:40am - Peshawar, Pakistan — KP CM Mahmood Khan shares special message on virus

10:35am - Shanghai, China — China reports 12 new cases versus four a day earlier

China reported 12 new coronavirus cases for April 30, up from four a day earlier, data from the country’s health authority showed on Friday.

Six of the cases were imported, the National Health Commission (NHC) said, up from four a day earlier. Of the domestic transmission cases, five were in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang and one in the northern region of Inner Mongolia.

China reported no domestic transmission cases a day earlier.

The NHC also reported 25 new asymptomatic cases for April 30, down from 33 a day earlier.

The total number of confirmed cases in the country has reached 82,874. With no new deaths on Thursday, the toll remained at 4,633.

10:30am - Bangkok, Thailand — Thailand reports six new cases, no deaths

Thailand reported six new coronavirus cases and no new death on Friday, taking its tally to 2,960 infections while fatalities remained at 54 since the outbreak began in January.

New daily infections have stayed in the single digits for five consecutive days. The six cases also marked the lowest new daily infections since early March.

10:20am — Canberra, Australia — Government to consider next Friday easing of coronavirus containment measures

Australia will consider next Friday whether to relax coronavirus-related mobility restrictions, as the growth rate of new infections slows, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday following a national cabinet meeting.

Morrison urged Australians to download an app aimed at tracing contacts of COVID-19 patients, saying it was a pre-condition to relaxing the containment measures, Reuters reported.

10:00am — Geneva, Switzerland — World Economic Forum lauds green stimulus scheme of Pakistan

9:45am — Karachi, Pakistan — 40th day of virus lockdown in Sindh

Sindh on Friday entered the 40th day of the coronavirus lockdown in the province. Public transport remained suspended, traffic on the roads thin, and businesses closed. 

A strict lockdown will be observed across the province between 12pm and 3pm to enforce a restriction on congregational prayers amid the virus lockdown. Essential services will also be closed during the time. 

9:30am — Kabul, Afghanistan — Country likely facing coronavirus 'health disaster'

Afghanistan, beset by a poor healthcare system, malnutrition, war and other vulnerabilities, likely is facing a “health disaster” from the coronavirus, a watchdog report to the US Congress warns, Reuters reported.

The report released late on Thursday by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko could heighten concerns among US officials and lawmakers that the pandemic threatens to derail stalled US-led peace efforts.

9:15am — New York, United States — Here is what you need to know about coronavirus charts

9:05am — Baltimore, United States — 1 million people recover from illness

According to Johns Hopkins University data, more than a million people have now recovered from coronavirus infection, with the total currently at 1,014,524.

Infections worldwide stand at 3,256,570. 233,363 people have died in the pandemic so far.

9:00am — Washington, United States — Trump confident that coronavirus may have originated in Chinese lab

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he was confident the coronavirus may have originated in a Chinese virology lab, but declined to describe the evidence, ratcheting up tensions with Beijing over the origins of the deadly outbreak, Reuters reported.

Trump did not mince words at a White House event on Thursday, when asked if he had seen evidence that gave him a “high degree of confidence” the virus came from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

8:55am — Islamabad, Pakistan — ICT reports new cases, taking area total to 343

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases across Pakistan rose to 16,817 on Friday after new infections were confirmed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Islamabad Capital Territory. 

According to the national dashboard tracking the spread of the virus, 30 new cases were reported from Islamabad in the past day, taking the total number of virus cases in the area to 343.

8:45am — Peshawar, Pakistan — KP reports new cases, deaths from virus

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health and Finance Taimur Khan Jhagra on Friday reported new cases of the novel coronavirus from the province. The update took the total virus cases in the province to 2,627.

Nine deaths were also reported from the virus in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of deaths from the virus in KP to 146. 40 people were also reported recovered from the virus, Jhagra said.

11:50pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab reports 120 new cases, 70 more recoveries

The Punjab disaster management authority has reported 120 more cases since the last update in the day, taking the tally to 6,340.

A total of 279 cases were reported over the last 24 hours.

The province also reported 71 more recoveries, taking the total number to 1,921.

For our April 30 coronavirus coverage click here.

For our April 29 coronavirus coverage click here.