Coronavirus updates, June 6: Latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from Pakistan and around the world

Nationwide confirmed cases jump past 96,000, death toll crosses 1,970; global death toll tops 395,000

Web Desk

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 98,227 on Saturday after new infections were confirmed in the country.

The province-wise break up of the total number of cases as of 11:51pm, June 6, is as follows:

Total confirmed cases: 98,227

• Sindh: 36,364

• Punjab: 37,090

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 12,459

• Balochistan: 6,221

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 4,323

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 897

• AJK: 331

Deaths: 1,998

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 561

• Punjab: 683

• Sindh: 634

• Balochistan: 54

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 13

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 45

• AJK: 8

More than 6.77 million people have been reported infected with the novel coronavirus globally and over 395,000 have died, according to a Reuters tally.

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 June 7 to continue here.

11:51pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab reports 24 deaths, 1,782 cases

The Punjab disaster management authority has reported 24 more deaths, taking the grim total to 683 in the province.

The number of infections rose by 1,782, taking the tally of cases to 37,090.

Scientists look to llama in search for COVID-19 treatment

11:07pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh's cases at a glance

10:59pm — Tehran, Iran — Wedding party fuelled new COVID-19 surge, President Rouhani says

A wedding party contributed to a new surge in coronavirus infections in Iran, President Hassan Rouhani said but insisted the country had no option but to keep its economy open despite warnings of a second wave of the epidemic, Reuters reported.

Iran, which has been gradually relaxing its lockdown since mid-April, has reported a sharp rise of new daily infections in recent days. Thursday’s toll of 3,574 new cases was the highest since February, when the outbreak was first reported.

“At one location, we witnessed a peak in this epidemic, the source of which was a wedding that caused problems for the people, health workers and losses to the economy and the country’s health system,” Rouhani said on state TV. He did not say when or where the wedding took place.

New cases dipped to 2,886 on Friday, bringing Iran’s total cases to more than 167,000, with over 8,000 deaths.

Decades of social distance: Meet the American couple who are masters at it

10:44pm — Almaty, Kazakhstan — Kazakh president's spokesman hospitalized with COVID-19

 Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s spokesman has been hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19, he wrote on his Facebook page, adding that the president’s health was not at risk, Reuters reported.

The spokesman, Berik Uali, wrote that Tokayev, 67, gets tested regularly and that additional safety measures have been taken at the presidential headquarters.

“President Tokayev continues his work as scheduled, his health is under no threat,” Uali said.

The Central Asian nation has confirmed 12,511 cases of COVID-19 with 53 deaths. It emerged from a two-month lockdown last month, while keeping in place social distancing rules and closed borders.

10:37pm — Quetta, Pakistan — Balochistan's cases at a glance

10:26pm — Quetta, Pakistan — Balochistan reports 445 new infections

10:04pm — London, UK — Prince William has been secretly volunteering for a mental crisis hotline amid coronavirus 

9:54pm — Rome, Italy — 72 new COVID deaths reported 

Italy reported 72 new COVID-19 deaths against 85 a day earlier and 270 new cases, down from 518 the day before, the Civil Protection department said, Reuters reported.

The total death toll since the outbreak emerged on Feb. 21 now stands at 33,846, the agency said, the fourth highest in the world after those of the United States, Britain and Brazil.

People registered as currently carrying the illness fell to 35,877 from 36,976 the day before.

With a total number of confirmed cases at 234,801, Italy now has the seventh highest global tally after India overtook it a day earlier.

9:44pm — Quetta, Pakistan — Balochistan warns of strict lockdown if SOPs are violated

9:34pm — Colombo, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka to reopen for tourism in August, with multiple coronavirus tests

Sri Lanka's virus-battered tourism industry can reopen for foreign guests from August but under strict guidelines, including multiple coronavirus tests during their stay, officials said Saturday.

Tourism was only just recovering from the effects of last year's Easter Sunday bombings that killed 279 people, including 45 foreigners, when the virus halted international travel to the island and forced hotels to shut, leaving tens of thousands of people jobless.

Sri Lanka's tourism ministry said travellers will be able to visit from August 1, but they must carry a COVID-19 free certificate issued not earlier than 72 hours before boarding.

9:24pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — PM Imran says Pakistan was among the pioneer's of 'smart lockdown'

9:18pm — Cape Town, South Africa — COVID-19 patients in S.Africa's virus epicentre get priority

 As coronavirus cases spike in South Africa's Western Cape province, the epicentre of the country's outbreak, doctors have voiced concern about other diseases being neglected while medical attention is focused on COVID-19.

The Western Cape province, a popular tourist destination home to the coastal city of Cape Town, accounts for 66 percent of South Africa's 43,434 coronavirus cases and 77 percent of 908 deaths.

Provincial authorities predict infections will almost quadruple to 100,000 in coming weeks.

Many medical practitioners have been moved from specialised wards such as oncology and anaesthesiology to help treat COVID-19 patients.

Read complete story here.

9:08pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Punjab conducting COVID-19 trials as per  international standards: Dr Yasmin Rashid

8:58pm — New Delhi, India — India overtakes Italy's coronavirus tally as lockdown easing looms

India reported a record 9,887 new coronavirus cases in one day and overtook Italy as the world’s sixth-biggest outbreak, two days before the relaxing of a lockdown with the reopening of malls, restaurants and places of worship, Reuters reported.

With its total number of cases rising to more than 236,000, India now has fewer infections than only the United States, Brazil, Russia, Britain and Spain, according to a Reuters tally.

However, India’s toll of deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, is 6,642, small compared with those other countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, anxious to jump-start an economy crippled by the epidemic and put millions of people back to work, is easing its lockdown of the 1.3 billion population imposed in March, which the government says helped avoid an exponential rise in cases.

8:48pm — Amsterdam, Netherlands — Dutch mink cull starts as coronavirus spreads to 10th farm

Dutch mink farms have begun a government-ordered cull amid concern that animals infected with coronavirus could transmit the illness to humans, Reuters reported.

Infected mink have been found on 10 Dutch farms where the ferret-like animals are bred for their fur, according to the country’s Food & Wares Authority.

“All mink breeding farms where there is an infection will be cleared, and farms where there are no infections won’t be,” said spokeswoman Frederique Hermie.

The government ordered the cull of 10,000 mink on Wednesday after determining that affected farms could act as a long-term reservoir of disease.

Dutch mink were first infected with coronavirus by their handlers in April. In May, the government identified two cases in which humans had been infected by sick animals — the only animal-to-human transmissions known since the global outbreak began in China.

8:34pm — Abbottabad, Pakistan — 40% ICU patients recover

8:24pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Dr Zafar Mirza refutes claims of contracting coronavirus

8:16pm — Moscow, Russia — 8,855 new coronavirus cases, 197 deaths reported in last 24 hours 

Russia reported 8,855 new cases of the novel coronavirus, pushing the total number of infections to 458,689, Reuters reported.

Officials said 197 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official nationwide death toll to 5,725.

7:59pm — Peshawar, Pakistan — KP reports 542 new cases, 20 deaths 

7:43pm — London, UK — coronavirus death toll rises by 204 to 40,465

 The United Kingdom’s death toll from confirmed cases of COVID-19 has risen by 204 to 40,465 as of 1600 GMT on June 5, according to government data published, Reuters reported.

Including suspected cases, the United Kingdom’s death toll this week surpassed 50,000, according to a Reuters tally of official data sources.

7:33pm — Geneva, Switzerland — 'It's not over': COVID-19 cases rise in some nations easing lockdowns: WHO

Some countries have seen “upticks” in COVID-19 cases as lockdowns ease, and populations must protect themselves from the coronavirus while authorities continue testing, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said, Reuters reported.

The epicentre of the pandemic is currently in countries of Central, South and North America, particularly the United States, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris said.

“On upticks (in cases), yes we have seen in countries around the world - I’m not talking specifically about Europe - when the lockdowns ease, when the social distancing measures ease, people sometimes interpret this as ‘OK, it’s over’,” Harris told a UN briefing in Geneva.

“It’s not over. It’s not over until there is no virus anywhere in the world,” she said.

7:24pm — Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — 37 new coronavirus cases, one new death reported

Malaysian health officials reported 37 new coronavirus cases, taking the cumulative total to 8,303, Reuters reported.

The health ministry also reported one new death, raising total fatalities to 117.

The ministry had previously reported 38 new coronavirus cases and cumulative total of 8,304 cases.

7:14pm — Rome, Italy — Italy hopes EU nations will open borders to Italians from June 15

Italy hopes other EU countries will reopen their borders to Italian citizens on June 15, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said, as coronavirus travel restrictions across Europe are gradually eased, Reuters reported.

“June 15 is an important date for many of our citizens,” Di Maio told a news conference during a visit to neighboring Slovenia.

Slovenian Foreign Minister Anze Logar told the same news conference: “Health conditions in Italy are improving fast ... I’m looking optimistically towards June 15.”

Di Maio said Germany and Switzerland have also indicated that they could open their borders to Italians from that date.

He said he hoped border openings would apply to people from all parts of Italy, including those areas worst-affected by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

6:57pm — Ankara, Turkey — Turks stream out for first lockdown-free weekend in nearly two months

Turks streamed outside for their first weekend without a coronavirus lockdown in nearly two months, the day after President Tayyip Erdogan suddenly scrapped a stay-at-home order.

Cafes, restaurants and other facilities had reopened on Monday as infection rates slowed and restrictions on intercity travel had been lifted as the infection rate slowed. But Erdogan had intended to maintain the weekend lockdown, applied to big cities since April 11, until a public backlash.

On Saturday, people flooded beaches and shores in Istanbul, and hundreds queued to get into parks. Others bought ice cream in the warm weather - under new hygiene rules. In the capital, Ankara, daytrippers caused traffic jams.

“The last time I was here was 70 days ago,” said Gulay Cevik, a housewife in Istanbul who was fishing in the Eminonu district. “I would always come here to fish, but since the outbreak we’ve had to protect ourselves a bit. But I really missed it.”

Cevdet Akaydan, a 23-year-old public servant, was out swimming with his friends along the shore in western Istanbul.

Turkish police officers wearing face masks, with the Byzantine-era monument of Hagia Sophia, now a museum, in the background, patrol at touristic Sultanahmet Square following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Istanbul, Turkey, June 5, 2020. — Reuters

6:48pm — Madrid, Spain — A sight for sore eyes: Madrid reopens its museums

Madrid residents wearing face masks queued two meters apart to be among the first visitors back in the city’s famed galleries on Saturday, as the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums reopened after nearly three months of coronavirus lockdown, Reuters reported.

“I was really looking forward to coming back. To see how it has come back to life makes me very emotional,” said masters student Alejandro Elizalde, who wiped away tears while viewing Diego de Velazquez’s “Las Meninas”, one of the Prado’s most famous paintings.

The government shut state-run museums on March 12 as it locked down the country to curb the coronavirus spread. Curbs have been lifted gradually, with Madrid one of the slowest places to ease restrictions as it was among the worst hit.

The Prado and Reina Sofia are not yet fully open, but many masterpieces, including works by Velazquez and Goya in the Prado and Picasso’s “Guernica” in the Reina Sofia, are on display.

Musicians perfom next to Spanish artist Diego Velazquez's paintings as the Prado museum reopens amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Madrid, Spain, June 6, 2020. — Reuters 

6:42pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — NCOC played an important role in tackling coronavirus: Shibli Faraz

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said the National Command and Control Centre played an important role in tackling coronavirus.

"Through the NCOC we were able to tackle coronavirus and we mitigated the effect of the pandemic [on the country]," he added.

6:35pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Fawad censures DC Islamabad for sharing ‘unsubstantiated’ information on plasma donation

Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry refuted claims that people who had recovered from coronavirus could donate plasma within an interval of 10 days.

06:25pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Tiger Force launches 'no mask, no service' campaign

The Corona Relief Tiger Force has launched the "no mask, no service" campaign to encourage businesses to deny services to customers not wearing a mask.

Usman Dar, who is incharge of the force, said that the campaign has been spread to the country's various cities and that the force was spreading public awareness.

"On the instructions of the prime minister, the implementation of SOPs everywhere will be ensured," he said.

"Customers visiting shops without masks will be denied entry," Dar said.

He said that shopkeepers have been instructed to only entertain customers who have masks on.

The premier's aide said shopkeepers are cooperating with members of the force over the implementation of SOPs.

How mass protests risk the rapid spread of the virus

Mass protests that have been set in motion across the globe following the brutal death of George Floyd in the US are being viewed as great risk for the spread of the coronavirus.

The graphic below illustrates what factors can contribute to the spread:

05:09pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Focal person for English media to Punjab information minister tests positive

04:41pm — Tehran, Iran — President Rouhani tells Iranians they must live with virus 'for long time'

04:23pm — Colombo, Sri Lanka — Sri Lanka to reopen for tourism in August

Sri Lanka's virus-battered tourism industry can reopen for foreign guests from August but under strict guidelines, including multiple coronavirus tests during their stay, officials say.

The virus halted international travel to the island and forced hotels to shut, leaving tens of thousands of people jobless.

Sri Lanka's tourism ministry said travellers will be able to visit from August 1, but they must carry a COVID-19 free certificate issued not earlier than 72 hours before boarding.

Even with this document, tourists will have to take a virus test at the airport upon arrival. A further check will be done four to five days later — and a third if staying for more than 10 days.

The regular visa fee of $40 has been increased to $100, visitors can only stay in hotels designated by the ministry, and are not allowed to use public transport on the island.

In addition, only those who will spend a minimum of five days in Sri Lanka will be allowed in.

The country has reported 11 deaths and 1,801 infections since its first coronavirus patient was identified on January 27.

3:55pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Sindh reports 1,475 new cases, 19 more deaths

Confirmed cases in the country jumped past 95,000 in the country after new cases were reported in Sindh.

According to Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab, 1475 were recorded in the last 24 hours to take the provincial tally to 36,364.

He added that 19 deaths had also been recorded in the province. 

3:40pm — Jakarta, Indonesia — Indonesia reports biggest daily rise in infections

Indonesia reported on Saturday its biggest daily rise in coronavirus infections, with 993 new cases, taking its total number to 30,514, a health ministry official said.

The official, Achmad Yurianto, reported 31 new deaths related to COVID-19, taking the total number of deaths in Indonesia to 1,801.

3:30pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Fully focused on building healthcare capacity: Zafar Mirza

Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza has said the government was fully focused on building its healthcare capacity, reported Radio Pakistan.

He added there was a need for behavioural change through ensuring compliance of SOPs to counter coronavirus pandemic.

“The government is adhering to a policy of tracing, testing, quarantine and selected lockdowns to overcome COVID-19 outbreak,” Mirza added.

He added the government was committed to protection and support of frontline healthcare workers and several steps have been taken in this regard.

Global coronavirus cases cross 6.77 million, death toll over 395,000

More than 6.77 million people have been reported infected with the new coronavirus globally and 395,053 have died, a Reuters tally showed.

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

World leaders pledged $8.8bn towards immunisations and efforts against COVID-19

2:45pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Taking samples of those flying in from abroad: Murtaza Wahab

Sindh government spokesperson Murtaza Wahab has said samples of those flying into the country from abroad are being taken.

“After taking samples are citizens are allowed to go home as per the federal government’s policy,” Wahab told Geo News.

He added that the provincial government cannot stop anyone from leaving until the test results come back. “We are following the federal government’s policy,” Wahab added.

2:30pm — Moscow, Russia — Russia reports 8,855 new coronavirus cases, 197 deaths in last 24 hours

Russia reported 8,855 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, pushing the total number of infections to 458,689.

Officials said 197 people had died in the last 24 hours, bringing the official nationwide death toll to 5,725. 

2:10pm — Karachi, Pakistan — 198 patients in ICU in Sindh: Murtaza Wahab 

1:50pm — Washington, US — US sues Chinese firm over half-million 'fake' N95 masks

The US Justice Department sued a Chinese company for selling nearly a half-million fake and substandard N95 respirator to US buyers in April as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the country.

The company falsely claimed the 495,200 masks it shipped were met the N95 standard and also falsely claimed they were certified by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), according to the complaint.

The Chinese company was charged with four counts of importing misbranded and substandard health products and making false to the US Food and Drug Administration.

The do’s and don’ts of wearing a face mask

1:10pm — New Delhi, India — India overtakes Italy's coronavirus tally as lockdown easing looms

India reported a record 9,887 new coronavirus cases in one day on Saturday and overtook Italy as the world's sixth-biggest outbreak, two days before the relaxing of a lockdown.

With its total number of cases rising to more than 236,000, India now has fewer infections than only the United States, Brazil, Russia, Britain and Spain, according to a Reuters tally.

However, India's toll of deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, is 6,642, small compared with those other countries.

A migrant worker covers her child with a scarf to protect it from the heat, as they wait to get on a bus for a railway station in Ahmedabad, India. Photo: Reuters

Read the full story here.

Latest data on confirmed global COVID-19 cases 

12:30pm — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Brazilian president calls WHO 'political,' threatens exit

President Jair Bolsonaro threatened to pull Brazil out of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday unless it stops being a "partisan political organization."

In comments to journalists broadcast on CNN Brasil, Bolsonaro also said hydroxychloroquine "is back" after "sham" studies regarding its efficacy were retracted.

Bolsonaro has touted the drug as a treatment for the novel coronavirus despite a lack of scientific evidence about its effectiveness.

US COVID-19 death toll rises to 109,042

12:00pm — Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Brazil reports 1,005 additional coronavirus deaths

Brazil reported an additional 1,005 novel coronavirus deaths and 30,830 new cases over the last 24 hours, data released by the health ministry showed on Friday night.

The South American nation has now registered 35,026 total coronavirus deaths and 645,771 confirmed cases.

WHO recommends wider use of face masks to curb COVID-19

California says film and TV production can resume as early as June 12

Film and TV cameras can start rolling in California as soon as June 12, state officials said as they approved new guidelines to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus on sets.

Producers will need approval from local health officials to restart filming, according to a statement from the California Department of Health.

Filming around the world was halted in mid-March to help curb the coronavirus pandemic.

10:50am — Bangkok, Thailand — Thailand reports two new cases, no new deaths

Thailand on Saturday reported two new coronavirus cases and no new deaths, taking its total confirmed cases to 3,104 infections and 58 deaths since the outbreak began in January.

The two cases are men who returned from Russia and Kuwait and are in quarantine, where most of Thailand's recent cases have been detected, said Panprapa Yongtrakul, an assistant spokeswoman for the government's COVID-19 Administration Centre. 

Venezuelan migrants perform in streets of Bogota wearing 'Alice in Wonderland' characters mask

10:00am — Islamabad, Pakistan — Death toll climbs to 1,935

Death toll from novel coronavirus climbed to 1,935 in Pakistan after new deaths were reported in the country.

According to the national dashboard, four more deaths were reported in Islamabad while one each was reported from GB and AJK.

Overall, 97 new deaths were reported in the country over the last 24 hours.

10:00am — Islamabad, Pakistan — Islamabad, AJK, GB report new cases

Confirmed cases in the country jumped to 93,983 after new cases were reported in Islamabad, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

According to the national dashboard, 377 new cases were reported in Islamabad, 45 in GB and 32 new cases in AJK.

As of now, 35,308 cases have been reported in Punjab, 34,889 in Sindh, 12,459 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 5776 Balochistan, 4,323 Islamabad, 897 Gilgit Baltistan and 331 in Azad Kashmir.

9:45am — Berlin, Germany — Confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 407 to 183,678

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 407 to 183,678, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Friday.

The reported death toll rose by 33 to 8,646, the tally showed.

9:30am — Beijing, China — China reports three new COVID-19 cases

China recorded three new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as of the end of Friday, down from five the day before, the national health authority reported.

All of the cases were imported, involving travellers arriving from abroad, the National Health Commission (NHC) said.

The total number of infections in China, where the virus first emerged late last year, stands at 83,030. With no new deaths reported, the death toll remained 4,634.

11:52pm/June 5 — London, UK — Government orders expanded use of face masks in English hospitals

All visitors to hospitals in England will be required to wear face coverings and all hospital staff must wear surgical masks from June 15, health minister Matt Hancock said, Reuters reported.

The announcement comes a day after the government said it would make face coverings mandatory on public transport.

The British government had initially said there was inconclusive evidence on the ability of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

11:45pm/June 5 — Frankfurt, Germany — AstraZeneca blood cancer drug shows signs of helping COVID-19 patients

AstraZeneca’s cancer drug Calquence has shown initial signs of helping hospitalised COVID-19 patients get through the worst of the disease, as researchers scramble to repurpose existing treatments to help fight the deadly infection, Reuters reported.

Results from the preliminary research involving 19 patients, which was backed by the United States National Institutes of Health, encouraged the British drugmaker to explore the drug’s new use in a wider clinical trial announced in April.

Eleven patients had been on oxygen when they started the 10-14 day Calquence course and eight of them could afterwards be discharged, breathing independently, according to results in a paper co-authored by Astra’s head of oncology research, Jose Baselga.

Eight patients were on mechanical ventilation when they were put on Calquence, and four of them could be discharged, though one died of pulmonary embolism.

“These patients were in a very unstable situation, they would have had a dire prognosis ... Within one to three days the majority of these patients got better in terms of ventilation and oxygen needs,” Astra’s Baselga told Reuters.

11:38pm/June 5 — New Delhi, India — Temples, malls to reopen but no sprinkling of holy water

India will throw open shopping malls, restaurants and places of worship that typically attract large crowds next week, officials said, even though coronavirus infections are rising at the fastest daily rate than at any time in the past three months.

Strict guidelines will accompany the loosening of restrictions on Monday, however.

Hotel guests will be tested for fever, masks will be compulsory at all times, and restaurants will have to set tables apart to maintain social distancing when they reopen on Monday, according to rules issued by the federal home ministry.

Anurag Katriar, president of the National Restaurant Association of India, said dining needed to be made safe but restrictions such as reducing seating capacity to maintain distance between people would be difficult to sustain.

“Very few restaurants are planning to open up on June 8, Financially, the 50% seating capacity doesn’t work at all.”