Coronavirus updates, November 28: Latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic from Pakistan and around the world

Nationwide confirmed coronavirus cases jump past 392,300; death toll crosses 7,940; global death toll tops 1,441,000

Web Desk

Pakistan's COVID-19 tally rose to 392,356 on Saturday after 3,045 new cases were detected in the past 24 hours across the country.

The province-wise break up of the total number of cases as of 9:00 am, November 28, is as follows:

Total confirmed cases: 392,356

• Sindh: 170,206

• Punjab: 117,898

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 46,604

• Balochistan: 17,046

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 29,427

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 4,619

• AJK: 6,556

Deaths: 7,942

• Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: 1,355

• Punjab: 2,960

• Sindh: 2,897

• Balochistan: 165

• Gilgit-Baltistan: 97

• Islamabad Capital Territory: 307

• AJK: 161

More than 61,592,095 infections have been confirmed globally with over 1,441,936 deaths, according to the John Hopkins University tally.

End of live updates for November 28

11:53pm — Rome, Italy — 26,323 new coronavirus cases, 686 deaths reported

Italy reported 686 COVID-19-related deaths on Saturday, against 827 the day before, and 26,323 new infections, down from 28,352 on Friday, the health ministry said.

There were 225,940 swabs carried out in the past day, compared with a previous 222,803.

Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the virus and has seen 54,363 COVID-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second highest toll in Europe after Britain. It has also registered 1.564 million cases.

11:29pm — Athens, Greece — Coronavirus deaths hit new daily record 

Greece reported 121 coronavirus-related deaths, a daily record, with hospitals in the north of the country under pressure as intensive care beds fill up with COVID-19 patients.

Health authorities reported 1,747 COVID-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the total since the first case was detected in February to 103,034. The death toll stands at 2,223.

"This year's Christmas will be very different," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who visited front line workers in northern Greece on Saturday, told a local radio station.

10:30pm — Ankara, Turkey — Daily coronavirus death toll hits record for sixth day in a row

Turkey's daily COVID-19 death toll hit a record high for a sixth consecutive day on Saturday, with 182 fatalities in the last 24 hours, data from the Health Ministry showed.

Turkey also recorded a new high of 30,103 coronavirus infections in the space of 24 hours, including asymptomatic ones. For four months, Turkey only reported symptomatic cases, but since Wednesday it has reported all cases.

The total number of deaths stood at 13,373

9:40pm — London, UK — Britain records 15,871 new coronavirus cases, 479 deaths

Britain recorded 15,871 new coronavirus cases on Saturday and 479 deaths within 28 days of a positive test for the virus, according to official data.

Friday's data had shown 16,022 new coronavirus infections and 521 deaths.

8:20pm — London, UK — Regulator set to approve COVID-19 vaccine next week: FT

Britain is set to approve a COVID-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc next week and deliveries would begin within hours of the authorisation, the Financial Times reported.

7:43pm — Moscow, Russia — Capital opens its biggest outdoor ice rink for winter amid pandemic

Across town one ice rink has been converted into a COVID-19 hospital, but some Moscow residents took to the ice late on Friday as the city's biggest outdoor rink opened for winter during the pandemic.

The rink in the Soviet-era VDNKh amusement park in northern Moscow opened its doors despite a surge in coronavirus cases since September with the city of over 12.5 million people regularly reporting the most infections of any Russian region.

On Saturday, officials confirmed 27,100 new cases overnight, including 7,320 in Moscow. They said 510 people had died in the last 24 hours nationwide.

People out skating said they felt it was safe as they had worn masks and gloves in the indoor part of the rink. Their temperatures were measured upon arrival. Most people were not wearing masks on the rink itself.

7:00pm — Kyiv, Ukraine — Total coronavirus cases exceed 700,000

The total number of novel coronavirus cases in Ukraine climbed to 709,701 as it registered a record daily tally of 16,294 new infections in the past 24 hours, health minister Maksym Stepanov said on Saturday.

He said 184 patients had died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of deaths to 12,093.

5:57pm — Moscow, Russia — 27,100 new coronavirus cases, 510 deaths reported

Russia reported 27,100 new coronavirus cases, including 7,320 in Moscow, taking the national total to 2,242,633 since the pandemic began.

Authorities also confirmed 510 deaths related to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, pushing the official national death toll to 39,068.

FACTBOX: Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 61.56 million, death toll at 1,442,309

More than 61.56 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,442,309​ 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.

4:59pm — Tehran, Iran — Health ministry reports slowing of virus infections

Iran's Health Ministry reported a slowdown in coronavirus infections, saying that 89 of 160 cities were out of the designated high risk category.

"I thank our dear people for taking the appropriate precautions and tolerating the restrictions," deputy health minister Alireza Raisi said on state TV, adding that public adherence was 90 percent.

Still, the government on Saturday announced the closure of most non-essential government offices in an effort to stem the spread of the virus.

A health ministry spokeswoman reported 13,402 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, pushing the national tally to 935,799 in the Middle East’s worst-hit country.

4:30pm — London, UK — Testing error wrongly tells 1,300 people they have coronavirus

Over 1,300 people in Britain were inaccurately informed they were infected with coronavirus after a laboratory error at the government's NHS Test and Trace system, the Department of Health and Social Care told Reuters on Saturday.

"NHS Test and Trace has contacted 1,311 individuals who were incorrectly told that the result of COVID-19 tests, taken between Nov. 19 and Nov. 23, were positive. An issue with a batch of testing chemicals meant their test results were void," a department spokesman said in an emailed statement.

"Swift action was taken to notify those affected and they have been asked to take another test, and to continue to self-isolate if they have symptoms."

The laboratory error that led to the problem was an "isolated incident" and was being investigated, the statement said.

4:00pm — Brasilia, Brazil — Brazil sees record unemployment rate of 14.6 pct in Q3

Brazil reported a record high unemployment rate of 14.6% in the July-September period triggered by the impact from the COVID-19 epidemic, official figures showed Friday.

Some 14.1 million workers were looking for jobs in the country, which has a population of over 200 million. Another 5.9 million have abandoned their attempts to find jobs, according to the state-run Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics.

This latest figure is the highest since the Brazilian government introduced a system of reporting unemployment numbers for rolling three-month periods in 2012.

For the June-August period, Brazil reported its unemployment rate at 14.4%.

The latest figures showed that the number of people in work reduced to 82.5 million in the third quarter, down 1.1%, the lowest in history.

Figures on Thursday showed that nearly 395,000 jobs were created in October, marking the number of people in work surpassing those that were laid off for the fourth month in a row.

The country reported 34,130 new COVID-19 cases, including 514 more deaths on Friday, raising the national count to 6,238,350, and death toll to 171,974 respectively.

Brazil has the world's second-highest COVID-19 death toll after the United States, and the third largest caseload after the United States and India.

3:30pm — Islamabad, Pakistan — Islamabad reports two new deaths due to COVID-19

3:00pm — Paris, France — Europe virus death toll crosses 400,000 as shops reopen in France

Coronavirus deaths topped 400,000 on Saturday in Europe, the world’s second worst-hit region, as parts of the continent began to reopen shops for the holiday season.

The densely populated Los Angeles county meanwhile announced a ban on gatherings of people from different households under a new “safer-at-home order” to battle the pandemic surging across the United States.

Most nations hope to ease their virus rules for Christmas and New Year, allowing a respite before bracing for what the world hopes is one last wave of restrictions until a clutch of promising new vaccines kick in.

Europe on Saturday crossed a grim barrier, registering 400,649 deaths according to an AFP tally at 0800 GMT.

Britain accounted for almost two-thirds of the fatalities at 57,551, followed by Italy with 53,677, France at 51,914 and Spain with 44,668.

Stores were due to lift their shutters in France on Saturday, while Poland’s shopping centers will also reopen.

Belgium will allow shops to reopen from December 1, but keep the current semi-lockdown in place possibly until mid-January. The move mirrors similar easing in Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Ireland has also announced a staggered easing of restrictions to allow some businesses to reopen and for families to gather ahead of Christmas.

2:00pm — London, UK — England's hospitals could be overwhelmed without new tier system: minister

Hospitals in England risk being overwhelmed if lawmakers do not support the government's new plan for restrictions, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said on Saturday.

More than 20 million people across large swathes of England will be forced to live under the toughest category of COVID-19 restrictions when a national lockdown ends on December 2. Lawmakers are due to vote on the restrictions the day before.

But a growing number of lawmakers in Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative party have voiced opposition to the tiered restrictions plan.

Some argue that the areas they represent have low infection rates but the toughest rules, while others say the new measures will cause unnecessary economic harm to local businesses.

Defending the government's plans in an article in The Times newspaper, Gove said "difficult decisions" were necessary to confront the crisis.

The virus "is no respecter of constituency boundaries and the hardships we are facing now are unfortunately necessary to protect every single one of us, no matter where we live," he wrote.

The level of infection across the country remained "uncomfortably and threateningly high," Gove said, noting that the number of hospital beds filled with infected patients was not far from its peak earlier in the year.

He said that from the current high base, the National Health Service would be under severe threat if infections started to rise again, and tougher measures were needed to manage the virus when the current lockdown ends.

"These new tiers, alongside the wider deployment of mass testing, have the capacity to prevent our NHS being overwhelmed until vaccines arrive," Gove said.

1:30pm — Berlin, Germany — Minister says partial lockdown could last until Spring 2021

Germany's partial lockdown measures could be extended until early Spring if infections are not brought under control, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in a newspaper interview published on Saturday.

Altmaier told Die Welt it was not possible to give the all-clear while there were incidences of more than 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants in large parts of Germany.

"We have three to four long winter months ahead of us," he was quoted as saying. "It is possible that the restrictions will remain in place in the first months of 2021."

Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with leaders of Germany's 16 federal states on Wednesday to extend and tighten measures against the coronavirus until at least Dec. 20.

Germany imposed a "lockdown light" in early November, which closed bars and restaurants but allowed schools and shops to stay open. The measures have stopped the exponential growth of cases but infections have stabilised at a high level.

There were 21,695 new confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday, bringing total cases since the pandemic began to 1,028,089. 

1:00pm — Moscow, Russia — Russia reports 27,100 new coronavirus cases, 510 deaths

Russia reported 27,100 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, including 7,320 in Moscow, taking the national total to 2,242,633 since the pandemic began.

Authorities also confirmed 510 deaths related to COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, pushing the official national death toll to 39,068. 

12:30pm — Lahore, Pakistan — Buzdar says country will control second wave with help of people 

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar vowed on Saturday that the country will be able to control the second wave of the coronavirus with the help of the people.

Buzdar, in a statement, lashed out at the opposition for endangering the lives of the people by holding the public rally in Multan. He said that their attitude was “disappointing”.

12:00pm — Karachi, Pakistan — Murtaza Wahab asks people to wear masks and sweaters

Sindh Government spokesman Murtaza Wahab on Saturday urged people to wear masks and sweaters during the winter season. 

Wahab urged people to protect themselves while sharing a picture of himself in a mask and a sweater.

11:45am — Kyiv, Ukraine — Ukraine's total coronavirus cases exceed 700,000: health minister

The total number of novel coronavirus cases in Ukraine climbed to 709,701 as it registered a record daily tally of 16,294 new infections in the past 24 hours, health minister Maksym Stepanov said on Saturday.

He said 184 patients had died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of deaths to 12,093.

11:30pm — Washington, USA — US COVID-19 cases surpass 13m: Johns Hopkins University

The United States on Friday recorded 200,000 new infections of the coronavirus and almost 1,500 more deaths, making the tally of COVID-19 cases in the country reach over 13 million, and the death toll over 260,000, as the pandemic is raging across the country — already more devastating than previous surges and showing no signs of slowing down.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States reached 13,079,305, including a death toll of 264,823, as of 19:27 Eastern Standard Time on Friday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

The number of new infections and the death toll over the past 24 hours made the United States still the worst hit country in terms of caseload and fatalities in the world.

The United States is now in its third wave of coronavirus infections — with the latest wave by far the biggest. Data from Johns Hopkins University showed the acceleration of COVID-19 in the US, with cases going from 10 million to 11 million in just six days.

The country confirmed its first coronavirus case on Jan. 21 and saw its cumulative case count cross one million on April 28. It took the United States 99 days to jump from one to 1 million. Since then, the pandemic has worsened in the country.

On Thursday, also Thanksgiving, the US marked its 24th day in a row with more than 100,000 new cases. Hospitalizations on the day hit a new high for 17 consecutive days with now over 90,400 COVID-19 patients nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly another 60,000 Americans could lose their lives due to the highly contagious virus in the next three weeks.

11:00am — Islamabad, Pakistan — Pakistan's coronavirus tally rises by over 3,000 for the fourth consecutive day

Pakistan's coronavirus cases have risen by over 3,000 for four out of the last seven days as the second wave of infection spreads across the country.

COVID-19 infections surged by at least 3,045 on Friday, according to stats issued by the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), bringing the total tally to 392,356.

The highest number of infections were reported in Sindh with 1,423 people testing positive for the coronavirus. Punjab is second with 738 new cases while 447 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Islamabad. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's single-day tally was 323, Balochistan's 38, Azad Jammu and Kashmir 55, and Gilgit Baltistan 21.

After two days of remaining at 7.2%, the country's coronavirus positivity rate dropped to 6.3% on November 27.

Read more here.

10:45am — Berlin, Germany — Germany's confirmed coronavirus cases rise by 21,695

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Germany increased by 21,695 to 1,028,089, data from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for infectious diseases showed on Saturday.

The reported death toll rose by 379 to 15,965, the tally showed.

10:30am — Mexico City, Mexico — Mexico's coronavirus death toll rises to 104,873

Mexico's Health Ministry on Friday reported 12,081 additional cases of the novel coronavirus and 631 more deaths in the country, bringing the official number of infections to 1,090,675 and the death toll to 104,873.

Health officials have said the real number of infections is likely to be significantly higher. 

10:15am — Lahore, Pakistan — PDM doing politics despite rising cases: Awan  

Special Assistant to CM Punjab Firdous Ashiq Awan on Saturday deplored that the Pakistan Democratic Movement was doing politics despite the rising number of coronavirus cases.

“On the one hand, the deadly war of Corona, on the other hand, even in these circumstances, the PDM is addicted to politics!” said Awan while tweeting the details of Punjab’s latest numbers of the coronavirus cases.

The special assistant appealed to the leaders to take care of the public and the country.

9:45am — Worldwide coronavirus cases cross 61.21 million, death toll at 1,438,281

More than 61.21 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 1,438,281​ 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.

9:30am — Christchurch, New Zealand — One more member of Pakistan squad tests positive for coronavirus

Another member of the Pakistan cricket squad on Saturday tested positive during routine testing being carried out by the New Zealand health ministry.

The remainder of the results from the squad’s day 3 swab testing — apart from the six who have already returned a positive result — are negative.

This case will be added to the ministry’s total case numbers tomorrow as the result was reported outside the usual reporting timeframe of New Zealand.

The Pakistan cricket team will be next undergoing day six testing as planned.

The exemption to train while in managed isolation is on hold pending consideration by the Canterbury DHB medical officer of health that they are satisfied that training is unlikely to transmit COVID-19.

This ongoing consideration is expected to take until at least early next week.

Read more here.

9:00am — Beijing, China — Chinese mainland reports six new COVID-19 cases, all imported

The Chinese mainland on Friday reported no new domestically transmitted COVID-19 cases, with six newly confirmed cases all imported, the National Health Commission said Saturday.

Two new imported cases were reported in east China's Fujian Province, and one each in north China's Tianjin Municipality, east China's Zhejiang Province and southwest China's Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, the commission said in its daily report.

No new suspected cases or new deaths related to COVID-19 were reported on the day.

Twenty-four COVID-19 patients on the Chinese mainland were discharged from hospital following recovery on Friday. A total of 893 close contacts of confirmed COVID-19 cases were released from medical observation on the day, and the number of severe cases remained unchanged from the previous day.

By the end of Friday, a total of 3,832 imported cases had been reported on the mainland. Among them, 3,573 had been discharged from hospital following recovery, and 259 remained hospitalized, including four in severe conditions. No deaths had been reported among imported cases.

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the mainland reached 86,501 by Friday, including 285 patients still receiving treatment, eight of whom were in severe conditions.

A total of 81,582 patients had been discharged following recovery on the mainland, and 4,634 had died as a result of the virus, according to the commission.

There were four new suspected COVID-19 cases on the mainland on Friday, and 9,649 of the 878,626 traced close contacts remained under medical observation.