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

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

Nationwide confirmed COVID-19 cases jump past 301,000, death toll crosses 6,300; global death toll tops 910,000

  • Monday Sep 28 2020 | 06:48 PM

    Bangladesh calls off Sri Lanka series over virus restrictions

    By: AFP

    DHAKA: Bangladesh on Monday called off the forthcoming Test series in Sri Lanka because of coronavirus restrictions imposed by the hosts they say make preparing impossible.

    The Bangladesh Cricket Board took the decision after Sri Lanka refused to ease stringent quarantine measures — which included players being confined to their rooms for 14 days, with no training allowed, after arriving in the island nation.

    "It is impossible to play international matches under their tough coronavirus isolation policy. We will tour Sri Lanka at a later date when there will be no restrictions," BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus told AFP.

    "We respect their coronavirus policy but, honestly speaking, international matches cannot be held in these circumstances."

    The three Tests in October-November were meant to mark the return to international cricket by both nations after a months-long lockdown.

  • Monday Sep 28 2020 | 06:30 PM

    Dutch coronavirus second wave continues, cases near record on Monday

    By: Reuters

    AMSTERDAM: The number of new coronavirus infections in the Netherlands remained at near-record levels on Monday as the country’s second wave continued, with 2,914 new cases registered in the previous 24 hours, data released by health authorities showed.

    That was just shy of the record 2,995 cases reported on Sunday, according to data published by the National Institute for Health (RIVM).

    Local and municipal health authorities are gathering on Monday afternoon to consider new regional measures including making masks mandatory and closing bars early. Prime Minister Mark Rutte is due to address the nation on Monday evening.

  • Monday Sep 28 2020 | 05:40 PM

    Sindh reports 378 new cases, three new deaths

    By: Web Desk

    Sindh on Monday reported 378 cases and three more deaths due to the coronavirus taking the countrywide tally of positive cases past 311,000.

    Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah shared on Monday that 12,097 samples collected in the last 24 hours and the which resulted in 378 positive cases taking the provincial tally to 136,395.

    "Three more patients of COVID-19 died overnight lifting the death toll to 2,495," said the CM in a statement. He added that 139 more patients recovered overnight and the number of the patients recovered in the province has reached to 129,892.

  • Monday Sep 28 2020 | 05:25 PM

    KP Health Minister Taimur Jhagra tests positive for COVID-19

    By: Web Desk

    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Finance Minister Taimur Jhagra announced on Monday that he will be working from home after he was tested positive for the coronavirus.  

    The KP minister said that he feels "fine and healthy" but has a "slight cough".

    "I will continue to work from home, health permitting, Insha'Allah, and hope to be back as soon as possible. If you have come in contact with me please test yourself," said Jhagra

  • Monday Sep 28 2020 | 05:05 PM

    Wahab says coronavirus numbers are 'rising fast', urges people to practice caution

    By: Web Desk

    Sindh Government Spokesperson Murtaza Wahab on Monday said coronavirus numbers are "rising fast" and urged people to exercise care and caution.

    Wahab urged people to practice caution as he shared the data of the new cases that were reported from Sindh. 

    "As on 28.09.2020 at 8 AM (last 24 hours), a total of 12,097 COVID-19 test samples were taken in #Sindh. Out of the samples taken, 378 people have tested positive which makes the positivity ratio 3.1%," said Wahab

  • Monday Sep 28 2020 | 04:30 PM

    Russia supplies COVID-19 vaccine to Belarus for clinical trials

    By: Reuters

    MOSCOW: Russia has sent a first batch of its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine to Belarus for clinical trials, the first such delivery of the jab abroad, Russian sovereign wealth fund RDIF said on Monday.

    Volunteers in Belarus would begin receiving the Russian vaccine from Oct. 1, the Russian Direct Investment Fund which is backing the vaccine developer, said.

  • Monday Sep 28 2020 | 04:18 PM

    Germany to issue 6 billion euros more debt than planned in fourth quarter due to coronavirus

    By: Reuters

    BERLIN: Germany plans to issue 6 billion euros ($7 billion) more debt in the fourth quarter than it originally planned, the German finance agency said on Monday, to fund spending to tackle the coronavirus pandemic that has battered the economy.

    Europe’s largest economy will issue a total of 50.5 billion euros in debt in the October-December period excluding inflation-linked debt, the agency said.

    That includes beefing up its issuance of money market instruments to 21.5 billion euros from its original plans to auction off 15.5 billion euros of the short-term debt.

    The debt agency said it would issue two inflation-linked bonds in the fourth quarter, without giving details on their issuance volume, but it said the total funds generated from such debt in 2020 would reach around 6 billion euros.

    The agency also said it would issue its second green bond in November with a five-year maturity and an issuance volume of 5 billion euros as part of its efforts to establish a yield curve for the booming sustainable finance market, confirming what sources had previously told Reuters.

    Germany has seen good demand for its first-ever green bond, issued earlier in September, which was seen as a landmark moment for Europe’s climate-focused finance drive.

  • Monday Sep 28 2020 | 03:38 PM

    Merkel 'deeply concerned' by rapid jump in coronavirus infections

    By: AFP

    BERLIN: Chancellor Angela Merkel is deeply worried about sharply rising new coronavirus infections in Germany, her spokesman said Monday, urging citizens to keep to strict hygiene measures including masks if social distancing cannot be maintained.

    "The development of infection numbers is of great concern to us," Steffen Seibert said. "We can see from some of our European friends where that could lead."

    In a meeting with her CDU party's top brass, Merkel warned that new infection numbers — currently at around 2,000 a day — could leap to 19,200 daily by Christmas if the trend "continues in this way," party sources told AFP.

    The chancellor's warning came a day before she is due to hold a video conference with the premiers of Germany's 16 states on the next measures to take to keep infections down.

    Germany began to ease stringent measures including shop closures or limits to the numbers of people meeting from late April, after weeks of lockdown brought new infections down from the peak of around 6,000 daily.

    But with travel picking up again, particularly during summer holidays, and larger gatherings taking place, contagion has returned swiftly.

    During the CDU meeting, Merkel also reportedly cited where priority would lie in terms of which sectors to keep open while fighting the pandemic.

    "We must set priorities — keeping the economy running, schools and kindergartens open. Football is secondary," she said, according to Germany's top-selling Bild daily.

  • Monday Sep 28 2020 | 02:02 PM

    Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan report high COVID-19 positivity levels

    By: Web Desk

    Over the last week, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan have reported the highest COVID-19 positivity rates in the country.

    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) reports, the test positive percentage in Gilgit Baltistan reached as high as 16.1% on September 24, but dropped to 5.3% on September 26. Similarly, Balochistan registered a spike of 11.9% in a single day on September 23, which fell to 7.8% on September 26.

    A positivity rate is the percentage of coronavirus tests performed that return back positive. In May, the WHO recommended that the percent positive should remain below 5% for at least two weeks before governments can consider reopening.

    Read more here.

  • Monday Sep 28 2020 | 01:40 PM

    Australia COVID-19 hot spot says cases fall to single digits

    By: Reuters

    SYDNEY: Australia’s coronavirus hotspot of Victoria said on Monday its daily rise in new coronavirus infections fell to single digits for the first time in more than three months, as the state began winding back some restrictions.

    Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, placed nearly 5 million residents of its capital Melbourne into a hard lockdown in early August but lifted a night curfew on Sunday thanks to a steady fall in new daily case numbers.

    The southeastern state reported just five new cases and three deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, after daily cases topped 700 in early August.

    The two-week average of new infections in Melbourne fell below 21. Authorities have flagged that more curbs could be relaxed once average cases hit certain targets.

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday said the state should do more “in the weeks ahead to safely ease more restrictions,” after state authorities promised an accelerated time table for returning to normal.

    The southeastern state said 127,000 workers will be allowed to go back to work on Monday, giving a boost to the economy, a rise of 30,000 from its previous plan.

    Australia has so far reported just over 27,000 cases and 875 deaths, with Victoria accounting for about 75% of infections and nearly 90% of all deaths.