Tough call to ease or extend curbs

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-Massive spike in new cases as overall tally hits 71,000
-88 more fatalities set new single day record
-Recoveries surpass 25,000 mark
-NCOC set to decide further fate of lockdown measures

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai

ISLAMABAD: As many as 885 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have been confirmed in Sindh over the past 24 hours, rising the tally of infections to 28,245 across the province.
In a statement on the coronavirus situation, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said 885 new infections were detected when 4,100 tests were conducted. Sixteen more people died from the disease in the previous 24 hours, taking the number of fatalities 481 in the province, he added.
A total of 180,803 tests have been conducted in the province, the CM disclosed. He said 334 patients are in critical condition, of them 62 are on ventilators. 553 more people recuperated from the disease and discharged to their respective homes as the number of people defeating the deadly virus has surged to 13,810. Murad Ali Shah said a total of 13,954 coronavirus positive patients are under treatment, of whom, 12,773 are in home isolation, 108 at isolation centres and 1,073 at various hospitals.
Providing a district-wise breakdown of cases, he said Karachi recorded 617 out of the 885 new infections, adding district East saw 184 new cases, Malir 46, district South 146, district Central 127, Korangi 72, and West 42. He said Sukkur recorded 37 new cases, Khairpur 34, Ghotki 27, Hyderabad 25, Larkana 24, Jacobabad 24, Shikarpur 16, Jamshoro 8, Sanghar 8, and Mirpurkhas 5. Punjab reported 36 more deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of fatalities to 475, according to the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department.
A spokesperson for the department said 952 new coronavirus cases have emerged in Punjab, taking the total number of infections across the province to 25,056. Of the new infections, 534 were detected in Lahore. The number of people recovering from the disease has risen to 6,9071while a total of 233,685 tests have been conducted in the province (Punjab) so far, the department said.
Earlier in the day, the Punjab govt announced to slap fines over breach of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) during coronavirus pandemic.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has reported 487 more cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the provincial tally to 10,027.
Moreover, 20 more deaths were reported in the province, raising the death toll to 473. Punjab has reported 952 new cases of the novel coronavirus, taking the provincial tally to 25,056.
Moreover, the province also saw a record jump in the number of fatalities due to the virus, with 36 more deaths reported in the last 24 hours, according to the provincial primary and secondary healthcare department. The latest figure raises the death toll in the province to 475. Sindh has reported 885 new coronavirus cases, taking the provincial total to 28,245.
Moreover, 16 more deaths have also been reported in the last 24 hours, taking the fatalities in the province to 481. The number of people who have recovered from the coronavirus in Pakistan has topped 25,000 after 1,140 additional recoveries were reported in the last 24 hours.
According to the government’s Covid-19 portal, the total number of people who have recovered from the virus has risen to 25,271.
Islamabad has reported 226 new cases of the coronavirus, taking its total to 2,418, according to the government’s Covid-19 portal.
Gilgit Baltistan has reported 18 new cases and Azad Jammu and Kashmir has reported 17, taking their tallies to 678 and 251, respectively.
The capital has also reported four more deaths from the virus and GB has reported two fatalities. The country’s death toll from the virus has risen to 1,447. Pakistan confirmed 88 more deaths from novel coronavirus during last 24 hours as the nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 1,483, media reported on Sunday.
According to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 3,039 new coronavirus cases surfaced during the past twenty-four hours, taking the nationwide tally to 69,496. Sindh remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic followed by Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
According to the latest figures, 27,360 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 25,056 in Punjab, 9,540 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4,193 in Balochistan, 2,192 in Islamabad, 660 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 234 in Azad Kashmir.
Furthermore, 453 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in KP, 475 in Punjab, 465 in Sindh, 46 in Balochistan, 23 in Islamabad and 9 in GB.
25,271 people have been recovered from the virus so far while 42,739 are still under treatment. Pakistan has so far conducted 547,009 coronavirus tests and 14,972 in past 24 hours.
The number of coronavirus cases worldwide topped six million Sunday, with Brazil registering another record surge in daily infections as divisions deepened on how to deal with the pandemic.
Latin American countries are bracing for difficult weeks ahead as the disease spreads rapidly across the region, even as much of the world exits lockdowns that have wrecked economies and stripped millions of their jobs.
In Brazil — the epicentre of South America’s outbreak with nearly 500,000 confirmed cases, lagging only behind the United States — disagreement among leaders over lockdown measures has hampered efforts to slow the virus as the number of fatalities in the country nears 30,000. As the global death toll from the pandemic surpassed 368,000, US President Donald Trump’s decision to permanently cut funding to the World Health Organization has been broadly criticised.
The number of confirmed cases worldwide is more than six million, according to a media tally. The National Coordination Committee (NCC) will meet in Islamabad tomorrow to decide whether to ease or extend the lockdown restrictions imposed in the country.
The meeting will be attended by all four chief ministers, federal ministers, chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and the provincial health ministers. The NCC, in its last meeting on May 7, had decided to extend the lockdown till May 31. However, markets and shopping malls were opened for the public, with SOPs, on the directives of the Supreme Court.
A meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday under Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar mulled over the country’s new “Living with the Pandemic” strategy to cope with coronavirus. “The NCOC recommended that the educational institutions be closed till August as the summer season and pandemic would be at peak in July,” a statement from the government read. The meeting sought provinces’ feedback on “negative list” aiming to finalise the recommendations of opening some more sectors of the economy halted due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“The forum insisted that the marriage halls should only be allowed with [a] limited number of guests, one dish and strict compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs),” read the statement.
Moreover, Umar directed the concerned authorities to calculate the economic impacts of the virus in the first quarter of the current calendar year.
The meeting was also apprised about the critical care resources that needed to be increased owing to the surging risk of the pandemic. National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday sought to engage market associations for the implementation of COVID -19 guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in letter and spirit. Chairing a meeting at National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umer said that the shopkeepers should strictly implement “no mask, no service,” policy.