Pakistan’s tally of COVID-19 cases rose to 1022 on Wednesday after new cases were reported across the country and total of eight deaths have been reported.
413 cases have been diagnosed in Sindh, 310 in Punjab, 117 in Balochistan, 80 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 80 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 20 in Islamabad; and one in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. On other hand 21 patients have been recovered from coronavirus.
Chief of Army Staff statement about current situation
In a Covid-19 update, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said that the Pakistan Army is cognisant of the challenges facing the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
“We are working closely with GB govt and civil administration to provide all possible support while additional resources are being arranged on war footing in conjunction with federal government,” the army chief was quoted as saying in a tweet shared by Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
“We will never leave the people of GB alone in these challenging times. Pakistanis will fight against Covid-19 as one.”
Read more: Turkey is taking care of Pakistani citizens like their own people: Mevlut Cavusoglu
Turkish Foreign Minister said this in his telephonic conversation with Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Both the leaders discussed international challenges and the ways to control over corovirus outbreak.
Rumor rejected by Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony
Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sahibzada Noor-ul-Haq Qadri rebuffed the rumours circulating on social media regarding ban on Hajj this year amid coronavirus outbreak.
“The Hajj preparations are going on as usual and we are in continuous contact with the Saudi Hajj and Umrah ministry,” he said.
Position of Sindh
Sindh remains the worst affected province by the coronavirus in the country so far, with a total of 413 coronavirus cases. In Karachi alone, the numbers of cases of the virus are 144, with the majority said to be cases of “local transmission”.
CM Punjab Usman Buzdar instructions
Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar has directed immediate up-gradation of testing laboratories in all divisional headquarters of the province, amid coronavirus fears.
ہمارے پاس صرف دو BSL-3 (بائیو سیفٹی لیول 3) لیبز تھیں جسےہم نےبڑھا کر 4 کر دیاہے اگلےچند روز میں بہاولپور، ڈیرہ غازی خان، فیصل آباد، لاہور، گوجرانوالہ اور راولپنڈی کی مزید 8لیبز کو ہم BSL-3 پر اپ گریڈ کردیں گےجس سےہماری روزانہ #COVID19 ٹیسٹ کرنےکی استعداد کئی گنا بڑھ جائےگی
— Usman Buzdar (@UsmanAKBuzdar) March 24, 2020
Lockdown in Pakistan
The interior ministry on Monday issued a notification according to which Pakistan Army troops were deployed throughout the country to help tackle the spread of the coronavirus.
“The Competent Authority, in exercise of the powers conferred under Article 245 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Section I31-A of CrPC is pleased to authorize deployment of sufficient strength of troops of Pakistan Army in Punjab province depending upon the requirement to be worked out by the provincial Government in liaison with the Army authorities in connection with the prevailing situation related to the spread of COVID-19 and matters ancillary thereto, subject to laws enforced in Pakistan,” read the notification for Punjab.
Economical condition of country
The State Bank of Pakistan on Tuesday announced yet another cut in the interest rate, this time slashing it by 1.5% to 11%, saying there was “considerable uncertainty” over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Read more: SBP slashes interest rate to 11% over ‘considerable uncertainty’ amid coronavirus pandemic
In a press release, it said the move — almost a week after the policy rate was cut by 75 basis points to 12.5% — was aimed “to facilitate businesses and exporters who seek loans frequently from commercial banks to run their businesses”.
Coronavirus effect on Olympic
The Tokyo Olympics are to be postponed until 2021 after talks between Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and the International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach.
“We agreed that a postponement would be the best way to ensure that the athletes are in peak condition when they compete and to guarantee the safety of the spectators,” Abe told reporters shortly after his conversation with Bach, adding that the Games would be held by the summer of 2021.
Australia boosts lockdown measures,cases jump
Australian officials warned that an accelerating number of coronavirus infections could start overwhelming the country’s intensive care units, as stricter social distancing measures came into force on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced new curbs late on Tuesday that will close more non-essential businesses, pushing the country closer to the stricter lockdown measures imposed in parts of Europe.
Read more: Coronavirus: Australia boosts lockdown measures,cases jump
UN Chief statement about coronavirus
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged warring parties across the world to lay down their weapons in support of the bigger battle against COVID-19, the common enemy that is now threatening all of humankind.
“The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war,” he said in a brief speech at UN headquarters in New York, mentioning no country by name. “That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.”
China removes restriction on Wuhan
China’s Hubei province administration has announced it will allow transportation to resume for the city of Wuhan on April 8, effectively lifting a mass quarantine over the city, a foreign news agency reported.
Read more: Coronavirus: China to remove restrictions on Wuhan from April 08
Coronavirus effect the international celebrities
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will quarantine herself at home after being treated by a doctor who has since tested positive for the novel coronavirus, AFP quoted a government spokesman as saying.
“[Merkel] has decided to quarantine herself immediately at home. She will be tested regularly in the coming days (and) fulfil her official business from home,” Steffen Seibert said in a statement.
It could take some time to determine whether the chancellor is herself infected as “a test would not yet be fully conclusive,” Seibert said.
On other hand, Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein, who is serving a prison sentence for sexual assault and rape, has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the head of the state corrections officers union.
Weinstein, 68, has been placed in isolation at Wende Correctional Facility, said Michael Powers, president of the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association.
Powers said he learned that the test came back positive on Sunday morning and is concerned about the corrections officers, who he said lack proper protective equipment. Several staff have been quarantined, Powers said.