LIVE: Hajj to be held in limited numbers this year as Pakistan's COVID-19 tally jumps to 185,034
LIVE: Hajj to be held in limited numbers this year as Pakistan's COVID-19 tally jumps to 185,034

The novel coronavirus emerged in the central China city of Wuhan towards the end of last year and proliferated to almost the whole world within a couple of months. It’s not the virulence or fatality, but the infectivity of the new virus – also known as SARS-CoV-2 – that has set off a global frenzy and its is limited.

The Covid-19 respiratory illness caused by this mysterious contagion has so far infected more than 9 million people in 202 countries and territories of the world – and over 467,000 of them have died and counting.

Pakistan, despite its close proximity with China, remained coronavirus-free until February 26 when a young man from Karachi tested positive after returning from Iran – one of the worst-hit countries. After a brief hiatus following the first case, Covid-19 cases spiked as more pilgrims returning from Iran tested positive for the virus.

Nearly one-and-a-half months after imposing the lockdown across the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced to ease the lockdown in phases.

The nationwide tally of Covid-19 patients stands at 185,034 with 68,308 cases in Punjab, 71,092 in Sindh, 22,633 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 9,587 in Balochistan, 1,326 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 11,219 in Islamabad and 869 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

The virus has claimed at least 3,695 lives while around 73,471 coronavirus patients have recovered.

The situation remains fluid and we’re updating stats as soon as new figures are officially released.

2:20pm: 10 shops sealed in Lahore for SOPs’ violations

Assistant Commissioner Shalimar, Mehdi Maloof, ordered for 10 shops to be sealed in the Garhi Shahu Market in Lahore.

The commissioner said the shop owners were repeatedly warned about violation of SOPs.

1:30pm: Punjab reports 1,365 new cases

Punjab health authorities reported 1,365 cases, raising the provincial tally to 68,308.

60 more persons succumbed to the virus and the province’s death toll stands at 1,495.

12:55pm: K-P provides women with legal, social and psychological assistance during pandemic

Department of Social Welfare, Special Education and Women Empowerment Khyber-Pakthunkhwa (K-P) has commit to a gender-free province.

Women can contact the Social Welfare department’s helpline at 22227-0800 for legal, social and psychological assistance during the pandemic.

12:20pm: IGP Punjab orders strict action against violation of SOPs

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Punjab Shoaib Dastagir has ordered strict action against violation of SOPs.

In the ongoing operation starting June 6, 109,583 shops have been inspected and 12,387 shops sealed for violating government orders.

A total of 51,410 vehicles have been fined and 178,733 citizens have been stopped for violating SOPs. 9,541 were fined.

12:o5pm: PHC says reports say ventilators are being operated by untrained staff in the province

A representative of the Healthcare Commission and additional attorney general appeared before the Peshawar High Court (PHC) pertaining to the use of ventilators by untrained staff.

The representative said there are 500 ventilators in hospitals across the province and 503 beds have been allocated to coronavirus patients in private hospitals.

Justice Qaiser Rashid said there are reports that the ventilators are being operated by untrained staff, adding that incorrectly operating ventilators can cause more harm to the patients.

11:50am: Federal cabinet to meet today

The federal cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet today to discuss the overall political and economic situation in the country.

11:45am: DC Lahore reports 12 violations of not wearing face masks

The Lahore district administration has issued a report on the violation of not wearing face masks in public places.

District Commissioner (DC) Lahore Danish Afzal reported 12 violations. 190 places were inspected and a fine of Rs2,000 was imposed.

Eight persons received warnings for violating SOPs issued by the government.

11:30am: Alvi says SOPs must be followed on Eidul Azha 

President Dr Arif Alvi said it is important to clearly inform citizens about standard operating procedures (SOPs) to be followed on Eidul Azha.

The president said SOPs issued by the government to mitigate the spread of the virus must be followed in regards to social distancing, face masks, online and institutional sacrifices, livestock mandis, place of sacrifice, bazaar opening and prayers.

10:55am: K-P CM stresses need to devise strategy to effectively implement smart lockdown 

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has stressed the need for devising a comprehensive strategy to effectively implement a smart lockdown in the province.

The chief minister said all decisions made by the provincial government have been to protect the lives of those affected by the virus.

The meeting was apprised that the smart lockdown has been implemented in 240 hotspot areas of the province.

10:15am: Balochistan CM stresses need for testing to begin at district level 

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal has stressed the need for Covid-19 testing to begin at district level in the province.

The chief minister was presiding over a meeting to review developments of Covid-19 and facilities being provided at all divisional and district health units of the province.

He directed concerned officials to prepare basic infrastructure for setting up diagnostic laboratories for testing at all divisional and district headquarters hospitals.

Under the Nutrition Programme, self-isolated patients of Covid-19 will be provided with food packages.

9:40am: ‘Pakistan currently facing many challenges,’ Qureshi tells ambassadors

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, in a meeting with newly designated Pakistan’s ambassadors to various countries, said Pakistan is currently facing many challenges on the internal and external fronts.

The foreign minister said resolving the issues faced by the Pakistani community and protecting their rights is the government’s top priority.

8:55am: 861 cases registered for violating SOPs in Lahore

Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore Zulfiqar Hameed said 861 cases were registered for violating standard operating procedures (SOPs) during the smart lock down in the city.

Police observed 1,486 markets and 34,765 shops and sealed at least 1,860 shops for violating government protocol.

23,770 shopkeepers and citizens were warned for minor violations.

The capital city police officer directed all police personnel to wear face masks and take precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of the virus.

8:20am: Saudi Arabia to hold limited Hajj 

Saudi Arabia has announced not to allow international pilgrims and to hold Hajj with a limited number of pilgrims already residing in the country this year.

In a statement on microblogging website Twitter, the Saudi Ministry of Hajj said the decision has been taken to ensure Hajj is performed in a safe manner amid the pandemic, adding that all preventative measures will be taken to avoid the spread of the virus.

As Covid-19 has spread to over 180 countries, it is important to consider the risks of the disease, the statement mentioned.

8:00am: Nationwide tally stands at 185,034

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) reported 3,946 new coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, raising the nationwide tally to 185,034.

105 more persons succumbed to the virus and the country’s death toll stands at 3,695, while at least 73,471 patients have recovered.