As more coronavirus cases are testing positive, that have more than doubled in just past 24 hours, the federal and provincial governments are fast becoming the target of mass criticism for the measures that were in place, despite an early warning and examples from other countries we had in advance.
Governments (both provincial and central) argue that these cases are mostly foreign returners and toll has risen rapidly only because results of clinical tests are now becoming available.
Not to mention, majority — more than two third of — cases are those who returned from Iran, while there are also cases that were Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Syria returners.
Despite all these new cases, no major lock-down is announced, for any of the cities in the country. However, with rising cases, a mass-scale lock-down seems imminent.
Here are the latest updates on Coronavius for the day:
UAE Suspends Prayer in Mosques and All Houses of Worship
UAE’s state news agency WAM reported that the country has suspended prayer in mosques and all other houses of worship across all emirates for four weeks starting March 16.
The move comes as a part of the country’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. The country has reported 98 coronavirus positives to date with 23 recoveries.
China Extends COVID-19 Assistance to Pakistan
Quoting the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, China Global Television Network (CGTN) has revealed that the country has sent Pakistan emergency kits for COVID-19 prevention.
These include 12,000 test kits, 300,000 masks, 10,000 protective suits, and also an aid of USD 4 million to build hospitals.
Outbreak in Numbers
- Total Coronavirus cases: 182,197
- Deaths: 7,139
- Recovered: 38,340
- Top Countries with coronavirus cases: (Cases / Deaths)
- China: 80,880 / 3,213
- Italy: 27,980 / 2,158
- Iran: 14,991 / 853
- Spain: 9.942 / 342
- South Korea: 8,236 / 75
- Germany: 7,241 / 15
- France: 6,633 / 148
- USA: 4,552 / 85
- Switzerland: 2,353 / 19
- UK: 1,543 / 55
Europe, US Prepare for Large Scale Lock-Down
Europe, the epicenter of conronavirus epidemic is set to brace for a continent wide lock-down, with five states announcing the closure of borders.
French President Emmanuel Macron ordered a nationwide lockdown, starting on Tuesday at midday and lasting for at least two weeks. Anyone breaking the quarantine could be punished, the France has said.
The European Union, as a whole, will close its borders for 30 days from tomorrow to external visitors from non-EU countries.
Similarly, Germany has announced more stringent measures that will close most shops, venues, and closed borders with several neighbouring countries.
Switzerland declared a national emergency, closing public venues and borders.
In US, President Trump has for the first time agreed that coronavirus situation in the country is bad, and not in control.
He said that people should avoid meeting in groups of more than 10, but that a nationwide quarantine is not yet planned
Trump said that outbreak will last “until July or August, or perhaps longer”, that plunged the stocks with double digit decline.
New York Mayor has said that state is considering everything, including curfew.
“Our message is: test, test, test”, WHO Chief
World Health Organisation head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that there has not been enough testing of COVID-19, isolation and contact tracing, which should be the “backbone” of the global response.
He said it is not possible to “fight a fire blindfolded”, and social distancing measures and hand-washing will not alone extinguish the epidemic.
To read our coverage of coronavirus from March 16th, click here.