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COVID-19 Updates After Eid-Ul-Azha: Pakistan Reports 432 New Infections, 15 Deaths

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Punjab reports 139 new cases, five deaths

Punjab health authorities reported 139 new infections, taking the provincial tally to 93,336.

The virus claimed five more lives as the province’s death toll hit 2,153.

NCOC discusses possible reopening of restaurants, marriage halls

Federal Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said consultations have started at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) pertaining to possible revision of sectors on the ‘negative list’ of opening up.

In a two-part tweet, the minister said this includes tourism, restaurants, marriage halls and parks. He said the NCOC will review timings of markets and industries. 

Hammad Azhar said proposals have been collected and provinces have been asked to finalise standard operating procedures (SOPs) and enforcement methods.

He said the proposals will be taken to the premier to finalise. 

China reports 36 new cases following 43 cases previous day

China reported 36 new coronavirus cases in the mainland, compared to 43 cases a day earlier, the health commission said.

Six were imported cases compared to seven that were reported a day earlier, according to a statement by the National Health Commission.

China reported 21 new asymptomatic patients, compared to the previous 11. 

Germany dealing with second coronavirus wave

Germany is already contending with a second wave of the coronavirus and risks squandering its early success by flouting social distancing rules, the head of the German doctors’ union said in a newspaper interview.

The number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases has ticked up steadily in recent weeks, with health experts warning lax adherence to hygiene and distancing rules among some of the public is spreading the virus across communities.

Australia imposes heavy fines on citizens breaking Covid-19 isolation orders

Australia’s second-most populous state Victoria has said that anyone breaking Covid-19 isolation orders will face hefty fines, as high as A$20,000 ($14,250), and that more military personnel will be deployed to fight the spread of the virus.

Global Covid-19 tally crosses 18 million

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said more than 18 million people have contracted the novel coronavirus worldwide and nearly 690,000 have lost their lives.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom said at least 11 million have recovered.

The director-general said the United States (US) is in a new phase of the outbreak, with infections ‘extraordinarily widespread’ in rural areas, as well as cities.

PM expresses condolences over loss of lives due to Covid-19 in Afghanistan

Prime Minister Imran Khan telephoned Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and expressed his condolences over the loss of lives in Afghanistan due to the novel coronavirus. 

The premier said this year Eidul Azha came at a time when the international community was facing a number of challenges, including Covid-19. 

Pakistan reports 432 new infections, 15 deaths

Pakistan reported 432 new infections and 15 deaths in the last 24 hours, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said.

The nationwide tally hit 280,461 and the country’s death toll jumped to 5,999.

At least 524 patients have recovered in the 24-hour period, taking the number of recovered patients to 249,397.

Government urged to reopen marriage halls, marquees amid pandemic

Owners of marriage halls, lawns and marquees have requested the government to allow them to resume operations as the industry and allied sectors are suffering losses of millions of rupees every day.

“Previously when a wedding took place, the industry itself and its allied industries earned Rs3,000 to Rs5,000 per person,” said Junaid Naqi, one of the owners of Courtyard Marquee.

“When a person, especially woman, who wants to attend a wedding ceremony, will buy a dress for the event and get services of a salon,” he elaborated.

Moreover, the wedding guests will spend money on travel and hosts of the event will serve food, juices, ice cream, cakes and many more things. “This process creates a chain of economic activities,” he added.

“Considering the whole economic chain of the wedding industry, we can conclude that it means the sector earns revenue of more than Rs9.75 million (3,250 x Rs3,000) or Rs16.25 million (3,250 x Rs5,000) on a daily basis.”

From the above-mentioned estimate, “we can gauge the loss the industry is suffering and the subsequent unemployment as a result,” he said. “Therefore, the government must allow the wedding industry to resume its activities.”

“Marriage halls can easily reopen with proper precautions and standard operating procedures (SOPs).” The government can restrict the number of guests to 250.

ADB places Pakistan among five-worst affected Asian economies

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has placed Pakistan among the five worst-affected Asian economies as the inflow of workers’ remittances may be hit by a massive 27% due to loss of jobs and drop in income of expatriates, mainly in the oil-producing and exporting nations.

The projected inflow, however, is in contrast to the Government of Pakistan’s estimate of a moderate fall in remittances following the reopening of global economy with the ease in lockdowns.

The Manila-based development bank has said that the coronavirus outbreak risks devastating impact on economies around the world, including widespread unemployment and lower incomes. Results show that the Covid-19 impact on remittances ranges from a 5.2% decline from baseline remittances in 2018 for the least-affected economy to almost a 30% decline for the most-affected one.

The ADB placed Pakistan on the fourth number among the likely five worst-affected Asian developing economies after Nepal, Tajikistan and Bangladesh. Remittances to Pakistan could fall by 26.8%, said the bank in its latest report on “Covid-19 Impact on International Migration, Remittances and Recipient Households in Developing Asia.”

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