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Coronavirus: Irani Dy Health Minister and another Lawmaker test+ve

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  • Post last modified:25/02/2020
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TEHRAN: Irani Deputy Health Minister, Iraj Harirchi, and Parliamentarian Mahmoud Sadeghi have been quarantined after testing positive for the coronavirus here today. 

According to details Iraj Harirchi, who had been on the front lines combating the coronavirus, was noticed coughing while addressing a Presser here yesterday. Later it transpired that he was a victim of the deadly virus that had claimed sixteen lives in Iran (that happens to be the highest tally of deaths outside China).

Lawmaker Mahmoud Sadeghi desperately took to the Twitter to hold: “My corona test is positive I don’t have a lot of hope of continuing life in this world.”

Sources insinuated that Qom, the center of traditional pilgrimage, is the region where most of the casualties occurred. Not less than fifteen Irani citizens died there. Irani Health Ministry had confirmed yesterday (Monday 24th of February, 2020) that sixty-one people had been infected in the country. In order to contain the unbridled malady authorities had ordered the nationwide cancellation of concerts and closures of schools, universities, and sports complexes.

Meanwhile, yesterday Kuwait and Bahrain also recorded their first new coronavirus cases, all involving people who had visited Iran.

Relevant pieces published earlier: 

PSX: Coronavirus epidemic lets bear bleed the bourse

KARACHI: The fear of spreading coronavirus, that had forced investors sell the equity off globally, had allowed the bears color the bourse red.

The KSE-100 Index shed 1100 points to close at 39,143.73.  FATF’s decision to keep Pakistan in the Grey List was another reason that kept the bulls away on the first trading day of the week.

The virus and FATF tragedy was supplemented by the decreasing price of oil was that shed 3.5% in global crude prices during trading hours.

Hascol Petroleum, Unity Foods, K-Electric, The Bank of Punjab and Maple Leaf Cement, contributed to the volumes (to the extent of 35%).

Nestle (+37 points), Millat Tractors (+4 points), Dolmen City REIT (+1 point) and EFU General Insurance (+1 point) contributed positively while PPL (-86 points), HBL (-78 points), Hubco (-67 points), UBL (-67 points) and ODGC (-60 points) contributed negatively.

Today stocks of 345 companies changed hands. Out of those stocks of 44 entities augmented, 285 plummeted while 16 remained stagnant. 144 million shares worth Rs. 5.5 billion were traded today.

PSX: 3 successive bearish sessions at the bourse

23rd of January, 2020

KARACHI: For three successive days the Benchmark KSE-100 Index closed in the red due to augmenting political noise in the country.

OGDC directed the performance of the bourse that opened positive as the index rose to intra day 48 points before plummeting.

But  the Karachi Stock Exchange started breathing encore when Privatization Commission clarified that appointment of financial advisers for the divestment of up to 7pc shares in OGDC was in process and that there was  no consideration to offer its shares.

It is pertinent to mention here that investors opted for cement stock hoping recovery in prices as a result Lucky Cement closed at its upper lock. Sectors-wise those who performed positively included cement, fertilizers and banks. Companies that contributed towards plummeting the Index included OGDC, Pakistan Tobacco, Dawood Hercules, PSO, Pakistan Oilfields, Lucky Cement, Fauji Fertilizer, Engro Corporation. 178 m shares worth 60 million US dollars changed hands.

PSX: Bears seen growling all over the bourse!

21st of January, 2020

KARACHI: News about the three-day  (21st till 23rd of January, 2020) FATF meeting in Beijing has created insecurity amongst investors, encouraging bears enter the bourse on the first trading day of the week.

KSE-100 index closed at 42,747.62 shedding 420.14 points. Institutions, opted to take profit on signs of early called Financial Action Task Force (FATF) working group session in Beijing.

Increase in gas prices by Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) kept investors cautious. Its decision to reduce Gas Infrastructure  Development Cess with the aim of cutting down urea price per bag received mixed response from the fertilizer stocks where Engro Corp and Fertilizer closed lower, while Fauji Fertilizer and Bin Qasim showed positive price performance.

The volume at the Pakistan Stock Exchange was  led by Engro Fertilizers, TRG Pakistan, Bank of Punjab, Wordlcall Telecom and Summit Bank, which formed 33pc of the aggregate. Sectors contributing to the negative performance included banks,  fertilizers, cement and investment banks.

Those who dragged the index below included Engro Corporation, decreasing by Engro Fertilizers, United Bank Limited, Habib Bank Limited, Dawood Hercules, Pakistan Petroleum Limited and Lucky Cement Limited.

Coronavirus: PIA suspends flights to Beijing

24th of February, 2020

ISLAMABAD: In order to contain the menace of Coronavirus epidemic, that has claimed 2500 lives in China, National Flag Carrier PIA has decided to suspend fights to Beijing till the 15th of next month.

According to PIA authorities the suspended flights would be resumed once the situation comes under control.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan had earlier suspended its operations for three days starting from 30th of January, 2020.

Italy cancels Venice carnival as coronavirus cases surpass 100

23rd of February 2020

VENICE: While two-day carnival here has been called off, museums and cinemas have been directed to stop catering to aficionados for a week.

Schools and universities in the regions of Lombardy and Veneto, from where most of the cases were reported, will also remain closed. Veneto Governor held: “As of this evening, there will be a ban on the Venice Carnival as well as on all events, including sporting ones, until 1st of March.”

It is pertinent to mention here that authorities have confirmed 90 cases in Lombardy, 25 in Veneto and 2 in Venice.

Coronavirus invades Italy, 12 towns locked-down

22nd of Feb 2020

PADUA (Italy): Yesterday (21st day of February, 2020) a 78-year-old retired bricklayer here had tested positive for Coronavirus.

Following his death Italy became the first European country to report death due to Coronavirus and as a result a dozen towns in Northern Italy is facing lockdown.

Coronavirus: China withdraws from Davis Cup

BEIJING: International Tennis Federation (ITF) informed that China had been forced to withdraw from Davis Cup due to the menace of Coronavirus Epidemic.

According to details Chinese players were scheduled to go to Romania for qualifying matches in the month of March.

ITF took to the Twitter to state: “The Davis Cup Committee has accepted the withdrawal of China, P.R. from their Davis Cup World Group I play-off against Romania on March 6-7…

“The increased restrictions in response to the current Coronavirus outbreak have resulted in the China, P.R. team being unable to travel to this tie…Romania will advance to play in World Group I in September.”

Coronavirus: 74,185 people infected, 2004 dead

19th of February, 2020

WUHAN: Authorities in Qom (Iran) – sans revealing their nationalities – have confirmed that two people  here got infected by the Coronavirus.

Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour stated: “In the past two days, some suspect cases of the new coronavirus were observed in Qom city.”

He further informed that teams were dispatched after receiving the reports, and based on the existing protocols the suspect cases were isolated and tested.

Coronavirus: Pak officials meet affected Pakistani pupils at Wuhan

18th of Feb 2020

WUHAN: Officials from the Pakistani diplomatic post in China met here today the four Pakistani students who had contracted coronavirus last month.

According to details Chinese authorities allowed the Third Secretary Junaid and Education Attaché Suleiman to enter Wuhan on Monday. They visited the university students today.

The duo talked to the local administration in order to ensure that precautionary measures were being taken to protect the students.

Later the FO stated:  “All the students in the universities visited today are safe, healthy and well looked after.”

Coronavirus: 71000 people infected worldwide

17th of February, 2020

BEIJING: According to latest updates, so far the Coronavirus has claimed 1,770 lives while 71000 people got infected.

According to latest data shared by countries affected by Coronavirus 1,770 people died in China;

Hong Kong: 58 cases, 1 death

Macao: 10

Japan: 519 cases, including 454 from a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, 1 death

Singapore: 77

Thailand: 35

South Korea: 30

Malaysia: 22

Taiwan: 20 cases, 1 death

Vietnam: 16

Germany: 16

United States: 15 cases; separately, 1 US citizen died in China

Australia: 14

France: 12 cases, 1 death

United Kingdom: 9

UAE: 9

Canada: 8

Philippines: 3 cases, 1 death

India: 3 cases

Italy: 3

Russia: 2

Spain: 2

Belgium: 1

Nepal: 1

Sri Lanka: 1

Sweden: 1

Cambodia: 1

Finland: 1

Egypt: 1

Coronavirus: #Jenesuispasunvirus

15th of February, 2020

PARIS: #Jenesuispasunvirus or I’m not a virus reflects the increasing frustration of French-Asian citizens, who are facing a new wave of stigma due to Corona virus.

A message posted on Twitter explains the problem: “Horrible! Shame! People in NL use Coronavirus crisis in China 2 express hate against Asian people, among which my Chinese colleagues! I’m shocked by this abject behavior.”

Another Tweet state: “#JeNeSuisPasUnVirus xenophobia & racial profiling more harmful than virus. With #coronavirus outbreak in China, what shall we make of racial slurs against Chinese in societies once proud of diversity?”

Coronavirus: Chinese gymnasts pull out of World Cup

15th of Feb 2020

BEIJING: Due to travel ban imposed on them by Australian authorities the Chinese Gymnasts had to pull out of the World Cup 2020 scheduled to be held next week in Melbourne.

Commenting on the state-of affairs, Gymnastics Australia CEO Kitty Chiller said in a statement. maintained: “It has been a very challenging few weeks for us all, but none more so than for the Chinese gymnasts and officials who have been training and preparing to come to Melbourne…

“I have been in regular contact with the Chinese Gymnastics Association and its president, who informs me all of their delegation are well and have shown no sign of infection. Despite this, we all have to respect the Australian government’s travel restrictions.”

Europe’s first Coronavirus fatality reported in France

15th of Feb 2020

PARIS: Health Minister of France has confirmed the death of a Chinese tourist from virus that has claimed over fifteen hundred lives all over the globe.

According to details 80-year-old Chinese man was visiting Paris with his daughter. His death marks first Coronavirus death outside the Continent of Asia.

It is pertinent to mention here that his 50-year-old daughter also tested positive for the virus and is being treated in hospital, where she is recovering.

Coronavirus: Health workers infected in China

BEIJING: Chinese National Health Commission’s Vice-Director, Zeng Yixina, had informed that over 1700 Chinese Medical Workers had been infected by Coronavirus while six health professionals had died.

It is pertinent to mention here that the total number of cases in China stood today (Saturday 15th of February, 2020) at 66, 492 and deaths from the Coronavirus stood at 1,523.

Director General of WHO Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has stated: “This is a critical piece of information because health workers are the glue that holds the health system and the outbreak response together…We need to know more about these figures, including the time period and circumstances in which the health workers became sick.”

Coronavirus: 3 Indian crew on board Quarantined cruise ship test + ve

14th of February, 2020

TOKYO: Third crew member belonging to India on board quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess off the Japanese coast has tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus.

This was disclosed by the Indian diplomatic post here today. According to the statement issued by Embassy 3 crew members belonging to India were among the 218 people who tested positive for the virus.

Diamond Princess harboring 3,711 people on board arrived at the Japanese coast last week and was quarantined after a passenger who de boarded last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of Coronavirus.

It is pertinent to mention here that 138 Indians including 132 crew and 6 passengers were on board Diamond Princess that arrived at the Japanese coast early last week and was quarantined when a passenger was found to be the carrier of Coronavirus.

No Coronavirus case in Pakistan: Dr. Zafar Mirza

14th of February, 2020

ISLAMABAD: While chairing a huddle called to ponder over Coronavirus, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Dr. Zafar Mirza has claimed that incumbent government had taken steps on war footing to keep the people of Pakistan safe from the malady.

He reiterated that so far no case of Coronavirus has been reported in the country.

Dr. Zafar Mirza further told that people arriving from China were being screened and their data was also being collected.

He informed that in order to create awareness amongst the populace an awareness campaign had also been launched.

Coronavirus death toll rises to 1350

13th of Feb. 2020

WUHAN: Coronavirus has claimed 1,350 lives in China so far.

Cynics are wondering whether the figures being given by Chinese authorities were correct or not: “I think it’s way too early to try to predict the beginning, the middle or the end of this epidemic right now,” WHO head of health emergencies program Michael Ryan held.

Chinese Embassy says 3 Pak pupils diagnosed with Coronavirus cured

12th of February, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Chinese Embassy here took to the Twitter today to inform that 3 Pakistani pupils who were diagnosed with Novel Coronavirus had been cured.


“We are pleased to learn that 3 Pakistani citizens affected by Coronavirus in China have been cured and discharged from hospitals in Guangzhou and Shenzhen of Guangdong Province. All the best to them!

The diplomatic mission did not share further details about the identities of the citizens who, sources maintain, were studying in China.

Meanwhile, Pakistan – learning that an isolation ward of Coronavirus patients was being opened near a university harboring Pakistani students in Wuhan – expressed concern today.

One thousand Pakistani students are trapped in the Coronavirus epicenter.

Coronavirus: Death toll rises to 1000

10th of February, 2020

WUHAN: With 108 coronavirus-infected people dead yesterday (Monday, 10th of February, 2020) – the highest in a single day – the death toll reached 1016. Overall, 42,638 cases of infection had also been confirmed.

Meanwhile, China has removed number officials from their posts due to negligence a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping visited health facilities in Beijing.

There is no Coronavirus case in Pakistan: Dr. Zafar

10th of February, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr. Zafar Mirza stated that so far there has been no case of coronavirus in Pakistan.

Dr. Zafar Mirza was talking to Chinese Envoy Yao Jing here today.

Special Assistant said Pakistani students in China children and we shall take every possible step to protect them.

He expressed the confidence that Chinese government would soon manage to contain the epidemic.

Chinese Ambassador said all possible information regarding the virus would be provided to GoP.

Coronavirus: Global death toll rises to 800

8th of February, 2020

SHANGHAI: The mysterious Novel Coronavirus has so far killed more than 800 and infected 37,100 people worldwide.

Cities including Shanghai have ordered residents to wear masks in public, and many regions far from Hubei are allowing only one person per household to go out every two days to buy supplies.

An American diagnosed with the virus died on Thursday in Wuhan. A Japanese man died in a hospital in the city. A man in the Philippines and another in Hong Kong also died due to virus.

China uses artificial intelligence to contain Coronavirus that claimed 724 lives

8th of February, 2020

WUHAN: As the global death toll rises to 724, epicenter of Coronavirus faces wartime conditions.

According to sources authorities here are knocking doors to check temperatures and forcing the suspected coronavirus victims to stadiums and expo centers turned into quarantines.

Not only the city but whole of China itself is facing a wartime condition where 34,546 people got infected till today (Saturday 8th of February, 2020).

Wuhan has opened another makeshift (Leishenshan) hospital, providing 1,500 beds, 32 wards and a surgical operating room. According to sources the first medical team has arrived there.

Three new virus cases had been confirmed on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, raising the total number to 64.

Malaysian health ministry confirmed a 16th case of coronavirus, a Chinese national from Wuhan.

Closure of manufacturing units in the world’s second-largest economy is impacting the global markets. Meanwhile, major airlines have suspended flights to and from China. Chinese tech firms have developed apps to help people track the data to figure out if they had taken a certain flight or train in which a person with Coronavirus was travelling. Moreover, robots have been deployed to scold people not wearing masks.

Pangolin facilitated the spread of Coronavirus?

BEIJING: Researchers at the South China Agricultural University are of the view that Novel Corona Virus that has claimed 630 lives and infected 31000 others was spread via pangolin.

It is believed that Novel Coronavirus originated in bats but there could have been an immediate host facilitating its transmission to humans. Savants at the helm of affairs are of the view that reporting the similarity between the genome sequences of viruses was not enough to establish that pangolin was the culprit. They insinuate that the results could have been caused from a highly infected milieu.

It is pertinent to mention here that after testing 1,000 samples from wild animals it transpired that genome sequences of viruses found on pangolins to be 99 per cent identical to those suffering from Coronavirus. But researchers want to examine all the generic data to get a feel for how related the human and pangolin viruses are.

Coronavirus: Chinese Dr. who blew the whistle is dead too

7th of February, 2020

WUHAN: Dr. Li Wenliang, 34-year-old ophthalmologist, who blew the whistle well-in-advance apropos coronavirus outbreak and was treating patients here himself fell victim to the malady.

According to the Wuhan Central Hospital he got infected during the fight against pneumonia epidemic of the new coronavirus infection.

It is pertinent to mention here that late December (2020) Li got into trouble by warning about the virus and was reprimanded by local police for spreading rumors about the illness.

Time has proved that Dr. Li was right about the gravity of the situation. The outbreak, centered in Wuhan, has now claimed 560 lives and infected over 28,200 people globally.

Coronavirus: Chinese Dr. who blew the whistle is dead too

WUHAN: Dr. Li Wenliang, 34-year-old ophthalmologist, who blew the whistle well-in-advance apropos coronavirus outbreak and was treating patients here himself fell victim to the malady.

According to the Wuhan Central Hospital he got infected during the fight against pneumonia epidemic of the new coronavirus infection.

It is pertinent to mention here that late December (2020) Li got into trouble by warning about the virus and was reprimanded by local police for spreading rumors about the illness.

Time has proved that Dr. Li was right about the gravity of the situation. The outbreak, centered in Wuhan, has now claimed 560 lives and infected over 28,200 people globally.

Coronavirus: Another flight from China lands at Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: As Coronavirus death toll reached 500 in China, another flight carrying 122 people (including 31 Chinese Nationals) from there landed here today.

Pakistan suspends flight operations to and from China as death toll there rises to 500

5th of February, 2020

ISLAMABAD: In order to prevent an outbreak of Novel Coronavirus Pakistan has suspended passenger flights to and from China where the malady has claimed 500 lives.

This was informed here today by State Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza. It is pertinent to mention here that flights earlier too were suspended between two countries. But when WHO had declared the Novel Coronavirus a global emergency flights resumed bringing Pakistanis back home from China.

According to the Minister government had defined SOPs at all the airports. He said that teams from the Capital would go into the provinces to ensure they were on the same page. He held that it was better for those Pakistanis stuck in Wuhan to stay put as there they would be monitored and treated.

Coronavirus: SOS Alert Activated by Google

4th of February, 2020

Search engine Google has activated Coronavirus alert for updates as well as resources.

Searching for Coronavirus or a related query will yield a white card noting the SOS Alert and ability to share directly. Earthquakes or fires often feature a bright red card. First up is a Top Stories carousel from major news publications, with relevant Local Updates from Twitter underneath.

According to details the accounts include @WHO and the UN agency’s Director-General. Google is currently showing the same alerts globally, but will localize if needed over time. Help and information follows with links to pieces by WHO apropos Coronavirus Advisory Information, Condition Overview, and Q&A.

Anum Mashkoor

Anum Mashkoor is writing for since Sept 2018, particularly on Environment-related matters.