Pakistan records 40 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours as officials say infections declining 

Motorcyclists ride past a banner paying tribute to health and medical workers for their fight against the COVID-19 coronavirus displayed on a street in Islamabad on July 8, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 16 July 2020

Pakistan records 40 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours as officials say infections declining 

  • On Thursday, government's coronavirus portal confirmed 257,824 infections and 5,426 deaths 
  • This is a substantial decrease in daily infections and deaths since May when lockdown restrictions were eased

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan recorded 40 COVID-19 related deaths in the last 24 hours, the lowest death toll from the coronavirus since at least late May, data on a government portal showed on Thursday, raising hopes that the disease might be on the decline in Pakistan.

On Thursday morning, Pakistan had recorded 257,824 infections and 5,426 deaths from the coronavirus — a substantial decrease in daily infections and deaths since May, when lockdown restrictions were eased, causing a surge in both infections and deaths.
Pakistan also confirmed 2,145 new cases on Thursday, following 24,262 countrywide tests in the last 24 hours. The recovery rate is now 69.3%, according to official figures, after 5,924 recoveries were recorded across the country over the past 24 hours. The total number of recovered cases in the country now stands at 178,737, while 1,943 patients are in critical condition. 
Pakistani officials believe the number of coronavirus cases in the country has significantly decreased due to a policy of imposing ‘smart lockdowns’ and sealing coronavirus hotspots around the country. 

According to the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), the highest forum that looks after coronavirus mitigation efforts, “as many as 321 smart lockdowns were being observed across the country.”
Planning Minister Asad Umar said this month the virus was on the decline in Pakistan and all “circumstantial evidence” indicated a drop in the number of patients coming to hospitals with coronavirus symptoms.
Pakistan also announced this week that it would resume vaccinations against polio next week, as coronavirus cases decreased and eased the burden on the country’s shambolic health system.


Pakistan says Israel-UAE agreement will have 'far-reaching implications'

Updated 3 min 52 sec ago

Pakistan says Israel-UAE agreement will have 'far-reaching implications'

  • The country’s foreign office noted that peace in the Middle East was Islamabad’s key priority
  • Pakistan 'has an abiding commitment to the full realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people' – FO

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday described the normalization process between the United Arab Emirates and Israel as a development with significant consequences for the region. 

“We have noted the Joint Statement announcing agreement of UAE and Israel to have full normalization of relations,” the new foreign office spokesman, Zahid Hafeez, said in a statement while responding to an Arab News query. “This is a development with far-reaching implications.” 

The UAE and Israel announced their decision to normalize diplomatic ties and build a more functional relationship on Thursday. The peace deal was facilitated by United States President Donald Trump who described it as a “huge breakthrough” and a “historical peace agreement.” 

Responding to the development, Pakistan said it had an abiding commitment to the full realization of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination. 

“Peace and stability in the Middle East region are also Pakistan’s key priority,” the statement said, adding that for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace, Pakistan had consistently advocated a two-state solution in accordance with the relevant United Nations and Organization of Islamic Cooperation resolutions. 

While the deal was made after Israel decided to suspend its planned annexation of the occupied West Bank, it surprised Palestinian leaders and prompted President Mahmoud Abbas to demand an urgent Arab League meeting. 

Reading a statement outside the presidential office in Ramallah, Abbas’s senior adviser Nabil Abu Rudeinah said: “The Palestinian leadership rejects and denounces the surprising UAE-Israeli-US trilateral announcement.” 

He also termed the development as a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause.” 

Meanwhile, Pakistan, which has been striving to protect the rights of Kashmiris in the region, said its approach would be guided by its “evaluation of how Palestinians’ rights and aspirations are upheld and how regional peace, security and stability are preserved” by the deal.