The Latest: Pakistan, India coronavirus cases, deaths spike

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan reported a record single-day spike in coronavirus-related deaths with 82 new fatalities and 4,688 cases that it says resulted from increased testing in the past 24 hours.

Pakistan’s outbreak has grown steadily since the country’s first case in February. Since then, 1,770 people have died and 85,264 have tested positive.

As many as 901 patients were listed in critical condition at hospitals Thursday. The country has barely 3,000 intensive care beds serving a population of 220 million.

Pakistan for the first time conducted over 20,000 tests in the past 24 hours. It has done more than 615,000 tests after increasing its testing capacity from only two labs in February.

The spike comes after Prime Minister Imran Khan eased lockdown restrictions over expert’s recommendations to maintain them to prevent the spread of the virus. Authorities have blamed people not adhering to social distancing regulations for the growing outbreak.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW TODAY ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— The pandemic has stranded merchant ship crews at sea for months

— There are no secrets in India’s largest slum. So community activists learned quickly when the first virus case was identified there and they’ve been crucial to help the most vulnerable people get tested and isolated and to help the neediest residents cope with the economic impact.

— Emergency room visits in the U.S. for chest pain and heart attacks fell as the virus scared people away from hospitals.

— Barcelona residents are reclaiming their city as Spain’s virus restrictions provide a respite from tourists

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HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING TODAY:

NEW DELHI — India’s COVID-19 fatalities have passed 6,000 after registering 260 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The country registered 9,304 new cases in yet another record single-day spike in infections, raising its totals to 216,919 cases with 6,075 deaths, the Health Ministry reported Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said it was ramping up the testing across the country and has performed 4 million. It said the daily capacity was almost 140,000 tests done through 480 government and 208 private laboratories.

India’s infections have spiked in recent weeks, mostly in its cities. The coastal state of Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected, with 74,860 cases and 2,587 deaths. The state capital is densely crowded Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital.

India is the seventh worst-hit nation by the pandemic.

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MEXICO CITY — The coronavirus toll in Mexico has soared to a new daily high, with the health department reporting 1,092 deaths. That is more than double the previous one-day record and in line with numbers in the United States and Brazil.

Wednesday’s report was an embarrassment for officials, who have consistently predicted that cases in Mexico were about to start leveling off.

Officials rushed to say many of the new confirmed deaths had occurred days or even weeks ago and were being announced now because of delays in processing tests or other reasons. But such delays have presumably been a constant reflected in every previous daily tally.

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell did not cite any specific clearing of testing backlogs.

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GENEVA — The top U.N. human rights official is urging some Asia-Pacific governments to be proportionate in their efforts to stop the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak and warning of a “clampdown” against freedom of expression in the region.

The office of Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, cited a “further tightening of censorship in several countries” and the arbitrary arrest and detention of people who had either criticized their governments or shared information about the pandemic.

Her office said arrests for expressing discontent or allegedly spreading false information had been reported in a dozen countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

It cited information from China about more than a dozen cases of medical workers, academics and other citizens who “appear to have been detained, and in some cases charged” for publishing their views on the outbreak or airing criticism of the government’s response.

Categories: National News

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