Monday, April 27, 2020

Coronavirus Update: Record 383 new cases found in Sindh

By Mukhtar Alam
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Sindh witnessed over 33% increase in its daily tally of new coronavirus cases, with three new deaths in Karachi, while the virus reached to Matiari, the last COVID-19 free district of the province, on April 26. 

Sindh recorded 383 new coronavirus positive cases, including 340 detected at Karachi, during the last 24 hours ending at 8am on April 26, against 287 of the previous day. 

The April 26 figure was all days’ highest number of cases reported in Sindh since February 26 when the first case of COVID-19 was detected here. Earlier, the highest increase in the new cases was recorded on April 16 when Sindh presented 340 cases. Sindh’s overall COVID-19 infection rate came as 11.19% on April 26.

Matiari was included in the official list of coronavirus reporting districts of Sindh with two new positive cases. It took the virus exact two months to reach Matiari from Karachi. 

In view of the increase in number of cases, the Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, chairing a meeting on April 26, called for further development of isolation centres and field hospitals in Karachi. 

“The pace of new cases is significantly high and as such efforts should be made to meet the related demands, including increase in the capacity of Karachi Expo isolation centre, establishment of field hospitals at Dalmia Ground, Darul Ehsas on Manghopir Road and in the convention centre of the PAF Museum,” he observed. 

As per the Sindh health department reports, three men aged 52, 55 and 74 years, respectively lost their lives due to coronavirus infection at one government and one private hospital, during the last 24 hours. The 52-year-old patient also had diabetes, while the 55-years-old patient had an autoimmune disease, having developed when the immune system mistakenly attacked the body's own healthy tissue. 

According to the corona-summary issued by the department, 340 new cases were reported in Karachi, while another 17 in Sukkur, followed by Hyderabad (7), Naushshero Feroze (4) and other districts. 

While the virus has spread in all districts, the breakdown of total reported cases was: Karachi-six districts (3,249), Sukkur (409), Hyderabad (263), Khairpur (169), Ghotki with no new case (124), Larkana (108), Shaheed Benazirabad reporting no new case (84), Tando Mohammad Khan with no new case (32), Sanghar (26), Naushehro Feroze (23), Shikarpur with no new case (17), Dadu (15), Jamshoro (15), Badin (15), Jacobabad with no new case (11), Sujawal with no new case (9), Mirpurkhas (9), Kashmore with no news case (9), Tando Allahyar (8), Thatta (6), Umerkot with no new case (4), Tharparkar with no new case (4), Kamber Shahdadkot with no new case (4) and Matiari (2). 

According to the official updates, in all 41,216 people have been tested for coronavirus across the province, out of which 4,615, including 3,249 at Karachi, tested positives, while the death toll remained 81 across the province so far. 

In the meantime, according to sources in health circles, the emergency section of the KMC-run Abbasi Shaheed Hospital was closed for 24 hours on April 26 to carry out fumigation there, following a report that a doctor of the hospital had tested positive for coronavirus the previous day.

Turkish mosque sets example by distributing groceries among COVID-19 victims

Pakistan News & Features Services

A mosque in the Turkish city of Istanbul has set a unique example of social service by setting up a supermarket of sorts at its premises from where the needy persons, hit hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, could come over to collect the grocery items of their choice without paying anything.

The management of Dedeman mosque in the Sariyer district has placed the commonly consumed items like rice, flour, bread, pasta, oil, biscuits, milk and eggs at the racks near its entrance and the setting resembles to that of supermarket. But unlike the supermarket, everything here is available free of cost for the needy persons. 

The philanthropists and resourceful persons are being encouraged to donate the goods at the mosque in order to facilitate larger pool of people to receive them. The sign at the mosque’s window says that anyone can leave there something and those in need can take anything. 

It has been reported that this idea was a brainchild of the 33-year-old imam of the mosque, Abdul Samet Cakir, who was eager to reach out people in need via the place of worship after Turkey had suspended mass prayers in mosques until the risk of outbreak was over. Its major cities, including Istanbul, have been under lockdown. 

The imam has derived the inspiration by a donation culture in the Ottoman period known as ‘charity stone’ in which a small pillar stone was erected at certain locations of the city to connect rich people with the poor. The practice was aimed at giving charity in a dignified manner without offending the needy people.

Suspended shopping revive hard-hit Italy

Pakistan News & Features Services

Italy has been among the hardest hit countries by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic where over 195,000 people have been infected, and more tragically, as many as 26,384 persons have perished. 

The catastrophe has caused huge damage to their economy as more than two million businesses are reported to have been affected, leaving one out of two workers without income. 

But Italy, being a great country, is preparing to come out to regain its glories. The Italians are engaged in putting a new twist on an old custom to help the needy and restart the economy. 

Piazza San Giovanni della Malva in Rome was known to echo with the noise of crowded cafes and restaurants. But the only business open now is a grocery shop, Er Cimotto, which is so small in size that social distancing forces customers to order through the window. 

Now-a-days the shoppers ask some money to be added to their bill for what's called la spesa sospesa ‘suspended shopping.’ The concept derives from the century-old Neapolitan tradition of ‘suspended coffee when a customer in a cafe pays in advance for someone who can't afford it. 

Shop owner Michela Buccilli remarked that suspended coffee has been replaced with suspended grocery shopping. "The customer who has something leaves something for those who don't," she said.  
The store usually doubles the amount donated and provides food that does not spoil fast, such as pasta and canned goods, to a local aid group, the Sant Egidio Community which distributes it to the needy. 

Suspended shopping is an act of charity in which the donor doesn't show off and the recipient doesn't have to show gratitude. With Italy's economy in suspension, the custom is being broadened with a view to the future. 

Puntarella Rossa, a website for foodies, recently launched il calice sospeso, the suspended wine glass, an initiative to help Rome's wine bars in shutdown. Since April 1, more than 150 customers have paid for wine-in-waiting at some 30 wine bars. 

Manuela Mazzotta, who runs a hair salon and wedding planning business, has come up with another new initiative. With her businesses on hold, she started a Facebook page on March 20 with the hashtag #AdottaUnNegozio 'adopt a shop.'

"The customer buys a gift card now, when shops are shut down. That helps us owners pay the rent or utility bills and tide us over until the reopening. It put us in a better mood than our current sense of desperation,” she was quoted as saying. 

Paying for something now and getting it after lockdown is one way to help shopkeepers from going bankrupt and at the end of the virus tunnel, return to business as usual, hopefully soon.

Artists stage protest in Badin

By Masood Sattar Khan 
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The local artists of Badin, a town of Sindh, staged a protest demonstration against the alleged nepotism in distribution of ration. 

They protested in front of the Tando Bago Press Club for what described as favouritism and nepotism in ration distribution. 

Quite a few popular area artists, including singers, drum beaters, flute players and others, held the protest that was being led by renowned poet and singer Darhoon Dukhayal and others. They chanted slogans against unjust distribution of relief items among the people. 

Talking to media on the occasion, the protestors claimed to have been deprived of assistance amid persisting lockdown in the city which had caused their unemployment and their families faced enormous trouble in making ends meet. 

Stating they were fighting hard for economic survival, they expressed bitter disappointment with the government officers in their town. 

“We had rushed to the Assistant Commissioner of Tando Bago for provision of ration but he paid no heed as such and we were disappointed with his attitude,” they revealed while appealing to the high ups for resolving their problems.

Chinese developed COVID-19 vaccine shows positive results

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

China has announced that its inactivated COVID19 vaccine has moved to the second phase of its clinical trials after having shown highly positive signs s far. 

The People’s Daily, in its report published on April 24, broke the news while referring to the development of the much talked about vaccine. 

It was revealed that as many as 96 persons in three age groups had been injected the vaccine in first phase of clinical trial as of April 23 and the vaccine had shown good safety so far, the newspaper said.

China sends consignment of medical supplies to US

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Unperturbed by what the American or western media may be saying about China and its role in containing and finally overcoming coronavirus (COVID-19), the Chinese leadership has maintained ethos for humanity for all as they have dispatched a huge volume of medical supplies to United States of America (USA) to help mitigate from suffering due to the deadly virus. 

While the US and the West have been found engaged in a blame game against China, the Chinese authorities, on the contrary, has continued to be compassionate and caring for humans all over the world. 

On April 24, a plane, carrying nearly 20 tons of medical supplies, took off from Wuhan, once the hardest hit by COVID-19, for New York. It was China Southern Airlines’ first passenger flight that was used for delivering cargo from Hubie province. 

Meanwhile China has reported zero new COVID19 deaths for 10 consecutive days as of April 24, while the number of patients in severe conditions was on a downward trend, the PD reported quoting National Health Commission (NHC) sources.

Acquitted Pakistani businessman contemplates moving court to counter Turkish complainant

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Umar Farooq Zahoor, a Pakistani businessman, born in Norway and currently residing in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is consulting lawyers to move legally against a Turkish businessman, Erhan Kanioglulari, who had charged him of usurping his money and got a false case registered against him at Karachi’s Artillery Maidan Police Station. 

The Turkish national had also moved the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) against Umar Farooq. The bureau conducted an inquiry into the complaint and later a NAB court exonerated the Pakistani businessman of all charges. 

Earlier the session court in Karachi, on March 31, 2008, had also acquitted Umar Farooq after hearing the case submitted by the Atillery Maidan Police Station as per FIR No. 97 of 2004 under section 506 PPC. The session court had acquitted the businessmen under Section 265 K CRPC in Sessions Case Number 546 of 2004. 

According to Umar Farooq, the Turkish man, by lodging a false report against him, had put the public servants to use their lawful powers to the enquiry of the applicant. 

He alleged that the offence of giving false information to the police constitutes as offence punishable under Section 182 PPC and the accused had committed a cognizable offence punishable under Section 389 PPC. 

He stated that he was pursuing civil remedy in the High Court for damages in connection with malicious prosecution and blackmailing done by Erhan Kanioglulari against him not only at Artillery Maidan Police Station but also filing a false application to the NAB authorities. 

Umar Farooq has further asked his lawyer that to keep the record straight and to wash away the bad impression created in the public domain as his name having appeared on websites should be get removed with immediate effect.