Saturday, May 16, 2020

China dismisses India’s objection over Diamer Bhasha Dam construction

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

China has dismissed the objection raised by India over the construction of Diamer-Bhasha Dam, asserting that economic cooperation between China and Pakistan was aimed at promoting economic development and improving the well-being of the local population.

“China and Pakistan conduct the economic cooperation in order to promote the economic development and improve the well-being of the local population,” Zhao Lijian, Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, responded to a question about construction of the dam during the regular press briefing in Beijing on May 15. 

He categorically stated that the dam project was mutually beneficial and win-win for China and Pakistan, being all-weather friends and strategic partners.

Coronavirus Update: Sindh infections overtake Punjab

By Mukhtar Alam
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Sindh, now the most affected province due to coronavirus (COVID-19), reported yet another 817 new cases, with 12 more deaths, including four those of women, on May 15.

According to the federal government COVID-19 dashboard, Sindh, with its total of 14.099 cases,  has become most infected province due to coronavirus, followed by Punjab (13,914). Only on May 14, Punjab with 13,561 cases was the most affected province of Pakistan, followed by Sindh (13,341).

In the meantime, a UN report said, “Pakistan sees a record jump in COVID-19 cases only days after the reopening of markets, as blatant violation of the government’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) continued despite repeated warnings by the relevant authorities and sealing of some overcrowded shopping areas.”

According to a Sindh Health department daily coronavirus summary, the number of cases in Sindh rose to 14,916 by May 15 8.18 am, with a total 255 deaths.

It is estimated that the percentage of women infected by the virus stands over 26 per cent, against over 73 per cent that of the men. 

According to the daily summary, Karachi reported 535 new cases, followed by Larkana (57 cases), Sukkur (23), Khairpur (22), Kamber Shahdadkot (19), Ghotki (16), Sanghar (12), Hyderabad (11), Jacobabad (8), Jamshoro (3), Shaheed Benazirabad (3), Shikarpur (3), Tando Allahyar (2) and Tharparkar (1). 

Karachi reported seven new deaths due to coronavirus, including five men and two women. The ages of the deceased men ranged from 35 to 70 years while both the two women were 75 years old. 

Another three patients, a man of 55 years and two women aged 35 and 64 respectively, lost their lives at Hyderabad while Sukkur reported death of a 55-year old man. 

The summary also counted death of a 22-years-old man, terming him an out-of-province patient. However, authorities did not provide information about his hospitalization and presence in Sindh. 

Despite requests, PNFS could neither get the names of hospitals where the 12 patients died nor any brief on their medical history. 

As many as 113,393 samples have been tested in Sindh so far, according to the health department. Another official report, updated on May 15, said that a total 156 COVID-19 patients admitted to government and private sector hospitals could not survive their illness. 

Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) has reported deaths of 31 patients, followed by DUHS Ojha Hospital (29), Aga Khan University Hospital (24), Indus Hospital Korangi (19), SIUT (23) and other hospitals.

Successful plasma therapy in Hyderabad

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

A patient in Hyderabad, who was administered plasma therapy on trial at the Liaquat University Hospital, has been tested negative for coronavirus (COVID-19).

According to the media reports on May 15, the patient was admitted in isolation ward of the LUH for the disease. 

“The patient will be tested again according to standard operating procedure. If his second test again proves negative, he will be discharged from the hospital as being cured of the virus,” Dr Aftab Hussain Phull, the LUH focal person for the coronavirus isolation ward was quoted as saying.

Western media criticized for hyping COVID-19 fatalities in Russia

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

China has criticized a section of western media for hyping up the death toll in coronavirus (COVID-19) in Russia. 

The Russian side had made clear opposition in this regard, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, observed in the regular press briefing in Beijing on May 15.

“China firmly supports Russia’s anti-epidemic efforts and believed that under the strong leadership of President Putin, the Russian people will win the batter against CPVOD-19,” Zhao Lijian added.

China urges international community to help Palestinians in fighting COVID-19

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

China has urged the international community to come forward and help Palestinians in fighting coronavirus (COVID-19). 

On May 14, a group of experts from Hubei province held the virtual conference with the experts from Palestine, the spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Zhao Lijian, said during a regular press briefing in Beijing. It was the third virtual conference since the outbreak, he added. 

He called upon the international community to pay importance to the life and health of the Palestinian people and address the concerns of the refugees in Palestine and hosting countries.

Pakistan’s Ambassador lauds China Association for PPEs donation

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

Pakistan’s Ambassador to China, Naghmana Hashmi, has expressed gratitude to the China Association of Family Planning for their generous donation for fighting COVID-19. 

“Thanks to the China Association of Family Planning for generous donation of PPEs to Pakistan to fight COVID-19” Ambassador Naghmana Hashmi tweeted on May 15. 

While lauding the China Association of Family Planning for coming forward and extending helping hands and donating PPEs (Personal Protected Equipment), she termed it as another great gesture of friendship demonstrated on the part of China.

It may be added here that the Chinese government and the private sector have been generously supporting Pakistan in controlling the epidemic during the last couple of months.

CPEC moot on science, technology

By Masood Sattar Khan
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The preparatory meeting of Joint Working Group on Science and Technology under China Pakistani Economic Corridor (CPEC) was held recently, according to information shared by the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad. 

The new JWG was included in the CPEC framework of cooperation during President Dr Arif Alvi’s visit to China a couple of months ago.

In the background of the JWG meeting, held on May 13, the challenges posed due to coronavirus (COVID-19) were also discussed. 

In order to add impetus to the CPEC projects, President Dr Arif Alvi, during his last state visit, held meetings in China and the top leadership both of the two countries had agreed to further accelerate the pace of work. 

A MoU was also signed to set up two new working groups on science, technology and agriculture under the framework of the CPEC.