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Covid deaths in US surpass one million mark

It's the highest official total in the world

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Covid deaths in US surpass one million mark
GNN Media: Representational Photo

The United States has passed more than one million Covid-related deaths, says the White House.

President Joe Biden said the country was marking "a tragic milestone" and each death was "an irreplaceable loss".

It's the highest official total in the world - although the World Health Organization believes the true death toll may be much higher elsewhere.

The US has also recorded more than 80 million Covid cases, out of a 330 million population.
The first confirmed case was reported on 20 January 2020, when a man flew home to Seattle from Wuhan in China.

The 35-year-old survived, after 10 days of pneumonia, coughs, fever, nausea and vomiting. But deaths began to be reported just a few weeks later.

In the two years since, death rates have ebbed and flowed as waves of the virus swept across the country - reaching highs of more than 4,000 a day in early 2021.

Public health experts give several reasons for the high US death toll - including high rates of obesity and hypertension, overworked hospital systems, some vaccine hesitancy and a large older population.

Each US state may have a slightly different way to define a Covid death, and such deaths are often not solely because of the virus.

"One million Covid deaths, one million empty chairs around the family dinner table, each irreplaceable losses," said President Biden in a televised statement on Thursday morning.

"Our heart goes out to all those who are struggling, asking themselves, how do we go on without him, how do we go on without her?"

The president ordered the White House flags to be lowered to half mast to mark the milestone.

SOURCE: BBC NEWS

 
 

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Mr. Ghumman is a seasoned journalist who has 19 years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has worked with 92 News HD, Daily Pakistan Today, Daily The Business, Daily Dawn, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer as News Reporter, Feature Writer, Editor, Web Content Editor and Article Writer. Mr Ghumman has graduated from the Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan and is currently enrolled in M.Phil in Mass Communication at the University of Punjab.

Pakistan

Govt coalition agrees on name of Justice (r) Maqbool Baqar as Chairman NAB

The government believes the Opposition Leader will also support the government's pick

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Govt coalition agrees on name of Justice (r) Maqbool Baqar as Chairman NAB

Islamabad: The government and its coalition partners have agreed on name of Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar as the new Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

According to sources privy with the development, the name of a former Supreme Court judge came under discussion during a meeting of Prime Minister Imran Khan and former president Asif Ali Zardari.

Sources further said that Government believes the Opposition Leader of the National Assembly will also support the government pick as Maqbool Baqar’s judicial career is spotless.

Government members are hopeful that if all goes smoothly, Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqar will be the new head of the anti-graft watchdog. 

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World

More than 200 cases of monkeypox worldwide: EU disease agency

The United Kingdom has 71 confirmed cases

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More than 200 cases of monkeypox worldwide: EU disease agency

Stockholm: The number of confirmed cases of monkeypox worldwide has reached 219 outside of countries where it is endemic, according to an update released by the European Union’s disease agency.

More than a dozen countries where monkeypox is unusual, mostly in Europe, have reported at least one confirmed case, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in an epidemiological note released Wednesday night.

“This is the first time that chains of transmission are reported in Europe without known epidemiological links to West or Central Africa, where this disease is endemic,” the note said.

It added that most of the cases were detected in young men, self-identifying as men who have sex with men.

The United Kingdom – where monkeypox’s unusual appearance was first detected in early May – currently has the largest bulk of confirmed cases, 71.

It is followed by Spain with 51 cases and Portugal, 37.

Outside of Europe, Canada has 15 and the United States has nine.

The total number of cases reported Wednesday has increased fivefold since its first count on May 20, when the EU agency said there were 38 cases.

Contagion risk is “very low”, the ECDC said earlier this week, but warned that people who have had multiple sexual partners – regardless of sexual orientation – are more at risk.

“The clinical presentation is generally described to be mild,” it said, adding that there has been no deaths.

Monkeypox – a less severe disease compared to its cousin smallpox – is endemic in 11 countries in West and Central Africa.

It spreads by a bite or direct contact with an infected animal’s blood, meat or bodily fluids, and initial symptoms include a high fever before quickly developing into a rash.

People infected with it also get a chickenpox-like rash on their hands and face.

No treatment exists but the symptoms usually clear up after two to four weeks, and it is not usually fatal.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the emerging disease lead for the World Health Organization, said Monday that monkeypox is a “containable situation”.

SOURCE: AFP

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Pakistan

Marriyum rules out NRO, talks with Imran Khan until he changes attitude

The information minister says the election date would be announced by the PML-N and its allies after the completion of their government's constitutional term

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

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Marriyum rules out NRO, talks with Imran Khan until he changes attitude

Islamabad: Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Saturday ruled out any NRO-like concession for PTI Chairman Imran Khan over misuse of authority during his four-year rule, which was marred by corruption, nepotism, loot and plunder.  

“Imran Khan Sahib, you will not get an NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] today,” she said while rejecting his negotiation offer based on dictations and threats to the government. 

Addressing a news conference, the minister said talks with Imran Khan would be  meaningless until he changed his attitude and abstained from using abusive language.

“Imran Khan stated that he would hold dialogue if the date of fresh election were given in June. I am giving you the date of election today, i.e., of August 2023,” she said, asking the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Inasf (PTI) chief to keep “that date” in his mind.    

Marriyum reiterated that the election date would be announced by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and its allies after the completion of their government's constitutional term. 

“Nobody will be influenced by your dictations, threats, bullying and abuses,” she said, asking Imran Khan to wait for a date in 2023 when the general election would be held in the country.

“Stay at home if you want the dialogue on this issue [general election], and if you come out with arms, bullets, batons and announcement of a bloody march then there will be consequences…,” she observed.

The minister urged the PTI Chairman to abstain from further polarizing the society, and creating unrest, chaos and anarchy. However, “being in a critical mental condition, he  
should better stay at his Bani Gala residence and take rest by taking a tranquilizer, and let the government serve the people, who want peace, development, progress, end of corruption, jobs and relief from the inflation left by his (Imran's) government at the highest level," she remarked.

“I also advise him to refrain from appearing on the TV screens in such a mental condition,” Marriyum said. He should better introspect as to why he had failed to deliver in the last four years when he had all the power and government offices at his disposal through which maximum relief could have been given to the masses. 

Now his mourning of the bad performance would not make any difference as the people had rejected him and his politics of unrest, vandalism and arson, she added. 

The minister asked Imran as to why he wanted to come into the power again after failing to fulfill all the promises he had made with the people, including ten million jobs, end of corruption, and transformation of the country into a Madina like state.

“Why do the people trust him again when he could not construct a road and build hospitals, schools and universities while in power?” she questioned.

Reacting to Imran’s statement of returning to the power with a two-third majority,  the minister said the people would never give incompetent, corrupt, cartels and mafias the responsibility of running the state affairs again.  

Those who were given the responsibility of running state affairs must have the credibility and track-record of performance, she added. 

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), she said, had all the qualities, as it was its leader Nawaz Sharif, who had made the country’s defence invincible on May 28, 1998. 

“Today is the Youm-e-Takbeer and on this date India was given a befitting response by Nawaz Sharif conducting nuclear tests. He made it clear to India that there would be no compromise on the national security,” she added.

She also mentioned other milestones achieved by the PML-N governments in the past, including construction of motorways, road infrastructure, hospitals, public transport, power projects and many others. 

The PML-N, she added, still had the capability to ensure development and progress of the country. Now, the country had Shehbaz Sharif as its prime minister who was working day and night to steer it out of the crises inherited from the PTI’s government.

Reacting to Imran’s statement on the Model Town incident, she said the matter had been decided. “If he had any reservation on it then why he did not pursue the matter while being into the power for four years?” she questioned.

Commenting on Imran’s claim of peaceful march towards Islamabad lately, she said Imran could not be trusted as the "massive brutalities of his party’s 2014 sit-in" were on the record.  

The nation witnessed as to how "his party goons" had attacked the Parliament and PTV buildings, inflicted head injuries to policemen, and incited people for civil disobedience, she recalled.  

“How can the people forget that the graves were dug at D-Chowk, announcements were made to kill the political opponents.” 

Now again the people could not forget that it was Imran Khan, who announced a bloody march towards Islamabad after he was voted out of the Prime Minister House, she said. "It was Imran who had made preparations for vandalism, arson, and inflicting injuries to the policemen."

After the apex court’s decision, she said, the PTI workers set the metro station on fire, besides burning trees and tyres at D-Chowk. Whether setting metro stations, official buildings and trees on fire, and giving call for a "bloody march" after amassing weapons and batons was a democratic right, she asked. 

Ironically, she said, the leader was airborne, when he called his workers to reach D-Chowk and use brute force against the policemen. After descending from the helicopter, he (Imran) went into the container and remained on it till next day, but did not go to the D-Chowk, abandoning his workers abruptly. 

He could not gather even 35,000 people despite dolling out Rs 3.5 million to every PTI member of the National and provincial assemblies by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for making arrangements of the long march, she added.

Marriyum said Imran Khan’s claim of hurdles created by the government was not based on reality. His convoy faced no blockade all the way from the Attock Bridge to F-8 as he had to make over half a dozen stops to wait for the arrival of supporters, but no one turned up, she added

The minister said his show was a total failure as he could not even hold a small public gathering at H-9 Park despite the permission of the apex court.

Recalling the political activities of Pakistan Democratic Movement during the tenure of PTI government, she said the country had witnessed as to how rallies and public gatherings were held in a peaceful way.

She asked Imran to name a single incident of baton charge on the police by the workers of PDM whose leadership faced “stinking accountability” under the Imran led government.

The minister said the PDM, Pakistan Peoples Party, PML-N and the party of Maulana Fazlur Rehman had held the collective as well as separate rallies and public gatherings, but nobody could point out a single episode in which the policemen were attacked and public properties vandalized.

She also lashed out at Imran for threatening the courts and institutions and said the court had already given a decision against the unconstitutional steps of the Imran-led government.

The court opened midnight to stop Imran from violating the constitution and reversed the ruling of the then deputy speaker over the vote on the no-confidence motion.

Marriyum said the current government was representing 90 per cent people of the country. Imran was ousted from the government in a constitutional way. 

To a query, she said strict action would be taken against the PTI if it launched a smear campaign  against the Law Enforcement Agencies on the social media.

SOURCE: APP

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