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Pakistan witnesses rise in TB cases due to Covid-19: WHO

Switzerland: Tuberculosis deaths have increased for the first time in a decade as resources have been directed to tackling the coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO).

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In 2020, 1.5 million died from the disease, up from 1.4 million the year before, according to WHO’s 2021 Global TB report issued on Thursday.

This included 214,000 patients with HIV, the Geneva-based UN health agency said, noting that the overall TB increase was mainly in 30 countries which include Pakistan, Angola, Indonesia, the Philippines and Zambia.

New WHO data highlighted how years of global progress in tackling the preventable disease had been “reversed” since the pandemic overwhelmed health care systems in 2020, preventing vulnerable people from seeking help.

Lockdowns had also stymied many people’s access to essential health care services, the TB report insisted, before issuing the additional warning that the death toll from the disease “could be much higher in 2021 and 2022”, according to the latest projections.

“This report confirms our fears that the disruption of essential health services due to the pandemic could start to unravel years of progress against tuberculosis,” WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said in a statement.

“This is alarming news that must serve as a global wake-up call to the urgent need for investments and innovation to close the gaps in diagnosis, treatment, and care for the millions of people affected.”

Because of the new coronavirus pandemic, “challenges” which made it impossible to provide and access essential TB services left many people undiagnosed in 2020.

In a worrying development, WHO noted that the number of people newly diagnosed people with the disease fell from 7.1? million in 2019 to 5.8? million in 2020, meaning that far fewer people were diagnosed, treated, or provided with TB preventive treatment compared with 2019.

Overall spending on essential TB services also fell, WHO said, adding that the highest drop in TB notifications between 2019 and 2020 was India (down 41 percent), Indonesia (14 percent), the Philippines (12 percent), and China (8 percent).

“These and 12 other countries accounted for 93% of the total global drop in notifications,” said WHO.

There was also a reduction in the provision of TB preventative treatment. Some 2.8 million people accessed this in 2020, which was a 21 percent reduction since 2019. In addition, the number of people treated for drug-resistant TB fell by 15 percent, from 177,000 in 2019 to 150,000 in 2020, equivalent to only about one in three of those in need.

Today, some 4.1 million people suffer from TB but have not been diagnosed with the disease or their status has not been reported to national authorities. This is up from 2.9 million in 2019.?

The report’s recommendations include a call for countries to put in place urgent measures to restore access to essential TB services, a doubling of investment in TB research and innovation, and concerted action across the health sector and others to address the social, environmental, and economic causes of TB and its consequences.

Shehroz Azhar

Shehroz Azhar is a senior editor at GNN, known for writing top quality content which garner very high readerships and has been covering every field of journalism, including politics, media, sports and scholarly articles. Shehroz Azhar is nothing less than a Veteran Editor and has been writing for GNN for the past 7 months.

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Public holiday in Karachi as Cyclone Gulab triggers extreme weather warning 

Sindh's administration has announced a public holiday in the megacity on Friday (October 1) amid the in view of extreme weather emergency caused by a tropical cyclone Gulab in the Arabian Sea.

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Public holiday in Karachi as Cyclone Gulab triggers extreme weather warning 

Karachi: Sindh's administration has announced a public holiday in the megacity on Friday (October 1) amid the in view of extreme weather emergency caused by a tropical cyclone Gulab in the Arabian Sea.

Releasing an official notification on Thursday, Commissioner Karachi said that all provincial offices and businesses in Karachi would remain closed today.

The notification also advices general public to take precautions and remain indoors for safety.

In addition, Karachi University has canceled all examinations scheduled for today.  As per Controller Examinations, Dr. Zafar, the new dates for the examinations will be announced later.

However, the holiday will not apply to hospitals, local bodies and compulsory service agencies. 

Meanwhile, the meteorological department has forecast moderate to heavy rains and possibly isolated heavy rains between Friday and Saturday under the influence of deep pressure in the Arabian Sea, which turned into a tropical cyclone today.

A low air pressure system could turn into a hurricane, added the Meteorological Department forecast note.

The Met department, on Sunday, also warned fishermen not to go out to sea until October 3.

Following the situation, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has assigned the duties of overseeing relief and rescue operations to the ministers. 

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Pakistan

Nation celebrates Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) with religious, traditional zeal

Back in history, the day was first celebrated as an official festival in Egypt, the celebrations of Eid-e-Milad became more popular during the 11th century.

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Nation celebrates Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) with religious, traditional zeal

The whole nation is celebrating Eid Milad-un-Nabi (PBUH) today (Tuesday) with traditional zeal and fervor and renewing the pledge to transform their lives in line with the Islamic principles and disseminate teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Sallallah-o-Alaihe Wa Aalehe Wassallum.

The day dawned with a 31 and 21 gun salute in the federal and provincial capitals, respectively, following a night of Mahafil-e-Naat and conferences across the country.

Special prayers offered in mosques for upholding and flourishing of Islam and religious teachings, unity, solidarity, progress, and welfare of the Muslim Ummah.

To mark the annual event, state and religious organisations, Milad committees and individuals have planned a number of activities including processions, seminars, conferences and discussion programmes.

Moreover, streets and roads, as well as bazaars, shopping centres, government and private buildings have been beautifully decorated and illuminated with lights, colours and banners bearing writings about the celebration of Eid Milad-un-Nabi (SAW).

In addition, people wear green ribbons or green items of clothing, carry green flags or banners on this day. The green colour is a symbol of Islam and paradise. People also conduct activities like marches, parades, and night long prayers meetings.

Furthermore, communal meals are also offered in mosques and other community buildings.

A national Rehmatul-lil-Aalameen [Sallallah-o-Alaihe Wa Aalehe Wassallum Khatam-un-Nabiyeen] conference is being held in Islamabad today.

Several news and Current Affairs Channel will broadcast a day-long Marathon transmission on this occasion.

Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabi is celebrated on the occasion of the birthday of the Prophet of Islam, Hazrat Mohammad (PBUH).

It is also known as Nabi Day, Mohammad's birthday or the Prophet's birthday.

The Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was born on the 12th of 573 AD in the city of Mecca. The full name of Prophet Hazrat Mohammad is Mohammad ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul Muttalib.

Back in history, the day was first celebrated as an official festival in Egypt, the celebrations of Eid-e-Milad became more popular during the 11th century.

This year, as per the Gregorian calendar, Eid Milad-Un-Nabi began on the evening of October 18, 2021, and will end on the evening of October 19, 2021.

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Pakistan

Pakistan reports lowest daily COVID death toll in almost three months 

According to National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), around 767 cases of coronavirus were reported while 19 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 28,106. 

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Pakistan reports lowest daily COVID death toll in almost three months 

Islamabad: Pakistan has reported its lowest daily coronavirus death toll in almost three months, with 19 people losing their lives to the virus in the last 24 hours. 

Amid a steady decline in Covid-19 infections, Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio further fell to 1.88% with 767 new cases.

Pakistan is presently experiencing the fourth wave of coronavirus which is said to be deadlier and more contagious than the previous three COVID waves.

The total number of cases has reached 1,257,955.

As many as 1,187,308 patients have recovered from the disease with 2,540 critical cases.

Punjab

The number of patients swelled to 435,882 in the province with 12,780 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 462,466 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,484. 

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 175,735 in the province with 5,636 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 33,072 confirmed cases while 350 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 34,339 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 739. On the other hand, there are 10,348 cases in GB with 186 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 106,113 cases in the capital city while 931 people have lost their lives. 

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