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Pakistan records less than 300 daily coronavirus cases

Around 252 fresh coronavirus cases emerged while 7 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 28,690.

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Pakistan records less than 300 daily coronavirus cases
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Islamabad: Amid a steady decline in Covid-19 infections, Pakistan's coronavirus positivity ratio further fell to 0.88% with 252 new cases. 

Around 252 fresh coronavirus cases emerged while 7 people succumbed to the disease in the last 24 hours, taking the total death toll to 28,690.

According to the latest figures issued by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 252 persons were tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

The total number of cases has reached 1,283,475.

As many as 1,241,289 patients have recovered from the disease.

Punjab

The number of patients swelled to 442,714 in the province with 13,007 causalities.

Sindh

The number of infections has surged to 474,772 in the province, while the death toll has reached 7,619.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

The confirmed cases have surged to 179,774 in the province with 5,825 casualties.

Balochistan

There are 33,458 confirmed cases while 359 patients have died from the infection so far.

AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan

There are 34,540 coronavirus cases in the AJK while the death toll has reached 742. On the other hand, there are 10,411 cases in GB with 186 coronavirus deaths.

Islamabad

There are 107,554 cases in the capital city while 952 people have lost their lives.

Mehak Javed

Mehak Javed is immensely creative and an enthusiastic journalist, contributing in the publication of timely and accurate news. She is a skilled writer along proven history of achievement in the field with several years of professional experience. Mehak is working with GNN since 2020.

Pakistan

No case of Omicron variant detected in Pakistan so far: Dr Faisal Sultan

“With more people immunized, we can control the impact of Omicron variant "

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No case of Omicron variant detected in Pakistan so far: Dr Faisal Sultan

Islamabad: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan on Tuesday has confired that no case of Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Pakistan so far.

According to details, Dr Faisal Sultan that a meeting is scheduled today at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) during which guidelines and policies regarding the vaccination will be finalised.

The health minister said that it is not possible to bar the Omicron variant from coming to Pakistan but government is working to control its impact by ramping up the immunisation process.

"Our priority is those who have not been vaccinated at all."

“With more people immunized, we can control the impact. It is my appeal to the people to get vaccinated and follow SOPs," he urged.

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Pakistan

Cabinet opines ECP legally bound to hold next by-polls through EVMs: minister

Chaudhry Fawad Hussian says the commission should ensure use of the EVMs in all next elections as the Parliament had given mandate in that regard.

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Cabinet opines ECP legally bound to hold next by-polls through EVMs: minister

Islamabad: Two weeks after passage of bills related to electoral reforms from joint sitting of the Parliament, the federal cabinet on Tuesday viewed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was bound to hold all the next elections including by-polls through the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).

“The cabinet while discussing the most important decision on the EVM opined that after amendment in the [election] laws, it is mandatory for the election commission to hold all next by-polls through EVMs,” Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain told the media persons after the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

“If elections are not conducted through the EVMs, there is another opinion that the government will not be able to fund them,” he said, explaining the existing election laws that only gave legitimacy to the polls via the machines.

He said Federal Minister for Law and Justice Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem was of the view that on prima facie, the government could only give funds to the ECP for elections if that were held through EVMs.

The government had formed a committee in that regard and the law ministry would give its opinion on the matter, Fawad added.

The minister said the ECP should ensure use of the EVMs in all the next elections as the Parliament had given mandate in that regard.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan and Minister for Planning Development & Special Initiatives Asad Umar briefed the federal cabinet on new variant of the coronavirus (Omicron).

It was told that new variant’s transmissibility was fastest among other kinds of the coronavirus and spreading at tenfold pace in those countries where it had been reported.

Lethality of variant and efficacy of vaccine against this variant was yet to be known, he said, adding the federal Cabinet was told that those factors would be determined by next two to three weeks.

The Federal Cabinet has requested the provincial governments to revamp their vaccination drives and appealed to the public to get inoculated at the earliest so that this new variant could be dealt in a way as those of its previous kinds that were tackled in an effective way.

He said the arrival of Omicron was imminent as the steps taken by the government could only delay it for a brief moment of time.

Most important thing to deal with this variant was mask wearing and vaccination of the leftovers, he added.

Fawad said the Federal Cabinet had expressed serious reservations over the videos circulating on the social media networking sites showing that votes were being bought for the upcoming by-election in Lahore.

He said such illegal activities did not come to the fore in the by-election, if steps were taken by the ECP against horse trading in the recent Senate election.

The free and fair polls were lifeline of a democratic system where elections were the basis for formation of government, he said, highlighting the national election watchdog’s effective and important role in that regard.

He urged the ECP to take the matter of purchase of votes by specific political parties in Lahore to a logical conclusion.

Fawad said the Federal Cabinet was briefed by Minister for Science and Technology Shibli Faraz in detail about total number of required EVMs for the elections.

He said formalities for receiving $3 billion dollars in safe deposits and $1.2 billion worth of oil supplies on differed payment from Saudi Arabia had been completed.

The ITFC (International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation) had given additional $762 million to Pakistan which would ensure stability of rupee against dollar, he added.

The minister said a presentation on weekly prices of kitchen items was also given to the Federal Cabinet and it was noted that there had been a steady decline in commodities prices.

Price of sugar had seen substantial decrease in the last one month, he said, lashing out at the Sindh government for delaying crushing of sugarcane’s crops which caused increase in the price of sweetener.

He said prices of essential commodities in Karachi and Hyderabad were quite high which required urgent attention of the Sindh government.

It was Karachi which played major role in fluctuation of the Sensitive Price Index, he added. Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that with the increase in rice production, the country was likely to earn $4.75 billion foreign exchange. The weekly presentation of kitchen items given to the cabinet transpired that the prices of essential were on declining trend, he added.

He said it showed that 0.67 percent decrease had been registered in prices of essential items of daily use in recent days. In only month period sugar price had come down to Rs 60 per kg, he added.

He blamed Sindh government for increase in Sugar price. “Inflation is rampant in the cities like Karachi and Hyderabad,” he said adding that PTI government was being portrayed as inexperienced party but the party governing the province for over 30 years had failed to check food inflation.

The 40 percent upward trend in sensitive price index (SPI) was due to inflation in Karachi and Sindh, he said adding that the price of tomato had registered 15.4 percent decrease, onion price by 7.4 percent and chicken price had decreased by 6.6 percent recently. Wheat flour bag price had decreased by one percent, he added.

He said Liquefied Petroleum Gas price had decreased by 0.7 percent . Also the country has produced 9 million matric ton rice this year.

The cabinet observed that the Kitchen items were cheapest in Pakistan as comparing to the entire region. The government was doing utmost to minimize the impacts of global inflation, he said.

The minister said in Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad a flour bag was available at Rs 1,100 per bag, and same was available at Rs 1,404 per bag in Karachi and Rs 1,443 at Hyderabad due to bad governance of Pakistan Peoples Party’s government.

He said in international market, a sack of urea was available at Rs 10,500 per bag, adding that it was available at Rs 1,700 per bag in Punjab.

A smuggler fetched upto Rs 7 million for smuggling a truck of urea from Pakistan to any other country, he added.

The minister said it was noted that the consumption of urea had abruptly increased in Sindh by 53 percent in last six months. It showed that hoarding was rampant in the province and smugglers were being facilitated in the province, he said, adding
due to this reason Punjab’s farmer was suffering and buying urea from black market. The Sindh government must check the hoarding to provide solace to farmers, he said.

The minister said PTI government had launched a crackdown against hoarders in Punjab, which helped decreasing the price of urea by Rs 400 per bag in the province. Some 347 FIRs were registered against hoarders and 244 were arrested, 21,101 inspections were conducted and 480 warehouses were sealed and Rs 30 million fine was imposed on hoarders in Punjab, he added.
Fawad said in contrary, Sindh government did nothing to check hoarding due to involvement of members of the sitting government.

Divulging cabinet decisions, he said Petroleum Division briefed the cabinet about vacant posts of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officers in the division and attached departments and appraised the cabinet that the appointment process on four vacant posts was continuing.

The cabinet tasked Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam to devise a long term policy to control smog on permanent basis, he added.

The minister said the cabinet okayed enhancing visa duration of Tablighi Jamat from 120 to 150 days, besides providing them E-Visa facility.

Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that Rana Shamim had stated in Islamabad High Court that the circulated affidavit was not issued by him. The question was that how affidavit was published in newspapers, he said, adding it was assumed that Nawaz Sharif was involved in the publication of Shamim’s affidavit.

He said some media persons were involved in the campaign launched against judiciary and army and hoped that the court would take the issue to the logical conclusion.

To a question, the minister said the protest campaign of opposition was seasonal and indeed their own workers did not toing the line of opposition.

He said the price of lentils including Channa and Mong were Rs 115 and 142 per kg respectively in different cities. The same lentil (Channa) were available in Karachi at Rs 195 per kg and Rs 159 kg in Hyderabad.

Giving comparison of tea prices, Fawad said tea was available in Pakistan at Rs 1,309 per kg. Whereas the per kg of tea in Bangladesh was Rs 897, India 1,203, Srilanka Rs 1,170.

The minister warned that our gas reserves were fast depleting and we had to evolve an alternative strategy to deal with the situation.

He said under the gas load management plan, gas supply to the CNG sector would remain suspended from December 1 to February 15, 2022.

He, however, said gas supply would be fully provided to the Independent Power Producers, fertilizer companies and export oriented industries. 

The minister said five percent additional gas would be provided to the power plants being operated on the LNG. He said the gas saved from the CNG, cement and Captive Power Plants would be provided to the domestic consumers.

Fawad said the use of electricity was also being encouraged in the winter season and its tariff had been reduced for domestic consumers in order to entice them to shift their appliances such geysers and heaters to electricity.

SOURCE: APP

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Sports

Babar Azam to lead Karachi Kings in upcoming PSL 7

PSL Season 7 is likely to be played from late January 2022 through February, in Karachi and Lahore.

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Babar Azam to lead Karachi Kings in upcoming PSL 7

The Karachi Kings Tuesday announced that Babar Azam will lead Karachi Kings in Pakistan Super Legaue 7.

According to a statement issued in this regard, Azam, while reacting to his selection as the skipper, said: "This is such an honour for me that the whole team, including Imad Bhai, have entrusted me with the captaincy of our beloved Karachi Kings team. This means the world to me."

"I will work as hard as possible to take the team to even greater heights than what we’ve already achieved so far. Karachi and the Kings is my home and family away from home and my promise is that I will give it my all to make sure we keep on growing toward bigger and better things," Azam said.  

On the other hand, Imad Wasim, a member of Karachi Kings since the first season and captain since 2018, who captained the team to become PSL 5 Champions, also beamed with pride while announcing Azam's captaincy.

“Babar is a younger brother, a great friend, and a teammate and seeing him grow into this role has been a great privilege as a captain as well as a fan of the game," Wasim said.  "It is truly a sign of where this franchise is headed that we have all unanimously accepted it will be under his leadership that the future of the Kings lies."

Franchise owner Salman Iqbal said that Babar has been a part of the franchise for over six years and has been at the heart and soul of the team since day 1.

"He not only represents everything the team stands for — conviction in beliefs and hard work, selfless dedication to success, and always striving to make the team the best on and off the field, but is a beautiful human being and leader as well."

Team President, Wasim Akram and CEO, Tariq Wasi, were both present to add their joy and excitement at the announcement of giving the national skipper and long-time king the title of captain-- the King of Kings.

For PSL Season 7, further announcements on the team and the League will be forthcoming in the upcoming days. 

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