Despite the repercussions of COVID-19 pandemic on almost all commercial sectors, construction sector in the country is witnessing a boom. Even so, Pakistan’s cement sector posted the highest-ever monthly growth of 44.39 per cent in March at 5.773 million tonnes from 3.722m tonnes in the corresponding period last year due to a massive increase in domestic consumption and exports.
The registration for COVID-19 vaccination for Pakistanis of and above the age of 30 will begin from April 16 as vaccine supply continues to improve in the country. Registration for people of and above 40 is ongoing, while walk-in vaccination for the age group has begun as well. People can now visit any vaccination centre and get their COVID-19 shot.
Mucormycosis also called ‘Black Fungus’ has been detected among several Covid-19 patients across Pakistan. Four patients have thus far died due to the dangerous fungal infection. The infection affects the sinuses, brain, lungs, skin and kidneys, and symptoms depends on where in the body the fungi is growing. The infection is being largely reported in Covid-19 patients in India.
48 lives were lost after relentless air strikes by Israel targeting Hamas and other Islamist groups fuelled growing fears that violence between Israel and Palestinians could spiral into “full-scale war”. Palestinian militants have launched more than 1,000 rockets since Monday, said Israel’s army. It was the heaviest offensive between Israel and Hamas since a 2014 war in Gaza.
The World Health Organisation said on Monday that the B.1.617 variant first identified in India last year was being classified as a variant of global concern. The WHO has said the predominant lineage of B.1.617 was first identified in India last December, and available information suggests increased transmissibility. The variant has already spread to other countries, and many nations have moved to restrict movements from India.
Shehroze Kashif, a 19-year-old, has become the youngest Pakistani mountaineer to reach the summit of Mount Everest at 8,848.86 metres. Hailing from Lahore, Kashif is also the youngest Pakistani to have climbed Broad Peak (8,047m) at the age of 17. He used supplemental oxygen on his climbs to Broad Peak and Everest. His expedition to Broad Peak earned him the title “The Broad Boy”.
The World Health Organization has approved the emergency use of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by China’s Sinopharm. WHO’s decision opens the possibility that Sinopharm’s offering could be included in the United Nations-backed COVAX programme in coming weeks or months, and distributed through United Nations children’s agency UNICEF and WHO’s Americas regional office. A summary posted online by WHO suggests the vaccine is about 78 percent effective.
Pakistan has received about 1.23 million doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine today which were procured under the COVAX programme. So far about 10.19 million doses of different vaccines (Sinopharm, Sinovac and CanSino) had reached Pakistan. Out of the 3.5 million Sinovac Covid-19 jabs, one million would reach Pakistan on May 9 whereas another consignment of a million doses would reach the country between May 13-15.
Every few months, Pakistan television host Waqar Zaka makes it to the headlines for reasons unusual in most ways. This time around, the crypto entrepreneur has claimed that he can pay off Pakistan’s debts with ‘cryptocurrency’ if Prime Minister Imran Khan steps down and lets him run the country. Waqar then challenged politicians to give a better solution.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Political Affairs (SAPM) Shahbaz Gill announced the news that US e-commerce giant Amazon has added Pakistan to its approved seller list. Gill said Pakistan has now joined the global market which will result in billions for the country in the form of investment and employment opportunities. Accounts can now be made of Amazon using Pakistani details.
The Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) has appointed Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, a former caretaker Finance Minister of Pakistan, as its first female chair. A development economist and former central bank governor — also the first woman to assume this position — Akhtar previously served at the Asian Development Bank. In 2008, The Wall Street Journal named her one of the top ten women leaders in Asia.