The Latest: Pakistan imposes mini-lockdowns in Islamabad


ISLAMABAD – Pakistani authorities have imposed a mini-lockdown in some areas of the capital, Islamabad, sealing off hot spots to contain the rising coronavirus.

The government says the restrictions will remain in place until there is an improvement in the situation.

Similar mini-lockdowns have also been imposed in hot spots of Pakistan’s other major cities, including the southern port city of Karachi, the eastern city of Lahore and the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

But people are still ignoring social distancing rules, although authorities are fining those not wearing masks and violating social distancing rules.

The latest development comes hours after Pakistan on Tuesday reported 1,637 new COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths in the past 24 hours. The country has registered 346,476 confirmed cases and 7,000 deaths since February.



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BEIJING – Authorities in China’s financial hub of Shanghai have quarantined 186 people and conducted coronavirus tests on more than 8,000 after a freight handler at the city’s main international airport tested positive for the virus.

No additional cases have been found, the city government said on its microblog Tuesday. It remains unclear how the 51-year-old man contracted the virus, which has largely spared the sprawling metropolis despite its dense population and strong international links.

In the northern port city of Tianjin, more than 77,000 people have been tested after a locally transmitted case was reported there on Monday. That case was believed to be linked to a cold storage warehouse, reinforcing suspicions that the virus may be spreading to victims from frozen food packaging.


FARGO, N.D. – North Dakota’s governor says health care workers who have tested positive for the coronavirus but have no symptoms should be allowed to stay on the job as part of an effort to ease the stress on hospitals and medical personnel dealing with the pandemic.

Gov. Doug Burgum said Monday the CDC allows such personnel to keep working as long as they take precautions.

Burgum says leaders from the six major hospitals in the state will meet daily to discuss hospital space and staffing, with the likelihood of shifting personnel among them. Some hospitals are suspending some elective surgeries.

The governor also announced that every county in the state has been declared at high risk, so businesses will be limited to 25% capacity. He says masks “should be required.”


HARTFORD, Conn. – Pfizer’s senior vice president of drug safety says the timing of the company’s announcement was of progress in its coronavirus vaccine was not related in any way to the presidential election and was made as soon as the efficacy data was ready.

John Burkhardt told reporters Monday that no corners were cut, but the company broke with standard practice and has been manufacturing the vaccine even as the vaccine goes through the approval process.

He says that ”normally, you wouldn’t spend $1 billion to manufacture a product that may not work. You wait and see whether it works and whether it’s safe and then you do the manufacturing. So we did that at risk. That was a decision that was made very early in the process.”

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