Tracking the deadly outbreak: The Express Tribune brings you the latest news along with analysis of local and global trends to keep you updated & informed.

Our world has been upended by the novel coronavirus – which publicly emerged in the central China city of Wuhan towards the end of 2019 and has since been declared a global pandemic.

The first 41 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Wuhan, China, on January 10 and it took the world until April 1 to reach its first million cases. By August, global coronavirus cases surpassed 25 million though the true number is thought to be higher as testing is still limited.

In Pakistan, most of the initial corona-positive cases were traced to Iran – the country worst hit by the virus in the Middle East. But now local transmission of the virus has become a challenge for the cash-strapped government.

It took a month for Pakistan to confirm 1000 novel coronavirus cases which doubled in a week. In 55 days, the country's Covid-19 cases tally crossed the 10,000-mark. In 80 days, the country had over 50,000 confirmed cases. By June end, the tally crossed 200,000. The curve began to flatten by July.

Since the situation remains highly fluid, the stats are changing fast and we’re updating them accordingly.


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The pace of novel coronavirus outbreak means that the information is not static. Here is the latest data on infections, recoveries and deaths  from the COVID-19. 

Last updated Sept 28 at 4:00pm
Source: Federal and provincial governments of Pakistan


In seven months, the novel coronavirus has spread through the globe with over 15 million infections - more than the annual flu tally.  

At home, authorities confirmed the first novel coronavirus case on February 26. By the end of May, the nationwide Covid-19 surges past 70,000. In June, the tally crossed 200,000. the numbers fluctuate despite efforts to flatten the curve, The Express Tribune traces the health crisis that has gripped the country.

Daily situational report

Daily blog

June 26: Covid tally crosses 200K

June 15: Covid-19 tally crosses 150K

June 6: Cases surge past 100K

May 21: Covid tally soars past 50K

May 7: Covid-19 tally soars past 25K

May 3: Pakistan's Covid-19 tally nears 20K

April 28: Pakistan's Covid-19 tally soars past 15K

April 22: Case tally crosses 10K mark


April 11: Tally soars past 5,000

April 5: COVID-19 claims 50 lives

April 1: Pakistan's COVID-19 tally crosses 2,000

March 29: Pakistan's COVID-19 tally soars past 1,500

March 27: Pakistan's death toll reaches 10

March 26: Pakistan's tally crosses 1,100


March 18: Pakistan's COVID-19 tally crosses 250

March 18: Pakistan confirms first two COVID-19 deaths

March 15: Pakistan confirms 20 COVID-19 cases in a day 

Pakistan's 1st patient discharged

Feb 26: First 2 COVID-10 cases confirmed


Since the emergence of the novel coronavirus late last year, the world has been in uncharted territory, and flooded by grim updates about the spread of the virus.

In the midst of self-isolation and uncertainty, The Express Tribune features stories of survival of patients as they share first-hand experience of dealing with the pneumonia-like virus, and overcoming the psychological, social and health impacts of the infection.

Blot on a Covid-19 survivor's escutcheon  

Two weeks in Karachi's largest isolation centre

Covid-19 survivors lives yet to normalise

Survivors fear stigma more than virus

From being diagnosed to being treated as a pariah then emerging healthy
"I had never seen doctors dressed like aliens before..."
"Isolation scared me more than the virus."

"I spent the two weeks exasperated by rumours."


In the months since the novel coronavirus’s emergence, the world has been gripped by fear and anxiety as infections and death tolls rise.

Amid all the uncertainty, there are stories of courage and resilience. From medical professionals and law enforcers to volunteers helping the most vulnerable, The Express Tribune features the heroes on the frontline of the battle against COVID-19.

Rescuers brave rising tide of Covid-19 in Punjab

 Unsung heroes of coronavirus control room

Unseen & unappreciated lab technicians

Amid virus crisis, health workers remain steadfast

Life on the frontline

Rescue workers resumes work after Covid-19 recovery
Nurses: In the line of defence

Brave hearts in Mardan fight virus 

May 16: Inside Karachi's isolation centre 


June 22: Over 60 frontline healthcare workers succumb to virus

Reuters photographers capture the hush that has descended on some of the world's best-known sites on the same day, at noon.


Nearly a month after the first Covid-19 case was detected in the country, the government imposed a nationwide partial lockdown. 

The federal government issued a phase-wise lockdown lift early May despite a rising trend in coronavirus cases. In June, the country adopted smart lockdown to contain the spread.

The Express Tribune tracks measures taken by the federal and provincial governments to stop the proliferation of the novel coronavirus.

'Ghabrana nahin hai," PM Imran addresses nation 

Pakistan's action plan against COVID-19 outbreak 

July 12: The curve is flattening

June 10: WHO says Pakistan doesn't qualify for eased lockdown

May 18: SC directs provinces. toopen shopping malls, markets on weekends

May 7: Imran Khan announces lifting of lockdown

April 23: 27% of Pakistan's total cases linked to Tableeghi ijtima

April 18: PTI govt, Ulema agree on SOPs for Ramazan

April 4: Can't afford indefinite lockdown, says ISPR

April 1: Virus restrictions to remain till April 14

April 15: Fatality rate ‘very low in Pakistan’

April 14: PM Imran extends lockdown

March 31: Pakistan may be hardest hit by pandemic, says UN

March 26: Centre allows Mosques to stay open

March 24: Pakistan suspends train servcice

March 24: Centre, provinces at loggerheads 

March 23: Army called in to fight pandemic

March 21: Pakistan suspends international flights

March 21: COAS asks people to be 'responsible'

March 20: 'People should self-quarantine for 45 days'

 March 19: Partial lockdown in Sindh, Punjab & K-P


March 19: COVID-19 test must for travellers


March 13: Pakistan seals borders, limits flightt

More news..

Islamabad Capital Territory 

Three weeks after reporting its novel coronavirus, the federal capital’s tally of confirmed cases had soared past 50.

In a bid to contain the spread, the authorities urged strict social distancing and banned congregations under Section 144.

However, following the federal government's directives to resume life, the authorities are struggling to ensure SOP implementation.

Follow our coverage of the government’s measures and the COVID-19 epidemiological outlook  here


Punjab has seen the largest spike in confirmed novel coronavirus cases, reporting up to 500 cases in a day.

Despite declaring a health emergency on March 13, the provincial government was slow to gauge the seriousness of the pandemic as it allowed a large religious congregation at a time when experts were urging social distancing.

On March 21, CM Usman Buzdar announced a three-day lockdown to slowdown the outbreak.

However, following the federal government's directives to resume life, the authorities are struggling to ensure SOP implementation.

Follow our coverage of the government’s measures and the COVID-19 epidemiological outlook in Punjab here.


The provincial government was quick to act when it quarantined the pilgrims returning from Iran – majority of whom account for the country’s positive cases. 

After a partial lockdown, the provincial government imposed a complete shut down on March 21, which was extended till May. 

After the federal government decided to end lockdown in phases and the Supreme Court's directed to reopen markets for Eid, Sindh saw a spike in Covid-19 infections. 

Follow our coverage of the government’s measures and the COVID-19 epidemiological outlook  in Sindh here.


K-P declared a health emergency on March 4, and a partial lockdown was put in place on March 23.

The restrictions remained in place till May until the federal government decided to ease lockdown. 

But a surge in Covid-19 infections has forced the K-P govt to push for a revised lockdown to contain the spread. 

Follow our coverage of the government’s measures and the COVID-19 epidemiological outlook  in K-P here.


The ‘botched’ quarantine in Taftan of pilgrims returning from Iran had renewed concerns over the threadbare healthcare facilities in Balochistan.

Being under-developed and with levels of poverty, it has limited ability to test and report cases or to sustain a prolonged lockdown, which has been in place since March 24. There have also been protests by doctors over lack of protective gear.

As it is sparsely populated, the dangers of a large-scale outbreak remains low. But the porous border with Iran remains a concern.

Follow our coverage of the government’s measures and the COVID-19 epidemiological outlook  in Balochistan here.


Like most of Pakistan, AJK and G-B have been in lockdown since the last week of March, with daily life becoming a struggle in a region that is predominantly reliant on tourism.

The martyrdom of Usama Riaz, a young doctor who died while treating patients in G-B, also shed light on PPE shortage, which has since been addressed.

Transport remains suspended in the region, with special passes issued to people to travel. There have been recurring complaints of prolonged power outages and inadequate internet speed as locals adjust to life with restricted movement.

Follow our coverage of the government’s measures and the COVID-19 epidemiological outlook in G-B & AJK here.


With the virus showing no signs of relenting, pressure on healthcare sector across the world mounted and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 a pandemic.

The following days witnessed the global economy grind to a halt as countries went into lockdown to contain further spread. The resulting impact dealt a devastating blow as supply chains were disrupted and businesses were forced to shut down.

Economies across the world announced massive fiscal stimulus packages to deal with the economic fallout. However, the crisis seems far from over. Very recently, the International Monetary Fund managing director said that the coronavirus pandemic will push the global economy into the deepest recession since the Great Depression, with the world’s poorest countries suffering the most.

In Pakistan’s case, the finance ministry said that so far the magnitude of decline in economic growth due to the pandemic remained uncertain while a new independent assessment put the national output losses in range of Rs891 billion to Rs1.6 trillion in fourth fiscal quarter alone.

The numbers paint a dismal picture, not just for Pakistan but for the entire world. With a vaccine still not available, the future remains bleak as the global economy is now in recession and Pakistan seems to be headed that way.

COVID-19 forecast to render 1.8m jobless

Is work from home here to stay?

Gold climbs new peaks

Start-ups hit hardest

Over 54% Pakistanis face paycuts or layoffs

Global equities rebound

Sports industry struggles to recover

PTI govt fails to avail $130m Covid loans 

Oil falls on fears over rising global case tally

Cutting expenses in pandemic

Black swan and investment strategy

Dealing with debt amid pandemic

Pandemic woes: Next fiscal year to be even more painful 

IT leapfrogging during COVID-19 isolation in Pakistan

Moody's cuts Pakistan's growth forecast

Pakistan gets Paris debt relief

Pakistan's remittance under threat

Pakistan's economcy contracts for the first time

More news..


To slow the proliferation of the novel coronavirus, travel and events around the globe are being postponed or cancelled.

As the world adjusts to lockdown, The Express Tribune tracks the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and lives.

How the covid-19 has hit global sport

Saudi limits Hajj 2020 to 1,000 pilgrims

March 23: Cambridge cancels international exams

April 18: Queen cancels birthday plans


Cambridge leaves Pakistani private students in the lurch

March 17: HBL PSL 5 postponed indefinitely

April 2: Lal Shahbaz Qalendar Urs cancelled

April 5: Disney shuffles film releases

April 21: The Batman pushed forward


April 19: Lux Style Awards cancelled



Identified by Chinese authorities on January 7, SARS-CoV-2 is a new strain of the coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

With infections soaring past 17 million mark, billions of people are living under smart lockdown as governments and experts step up efforts against the pandemic.

As scientists continue to examine the unique virus, The Express Tribune sieves through an influx of information. 

Scientists warn of potential Covid-linked brain damage

Breakthrough treatment cuts Covid-19 death risks

More & more young people dying of virus: WHO

Recovery from Covid-19 may not confer immunity

What is herd immunity?

WHO health alert brings COVID-19 facts to billions via WhatsApp

Why are South Koreans testing positive again?

COVID-19 to worsen gender inequalities in Pakistan

Dexamethasone reduces death rates in critical cases

'Lack of global leadership biggest threat'

Are masks helping?

Is CoV-2 (Coronavirus-2) a man-made pathogen?

Fill the gaps or brace for impact

Safe burial

What is chloroquine?

Cats can get COVID-19

Heat won’t prevent or treat COVID-19

Who is a Covidiot?

Loss of taste, smell likely sympotoms

'COVID-19 can survive on some surfaces for days'

More news..

Mutation in new coronavirus increases chance of infection

Pandemic stress could trigger irregular periods

Women leaders common link in country with best response

Is CoV-2 (Coronavirus-2) a man-made pathogen?


More than three billion people around the world are living under lockdown in a bid to slow the progression of the deadly pneumonia-like virus that emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. In just four months, the novel coronavirus infected over 25 million people across the globe with the death north of 800,000.

But even in a quarantined world, life goes on. We bring you stories of resilience and ingenuity, a celebration of the human spirit in these troubled times. 

Read our top picks and tell us your favourite

Virus brews trouble for tea, disrupts supply as demand spikes

Criminals using food delivery services to transport drugs 

Covid, Corona & Lockdown: newborns named after a pandemic

Misinformation ruining lives, says UK fact-checker

Pandemic leaves K-P mothers, children in the lurch

Fearing second wave, Europe to train 'army' of medics

An Eid like no other. PHOTOS: REUTERS

Online buying picks amid pandemic

A tough Eid for tailors

'Meethi' Eid without sweets

A socially distant Eid

Children draw what they miss the most during lockdown. PHOTO: REUTERS

Afghan girls try building ventilator from used car parts

Ghosts' scare Indonesians indoors 

Wedding streamers: Couple takes big day online 

Crime rate drops around the world amid COVID-19 pandemic

Nearly 50% Pakistanis yet to take preventive measures

More news..

Sending a message in coronavirus pandemic. PHOTO: REUTERS


The lockdown to curtail the proliferation of the novel coronavirus has had one unexpected side-effect — a sustained drop in air pollution.

The Express Tribune tracks the air quality index amid the lockdown.

Karachi saw drop in pollution during lockdown

Punjab sees spike in air pollution as lockdown eased

Air pollution drops to record low

Pakistan's AQI improves amid lockdown

Lockdown leads to a drop in K-P pollution

Lockdown becomes blessing in disguise


The highly contagious novel coronavirus that has exploded into a global pandemic has reportedly infected over 25 million people and claimed more than 800,000 lives across the world.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 210 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances.

Here are the latest updates of the COVID-19 pandemic impact across the globe.

Aug 29: Global Covid-19 tally soars past 25m

Aug 23: India's virus tally crosses 3m

Aug 22: Global death toll soars past 800,000

Aug 10: Global infections cross 20m

Aug 9: US cases top 5m

Aug 3: 18m infections worldwide

Aug 5: Global death toll crosses 700K

Aug 3: 18m infections worldwide

July 30: Brazil death toll crosses 90K

July 27: Global case tally surpasses 16m

July 17: One million cases in India

July 18: 14m new cases in 100 hours take tally to 14m

July 8: 12m infections across the globe

June: One person died of Covied every 18 seconds

June 28: More than 10M infected

June 22: Case tally soars past 9M

June 16: 8m cases reported across the world

June 8: Global case tally soars past 7m

June 7: Global death toll past 400,000

May 31: Over 6m cases reported worldwide

May 21: Over 5M Covid infections across 

May 20: Over 100,000 cases recorded in a day

May 16: Globaly case tally soars past 4.5M

April 27: Over 3M infected worldwide

April 25: Global deaths surpass 200,000

April 15: Worldwide case tally tops 2 million 

April 10: Global deaths surpass 100,00

April 6: US death toll soars past 10,000

April 5:  Over 250,000 patients recover globally

April: Global tally soars past 1 million

April 2: Curfew imposed in Makkah & Madinah

April 1: COVID-19 worst crisis since WWII, says UN boss

April 1: China reports asymptomatic cases

March 31: Italy death toll soars past 10,000

Worldwide lockdown to contain COVID-19

Public figures who have tested positive for COVID-19

March 18: Politicians 'underestimated' virus threat, says EU chief

Trump suspends travel from Europe to US 

Countries which have imposed travel restrictions

March 9: Italy locks down millions as its coronavirus deaths jump

More news..


Looking at the pandemic that has gripped the world through the lense of our our op-ed writers and bloggers. Find more of our analysis here.

Thoughts in self-isolation

Let’s join hands in fighting coronavirus

Covid-19: We will come through this together

Pakistan needs to act now or never

Pandemic demands transformation

Could COVID-19 become Pakistan's white swan?

Produced by: Niha Dagia
Artwork: Ibrahim Yahya, Mohsin Alam