Pakistan, India coronavirus cases, deaths spike

Pakistan’s coronavirus outbreak has grown steadily since the country’s first case in February. (Reuters)
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Updated 04 June 2020

Pakistan, India coronavirus cases, deaths spike

  • Pakistan reports a record single-day spike in coronavirus-related deaths
  • In India, COVID-19 fatalities have passed 6,000 after registering 260 deaths overnight

ISLAMABAD/ NEW DELHI: Pakistan reported a record single-day spike in coronavirus-related deaths with 82 new fatalities and 4,688 cases that it says resulted from increased testing in the past 24 hours.
In India, COVID-19 fatalities have passed 6,000 after registering 260 deaths overnight.
The country registered 9,304 new cases in yet another record single-day spike in infections, raising its totals to 216,919 cases with 6,075 deaths, the India’s health ministry reported Thursday.
Pakistan’s outbreak has grown steadily since the country’s first case in February. Since then, 1,770 people have died and 85,264 have tested positive.
As many as 901 patients were listed in critical condition at hospitals Thursday. The country has barely 3,000 intensive care beds serving a population of 220 million.
Pakistan for the first time conducted over 20,000 tests in the past 24 hours. It has done more than 615,000 tests after increasing its testing capacity from only two labs in February.
The spike comes after Prime Minister Imran Khan eased lockdown restrictions over expert’s recommendations to maintain them to prevent the spread of the virus. Authorities have blamed people not adhering to social distancing regulations for the growing outbreak.
Meanwhile, the Indian health ministry said it was ramping up the testing across the country and has performed 4 million. It said the daily capacity was almost 140,000 tests done through 480 government and 208 private laboratories.
India’s infections have spiked in recent weeks, mostly in its cities. The coastal state of Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected, with 74,860 cases and 2,587 deaths. The state capital is densely crowded Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital.
India is the seventh worst-hit nation by the pandemic.


Malaysia to reinstate pilots once Pakistani licenses OK’d

Updated 07 July 2020

Malaysia to reinstate pilots once Pakistani licenses OK’d

  • 30 percent of pilots grounded including 107 in foreign airlines

KUALA LUMPUR: The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) will reinstate Pakistani pilots as soon as Pakistani authorities verify their permits, an official told Arab News on Monday, after their temporary suspension due to a fake license scandal. 

Pakistan grounded almost 30 percent of its pilots last week after the country’s Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that they might have falsified their qualifications. 

Pakistan has 860 pilots, 107 of whom work for foreign airlines.

“The CAAM has sent two letters requesting verification from PCAA (Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority) as well as to inform them on the temporary suspension of Pakistani license holders in Malaysia,” Nurilya Anis Rahim, a public relations officer at CAAM, said in an email. 

Rahim added that the pilots’ licenses had been put on hold until further information from the PCAA.

“We are currently still waiting for a response from PCAA. Once an official confirmation has been made, we will reinstate these pilots with immediate effect.”

Captain Chester Voo, CAAM CEO, announced that it would temporarily suspend 20 Pakistani pilots employed with “local operators” such as flying schools, flying clubs and training organizations.

Rahim said that the decision was taken to ensure the safety and security of Malaysia’s civil aviation industry. 

“It is to ensure that all employed pilots in this country hold a valid license and abide by Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Regulation.”

The UK, EU and Vietnam have banned Pakistani pilots and barred Pakistan International Airlines’ (PIA) operations as well.

One analyst said that Malaysia’s stand was part of its “zero-compromises” approach.

“Malaysia has always taken a conservative stance which includes a zero-compromise on the integrity of certification and qualification of pilots,” Rizal Kamaruzzaman, a Malaysian aviation expert and executive director of Tindakan Strategi, told Arab News.

He added that the joint verification approach was an excellent opportunity for regulators in Pakistan and Malaysia to “clean” the register and weed out all pilots with dubious qualifications. 

“The move by the CAAM will also alert the rest of the airlines and general aviation aircraft to review the technical crew manifest flying into Malaysia and will definitely have a ripple effect on the aviation sector.”

He urged aviation regulators from other countries to learn a lesson from Pakistan.

“The trust and mutual recognition among regulators are a sacred pact to ensure safety for aircraft, pilots, crews, engineers and the main client that are the passengers are not compromised anywhere around the world,” he said.

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