US TO PROVIDE $7M COVD-19 FUND TO PAKISTAN

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The United States government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), will contribute $7 million to the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) ongoing project to address the secondary effects of Covid-19 in Pakistan.

In this regard, USAID Mission Director Julie Koenen and ADB Country Director Yong Ye attended a signing ceremony in Islamabad on Thursday.

ADB will use USAID’s $7m contribution to provide cash grants to Pakistani families in need of financial assistance due to the pandemic, a US embassy press release said.

The grants will be distributed through the ‘Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme’ managed by the Benazir Income Support Fund Programme. USAID’s funds also will provide technical and administrative support to ensure effectiveness, accountability, and transparency for the programme beneficiaries.

Meanwhile, the national tally of active Covid-19 cases rose slightly on Thursday to 22,501, as 460 more people tested positive for the virus while 336 people recovered from the disease during the last 24 hours, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said.

The NCOC, which serves as the nerve centre of the government’s unified effort to control the spread of the pandemic, also said in its daily update that 10 patients, including three on ventilators, died during the last 24 hours, raising the nationwide death toll to 28,638.

The forum said that national positivity ratio rose to 1.11% on Thursday, almost double of 0.64% recorded two days ago. At present, it added 1,087 patients were admitted to various hospitals across the country, including 1,044 in critical condition. It added that 121 patients were on ventilators.

As of Thursday, the national caseload of the disease since the pandemic outbreak in February 2020 rose to 1,280,822, according to the NCOC data. Among them, the update said that 1,229,683 people made full recovery, depicting a significant recovery ratio of more than 90%.

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