Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday warned that the cases of the Covid-19 may surge in the coming two months and "increase in mortality rate in the country cannot be ruled out".
"We have not yet reached to the highest level in terms of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Pakistan, which is probably expected in late May and early June. We must be prepared for the situations as there will be an increase in the confirmed cases and also rise in the mortality rate cannot be ruled out," Qureshi warned in a statement.
As our testing capabilities increase, he added, the actual number of victims of the coronavirus would come to surface.
"We also need to encourage people to take precautionary measures to prevent the outbreak of the virus and also to ensure that no panic is created," Qureshi added.
"Today, we are facing a situation, where we have to make every effort to prevent the outbreak of the virus, and on the other hand, we have to protect the poor people from hunger," he added.
Qureshi pointed out that the entire world was suffering due to the pandemic and there were no permanent and specific rules to deal with the situations.
"Pakistan is a poor country. We cannot go on a permanent lockdown. We have to adjust and change our strategies according to the situation," he added.
Referring to the stranded Pakistanis in various countries, Qureshi said that vigorous efforts were being made for early repatriation of stranded Pakistanis from abroad.
He said thousands of stranded Pakistanis were anxiously waiting for their repatriation and government fully realised their pain and difficulties.
Qureshi said that the government was enhancing the capacity of testing and quarantining overseas Pakistanis upon their arrival in Pakistan, so that they could be brought back in large numbers.
He pointed out that earlier the government was bringing back 2,000 stranded Pakistanis every week, and now it would be able to fly back over 6,000 citizens from abroad.
Qureshi said that those returning back would be provided testing and quarantine facilities with enhanced testing capacity and opening up of more airports in the country.
Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar also held meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday in which the two ministers discussed the government's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the potential economic crisis.
The federal minister for economic affairs apprised the foreign minister of various proposed economic recovery plans to keep the economy in track in this difficult time.
In a meeting with Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt Gen Mohammad Afzal, the foreign minister lauded the authority's efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
He said that the NDMA had taken timely steps to stop spread of the disease and the whole nation valued those services.
He said that the Foreign Office was also providing all possible coordination and facilitation in fighting the battle against Covid-19, adding that his ministry had played a vital role in dispatching medical equipment from China to Pakistan.
The chairman NDMA briefed the foreign minister about medical equipment received from China and other countries.