- At least 150 million people have been affected by the lockdown enforced to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country: Imran.
- PM says despite the fact that less cases were reported in Pakistan than the projected 52,000, corona cases would continue to increase.
- The government eased lockdown and restrictions in the country owing to public demand and in view of the poor economic conditions.
(Karachi) Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government has taken measures to deal with increasing number of coronavirus cases and is working on increasing health capacity.
Addressing a press briefing on coronavirus situation in Islamabad on Friday, he said despite the fact that less cases were reported in Pakistan than the projected 52,000, corona cases would continue to increase. "It is estimated that four in hundred people infected by the virus will need to go to hospital," he said.
He maintained that 150 million people have been affected by the lockdown enforced to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country.
The premier mentioned that the government eased lockdown and restrictions in the country owing to public demand and in view of the poor economic conditions.
He added, "We can contain the virus by imposing lockdown but cannot stop it?" Scientists have predicted that it there will be no vaccine for the virus this year. We will have to learn to live with it," he remarked.
He said Pakistan despite its limited resources gave a stimulus package of 8 billion dollars to its people, whereas the US allocated 2,200 billion dollars and Japan 1,000 billion dollars for this purpose.
Imran Khan said situation of lockdown in Pakistan is different than advanced countries. Here, we have to save our people against starvation as well.
He said according to a survey 25 million people were daily wage earners in 2017 and 2018 in Pakistan. He said today 150 million people have been directly or indirectly affected by lockdown.
The prime minister pointed out that people who have been laid off because of the lockdown will be paid cash amount from Monday (May 18) from PM's Corona Relief Fund.
He said that the government is also discussing ways with provincial chiefs on opening public transport to facilitate poor people.
Speaking on the occasion, PM's focal person on coronavirus Dr Faisal Sultan has said that the coronavirus pandemic is detracting focus from other diseases in the country including tuberculosis and polio.
"Our progress to tackle the disease (TB) can go back several years if we neglect it [during the pandemic]. We have missed immunisation programmes. We have also missed two polio campaigns. You can gauge the effect from this," he said.
He added that the government did not want to "lose on any front".
Special Assistant to PM on health Dr Zafar Mirza announced that the government will make it mandatory for the public to wear face masks.
He said although the government has been asking people to wear face coverings as an advice so far, it will now make it compulsory to wear them in public areas through a notification.