Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday warned Pakistanis that they are not immune to the threat posed by the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday warned Pakistanis that they are not immune to the threat posed by the coronavirus, but exuded confidence that Pakistan would emerge stronger from the challenge, as the number of cases in the country rose to 2,708.
Khan’s remarks came as he visited Lahore to oversee the measures taken by the Punjab government as the number of coronavirus patients in the largest province of the country crossed 1,000. Khan visited a 1,000-bed makeshift hospital set up by the provincial government at a short notice to accommodate the coronavirus patients.
“Nobody should have the false motion that they will be safe from this (coronavirus)…Look at New York where most of the rich people live,” he said. Khan in a blunt warning said that nobody, himself included, knows when the pandemic will end and how much damage it will do. “It (virus) can remerge once settling down.
So we don’t know what will happen,” he said. He said the government was making all possible efforts to save the people, especially the most vulnerable, and reduce the losses due to epidemic. “When we emerge from this challenge, we will be a totally different nation…Those who take such times as a test and face it head on as a challenge, come out stronger,” he said. The Ministry of National Health Services on its website tracking the spread of the coronavirus reported that the pandemic has claimed 40 lives so far.
Punjab — the hotspot of the viral infection in Pakistan — reported a total of 1,072 cases, followed by Sindh at 839, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 343, Balochistan 175, Gilgit-Baltistan 193, Islamabad 75 and 11 cases in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). The data showed that the number of patients in Punjab, which accounts for more than 50 per cent of Pakistan’s population, crossed 1,000. Khan earlier in the day again rejected the possibility of a total lockdown.
Khan tweeted that the government locked down educational institutions, malls, marriage halls, restaurants and other places where public congregates. “But, to stop the devastation of the lockdown we have kept our agri sector open and now we are opening up our construction sector.” “In the subcontinent, with a high rate of poverty, we are faced with the stark choice of having to balance between a lockdown necessary to slow down/prevent the spread of COVID19 and ensuring people don’t die of hunger and our economy doesn’t collapse.
So we are walking a tightrope,” he said in another tweet. Khan on Friday mentioned the problems faced by India due to what he called unplanned lockdown. “India is facing dire consequences due to unplanned lockdown.
As a sensible strategy is required, we are monitoring the situation daily,” Khan said. Meanwhile, the Punjab government announced that it will reopen more industries including textile, sports good, surgical goods, auto parts, leather and leather garments, meat and meat products, fruit and vegetables and pharmaceuticals.