Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that homegrown cases of the novel coronavirus in Pakistan and not a single case was imported from China.
Addressing a meeting of parliamentary leaders via videolink, the premier said the decision not to bring back students from the virus’s then epicentre Wuhan “was a good idea” as the country did not witness a single case of coronavirus coming from China.
“You would be happy to know, that till yesterday, only 153 cases were of local transmission and the rest were people who entered the country from abroad.”
“Homegrown coronavirus cases are very limited in Pakistan.”
Reiterating that the biggest challenge during a lockdown would be to ensure the well-being of daily wagers and those living below the poverty line, the prime minister said the federal government will “reassess and discuss and come up with solutions”.
He said the lockdown initially started by shutting schools and gatherings but K-P and Balochistan have taken it a step further and banned public transport as well.
The prime minister reiterated that the lockdown will impact the economy and increase poverty in the country, and said the decision of lockdown will need to be continuously reassessed.
“In the federal government, we were of the view that we need to tailor our response according to the number of cases. Sindh reacted further. Due to the pressure by the media and the people, the provinces of Balochistan, K-P and Punjab also initiated incremental lockdown,” said the prime minister.
Predicting a supply problem due to lockdown in various provinces, PM Imran said the current harvest season will require diesel fuel and transport and the country’s construction industry would also be affected.
“Even in the western world, there is a debate on whether coronavirus comes first or the economy.”
He added that the government would again review the situation on Thursday and if a curfew needs to be imposed in the country in the coming days, the government should be prepared for it.
The premier also requested national leaders to unite in their mission to combat the deadly coronavirus.
“Only the people can fight this war, no government can,” said the premier and urged people to take appropriate precautions.