ISLAMABAD: Highlighting that the country recorded lower cases of the coronavirus than projected, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday the number of Covid-19 cases could see a spike until mid-May.
Speaking at a media briefing in Islamabad, the premier said there would have been 50,000 cases by April 25 as per initial projections but that is not the case. He added new projections suggest the country will see 12,000 to 15,000 patients.
PM Imran Khan took exception to “fake” news about higher number of Covid-19 fatalities in Karachi where he said fear was being spread that more deaths have occurred because of the virus than being reported.
He was of the view that fighting the pandemic and saving people’s lives is a national duty and should not be hindered by such fake news or politics.
Prime minister Imran Khan also said the government’s taking early decisions and imposing an early lockdown are yielding results.
He recalled the country went into lockdown in March when there were only a few cases with screening people at airports and pilgrims returning from Iran through land routes.
Prime Minister Khan said the government is preparing itself to deal with the spike in coronavirus cases with necessary medical equipment, including ventilators, being procured.
He said the government will slowly start reopening the economy as it is going to open the construction sector. He added he has been making decisions keeping in view the hardships faced by the poor.
The premier said he is concerned at the poor’s conditions as the decision to open the construction sector was made in light of the difficulties the labourer and business class faced.
He said the government is disbursing Rs12,000 cash among 12 million deserving families across the country.
The prime minister warned that the government will take stern action against those involved in hoarding, smuggling, and corruption across the country. He said an ordinance against hoarding has already been promulgated while another ordinance about smuggling will be enforced in a day or two.