ISLAMABAD: A decision on whether the lockdown of all countries currently in force or not should be relaxed will be taken after taking all the provinces aboard, said the Federal Minister for Special Planning, Development and Initiative Asad Umar.
“The government will decide on the strategy after 9 May after the National Coordinating Committee meeting,” Umar told the media in Islamabad on Sunday.
The federal minister said the decision to ease locking would be taken in such a way that it would not paralyze the country’s health system. “Restrictions in this country will be eased gradually to provide livelihoods for the people.”
He added, “We have significantly increased the capacity of our health care system. We currently have 1,400 ventilators for coronavirus patients and 900 more will be added in two months. At present, there are 35 coronavirus patients who use ventilators. “
Umar added that the country now has the capacity to develop medical equipment and soon domestic ventilator production will begin.
“The country has 55 functional laboratories and we have the capacity to carry out more than 14,000 coronavirus tests every day,” he said, adding that the testing, tracking and quarantine systems were made functional.
Speaking of the surge in death tolls in the country over the past few days, Umar said that at the start of the pandemic, the country recorded one or two deaths every day whereas now it has gone up significantly. “There have been an average of 24 deaths in the country over the past six days,” he said.
“This is not good news and this shows how important it is to practice preventive measures,” Umar said.
He continued, “This number is likely to increase in May but will not go out of control. The government has increased its testing capacity. Today our testing capacity is much better than two months ago. At present we have the capacity to do 20,000 tests every day. “
The Minister once again stressed that the pandemic situation was not as fatal as in Europe and the United States.
“Death rates in Pakistan are far less than in the United States, Britain and Spain,” he said, stressing that citizens need to take precautionary measures to stem the spread of the virus.
He added that the economic impact of the lockdown was far more serious on the Pakistani economy than Western countries.
“In Europe, there are thousands of deaths and even those countries are now easing restrictions carefully because even those countries know they cannot close them all forever,” he added.
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