As the number of coronavirus cases in the country increased than 500-mark, concerned Pakistani citizens took to social media to urge the prime minister to impose a lockdown in the country as a precautionary measure to control the spread of coronavirus.
A day earlier, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had urged people in Karachi to self-isolate voluntarily for three days. The province has been under partial lock down.
Numerous prominent figures of the country, including singers, actors, sportsmen and economists have urged the premier to impose a lock down in the country. people fear that Pakistan’s trajectory of coronavirus matches that of Italy at the moment.
In a statement on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed the hope that Pakistan’s “hot and dry” weather will help to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak, urging citizens to exercise social distancing and self-discipline.
Speaking to senior journalists in Islamabad, the premier said: “We can manage [the outbreak]. There is a difference of opinion, but some doctors say that the type of heat Pakistan experiences, that makes the virus lose its effectiveness [to spread].”
If we exercise discipline for the next month-and-a-half, and avoid going to public places, and if those showing symptoms self-quarantine, then the spread of the virus can be controlled, he said.
According to the PM, Pakistan faces two major issues if the situation continues to worsen.
“If the number of cases in the country spike, then at least four to five per cent [of the patients] will need intensive care. This can become a serious problem for us and we do not have the necessary facilities to deal with this.”
The second thing, according to PM, was panic spreading among the people.
“Panicking is more dangerous for us than coronavirus,” he said, adding that the government will not be able to do anything if people start panic-buying.