Imran warns Pak of coronavirus sweep, says hospitals may fail as cases rise

Topics Coronavirus | Pakistan  | Lockdown

The government has extended partial lockdown till April 14 and constantly asking people to stay indoors.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday warned the coronavirus pandemic is getting worse and "hospitals may not be able to cope" as the number of confirmed cases jumped to 4,414 in the country and 340 new cases were detected on Thursday. 

Khan warned the people to follow official guidelines on self-isolation or the virus would spread further. He, however, defended his decision to not impose a total lockdown, saying over 50 million people were below the poverty line in the country and they could die of hunger if such a step is taken.

On Thursday, Khan launched the "Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme" to transfer a total of Rs 144 billion cash to 12 million poor families hit by the coronavirus crisis. The monetary assistance would be distributed among the poor families during the next two-and-a-half weeks after biometric verification.

The Ministry of National Health Services reported that the number of patients in worst-hit Punjab province was 2,171, Sindh 1,128, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 560, Gilgit-Baltistan 213, Balochistan 212, Islamabad 102 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 28. According to the ministry, 63 people have died due to the infection, including five in one day. A total of 572 people have recovered. Thirty-one people are in critical condition.

The government has extended partial lockdown till April 14 and constantly asking people to stay indoors and follow social distancing. Khan said the decision about easing the countrywide lockdown will be taken after seeking inputs from all the provinces on April 14.

Addressing the to members of Balochistan's Provincial Cabinet and Parliaments in Quetta on Thursday afternoon, Khan said federal and provincial governments are working jointly to cope with the situation arising out of the coronavirus crisis.

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