A woman wearing a protective mask shops at a market in Karachi. Centre Young girls and a boy wearing face masks amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 on the outskirts of Islamabad on Wednesday. Reuters / AFP
Pakistan tally of confirmed coronavirus cases crossed 250 on Wednesday after new cases emerged in Sindh, Islamabad and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Residents wearing face masks amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 buy food items from a state-run utility store in Islamabad. AFP
In a speech on Tuesday night, the Prime Minister said, "We need to protect ourselves and others to prove that we are a responsible nation. Do not panic. The government will try its best to control the disease, provide medical facilities and ensure supplies."
"Even the US doesn't have the resources to test everyone who comes," he said. "Only those with intense symptoms should go to hospital."
"There is no need to worry. We will fight this as a nation. And God-willing, we will win this war," Imran said.
Imran told people to support the government in its efforts against the disease by staying at home to judge themselves, avoiding attending public gatherings, taking other precautionary measures and going for medical checkup only if they have COVID-19 symptoms, Xinhua news agency reported.
His comments came amid a growing dispute in Pakistan between federal and provincial authorities with the latter struggling to secure sufficient coronavirus testing kits and blaming the federal government for failing to properly test and quarantine hundreds of Pakistanis who recently returned home across a land border with Iran.
Late on Tuesday, Pakistan said it would require all arriving air passengers to show they had tested negative for the disease. Land borders have already been shut.
Imran also urged the people to learn from China in combating the disease and hailed China's successful efforts to control the virus spread, saying, "At the time when the number of cases are increasing in the world, the affected people are decreasing in China, which is very good news."
"We are in constant contact with China since the outbreak. China is already helping us, but we need to learn from it even more," said Imran.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Indian subcontinent rose overnight to 482 as authorities across the region imposed travel restrictions to block the fast-spreading disease that has infected nearly 200,000 people worldwide and killed nearly 8,000 people.
There are fears that inadequate health facilities will be overwhelmed in many parts of the poor, crowded region.
The prime minister said that an economic committee would determine how the government could cope with the effects on the country's economy by the coronavirus, adding that the government would take measures to facilitate exporters and those who would suffer losses during the crises.
Pakistan's central bank cut its key interest rate by 75 bps to 12.50% on Tuesday, the first cut in four years, as the coronavirus roiled markets across the region.
The country has closed all public and private educational institutions, marriage halls, cultural centres, cinemas, and cancelled all sports activities and official events and also blocked its western border crossings with Iran and Afghanistan.
Imran said the country would continue strict screening at all entry points as it has already screened over 9,00,000 people since the country started taking measures against the disease. Quarantine centers are being established across the country and suspected patients, especially coming from abroad, are being kept there.Confirmed Coronavirus Cases in South Asia:
Pakistan - 250
India - 147
Sri Lanka - 43
Afghanistan – 22
"We expect the first 10,000 doses to come on March 25, and 100,000 next month and 200,000 the month after," said Hassan Abbas, an official of AJ Pharma, CanSino's local partner, which will be importing the vaccine.
The sealing of high-risk area comes as Pakistan reported 6,472 news cases on Saturday, the country's highest single-day total. Pakistan has confirmed a total of 132,405 cases, including 2,551 deaths.
Prime Minister Imran Khan announced the ban, fearing hospitals will be overwhelmed as they were in June if people do not act responsibly.
Besides books and authors, a colourful and entertaining combination of dance, music and interactive theatre await visitors at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF 2021) which will run from November 3-13 at the Expo Centre Sharjah.
Let not the seemingly boundless outer space engulf man of his limitations but let it be a means to help him understand and clasp to his bosom his and others’ limitations.
Sheikh Ahmed was introduced to the observation cabins of Ain Dubai, which provide visitors the perfect vantage point for 360-degree views of Dubai, over the waters of the Arabian Gulf. The 48 passenger cabins have the capacity to carry more than 1,750 visitors at once.
Qureshi said Pakistan was determined to help Afghanistan avoid a collapse of its economy and had agreed measures to ease some border restrictions and facilitate trade, including on-arrival visas for Afghan business travellers. "