ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said the coronavirus pandemic had changed the world.

Addressing senior officers at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he said “coronavirus pandemic has changed the world, and we will have to prepare ourselves to move ahead in the changing environment.”

The FM said as important meetings and conferences in the world were being held through video link, “we need to digitise ourselves to effectively present our viewpoint.”

He stressed the need for joint efforts to further enhance the capacity of Pakistan’s ambassadors, “who are known in the world for having better understanding of diplomacy.”

Earlier, the World Health Organization recommended that Pakistani authorities re-impose a strict, intermittent lockdown targeting localities with high coronavirus spread, as cases in the South Asian country increase exponentially since most restrictions were lifted last month.

In a letter sent to the provincial governments, WHO Pakistan chief Palitha Mahipala said the country did not meet any of the organisation’s six technical criteria for easing a lockdown.

“As of today, Pakistan does not meet any of the pre-requisite conditions for opening the lock down,” said the letter.

The government, led by Prime Minister Imran Khan, had imposed lockdown restrictions of varying strictness in different provinces, but lifted most measures in late May, ahead of the Muslim festival of Eid.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Pakistani ambassadors were facilitating the Pakistani community in the entire world during the coronavirus pandemic, “which is being appreciated by people through social media.” He said this appreciation had heightened Pakistanis’ morale.