Islamabad - As the deadly coronavirus spreads in the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said there is no need to panic as the war against novel coronavirus could be won by following a five point advisory.

“You do not need to panic. It is our belief that life and death are in the hands of Allah. We as a nation need to win this war against coronavirus,” emphasised the Prime Minister in his televised address to the nation on Tuesday night.

He warned the public that coronavirus will spread as countries having better health facilities could not halt its spread. Join hands to battle coronavirus as no government, including America and China, were able to tackle it alone. It is because of joint efforts that they are surviving. He said that the virus was spreading in many countries and the government was studying responses of other governments and how they were acting to eliminate the pandemic.

He asked the people to adopt five precautionary measures to overcome the highly contagious disease. The virus was dangerous for old people since it attacked their already-weakened immune system. Everyone must avoid gatherings of more than 40 people, especially those behind closed doors.

Handshaking must also be avoided as the contagion can easily spread through physical contact.

 

Those arriving from abroad should go on a 14-day self-quarantine.

 

In a bid to lessen burden on healthcare staff, only those with severe symptoms should visit hospitals for coronavirus testing because every flu and cough is not COVID-19, he added.

 

He advised the nation that every person should not get himself/herself tested based on mild flu symptoms, the testing kits need to be only used for people who were in real risk from the virus, such as elderly patients.

 

The Prime Minister said the government is vigilant and taking all-out measures to control the epidemic.

 

Prime Minister said that the government was following the situation closely, adding that Pakistan cannot afford the same response as seen in western countries. 

 

“Our economic situation is very fragile,” he said. “If we close down the country, what will happen to the poor? People will die of hunger here,” he said.

 

The Prime Minister said that an economic committee will determine how the government can cope with the coronavirus situation.

 

Imran Khan said that he feared food prices will once again rise as profiteers and hoarders will resume illicit activities. He said that nearly all the industries across the world are collapsing; Pakistan will also have to face severe problems.

 

He pointed out that first it will affect our exporters despite our exports having recently increased - our textile industry is running at full capacity.

 

“Business will get affected. The economic committee will monitor which areas are being affected and how the government can help them, they will keep a check on inflation,” he said.   

 

Warning hoarders with stern action if they tried to create problem for the people this time, he said the government will use full force to bring them to justice.

 

The Prime Minister said a coordination committee and an economic committee have been formed to tackle the situation. He praised Pak Army and Balochistan government for rendering matchless services at Pak-Iran border.

 

He also praised the efforts of doctors and nurses and said that the government will help them in their ‘Jihad’ against the coronavirus.

He added that he understood the plight of overseas Pakistanis at this hour, especially the Pakistani students who were stranded in Wuhan.   

 

Furthermore, the Prime Minister asked Ulema to perform their duty to guide masses at this critical juncture in history.

 

There are a total of 237 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan as of now, and the country has witnessed a rapid increased in the number of infected over the last 36 hours.

 

Overall, Sindh has 172 confirmed cases while Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has 16, Balochistan 16, Islamabad four, Gilgit-Baltistan three, Punjab 26 and Azad Jammu and Kashmir has reported none till now.