In a statement, Pakistan’s Foriegn Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has today urged the country to remain vigilant since it was yet to see the peak of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Foreign Minister’s statement pointed out that the country’s ability to test for Coronavirus infections was slowly increasing, and that efforts were underway to allow proper mapping of the outbreak in the country. This would allow for a strategy to be developed.
According to Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while Pakistan will see a spike in cases, this should not be a cause for fear, since it was important to put a “united front against the invisible enemy”. He spoke also of the policy imperatives for the government at the moment: striking a balance between stemming the spread of the virus and providing a lifeline for the poor who are facing a dire economic situation.
He also expressed the government’s view that since there was no “tried and tested” way to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan as a developing country could not prolong its lockdown. Nor, he stated, could the country observe a full lockdown, due to the prohibitive economic costs of such measures.
Regarding the repatriation of Pakistanis stranded abroad, the Foreign Minister remarked:
“We are enhancing our capacity of testing and quarantining overseas Pakistanis upon their arrival in Pakistan so that they can be brought back in large numbers.”