Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan says coronavirus pandemic will peak in July in Pakistan. Image Credit:

Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned people of ‘a very difficult time’ ahead saying the spread of coronavirus pandemic in the country is inevitable.

He said that the novel coronavirus would hit a peak by the end of July or the start of August as the country has seen sharp spike in COVID-19 cases during the last three weeks. The Pakistan government had earlier said they expected coronavirus peak by end of May or early June.

105 deaths in coronavirus

The virus has claimed 2017 lives in Pakistan while an alarming number of 105 COVID-19 patients died during the last 24 hours. The nationwide tally of COVID-19 patients stands at 108,317 on Tuesday morning as Punjab province remains the worst hit with 40,819 cases followed by Sindh with 39, 555 cases. Some 35,018 patients have recovered so far.

Prime Minister Imran appealed to the citizens to follow precautionary measures. “Prime Minister appealed to the nation to observe SOPs. For the sake of elders in your home, and for those who are sick, please abide by the rules set by the government. These are the people whose lives are at stake,” Imran’s office tweeted.

Follow SOPs

Talking to media in Islamabad, Imran said that the coronavirus would further spread in coming months to reach the peak and the curve would flatten. “We have observed #COVID19’s trend in the world, how it hits the peak, and then goes down. Our effort is to slow down the spread so that when we hit the peak, our hospitals are not overburdened & intensive care units are available during the peak. SOPs will help us achieve this. But, we can only manage the pandemic if we observe the SOPs in place and take precautions,” he urged the people.

He warned that Pakistan might also have to face the kind of Covid-19 conditions prevailing in the US, in Brazil and in Europe if citizens are not careful.

Wear masks

“Please wear masks, this is important. The world has realised that masks can prevent the spread of coronavirus by up to 50 per cent. Secondly, when you go to public spaces, follow the guidelines that have been issued by the government,” he added.

Lockdown

The prime minister also said that a lockdown is not the solution to the Covid-19 pandemic. “A lockdown does not mean it will end coronavirus pandemic. It can only slow down the spread of the virus. Sadly, the lockdown also slowed down the economy, creating hard times for our poor people. We have reopened the economy with SOPs & precautions so our poor people can earn a livelihood “During the lockdown, people — especially labourers and lower-income groups — went through a very difficult,” he observed.

Poor country

He added that we, as a people, must realise that Pakistan is a poor country and there was no other choice to reopen businesses. The entire world understands now that lockdowns are not a solution, he said.

Imran said it was necessary to resume and continue business operations but stressed that people should follow the preventive and precautionary measures.

He said that around 1,000 beds with oxygen and ventilators would be added to increase the capacity in hospitals while a new app would be launched to inform people about availability of COVID-19 treatment facilities in their cities.