Nasal swab child Pakistan coronavirus protective gear
A paramedic wearing protective gear takes a nasal swab from a child, to be tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Karachi, Pakistan July 13, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Islamabad: The Pakistan government has not utilised Rs4.84 billion (Dh 110.365 million) it received in the form of donations and funds from the public and overseas Pakistanis for the fight against COVID-19.

A reply submitted in the National Assembly by the minister in charge of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division has revealed that this is available at present as no funds have been utilized so far in supporting those who have been affected by the virus.

Member National Assembly (MNA) Abdul Akbar Chitrali has sought details of the funds received in donations in the fight against coronavirus. The house was also informed that out of Rs4.84 billion, an amount of Rs1.06 billion (Dh24.170 million) was collected through international donations and Rs3.78bn (Dh86.194 million) through domestic donations.

Not only are the funds lying unutilised, they have not been transferred to the provinces as well.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had in April urged the nation to come forward and donate generously to the Prime Minister’s Coronavirus Relief Fund that had been established to help those “who have been made destitute by the lockdown.”

Pakistani citizens were asked to send their donations to a specific account number in different banks of Pakistan.

3 million jobs lost

According to the Finance Ministry’s survey, around 3 million jobs were lost because of novel coronavirus and the proportion of those living in poverty was also increased from 24.3% to 33.5% due to squeezed economic opportunities in the wake of the pandemic outbreak.

The ministry had also predicted Pakistan exports might fall to $22 billion (Dh 80.80 billion) owing to low commodity prices and decreased economic activity in the United States, European Union, United Kingdom and the Middle East. Before the pandemic, they amounted to $25.5 billion (Dh 93.66 billion).

Pakistan’s prestigious university locked down

Three departments in Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) were sealed on Monday after five COVID-19 cases were reported there. A total of 49 schools and colleges have so far been sealed/locked down in the federal capital as new cases of coronavirus are being reported on a regular basis.

According to the District Health Office (DHO), Departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Bachelor of Business Administration were sealed for at least five days.

“According to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), educational institutions are sealed if two or more cases are reported from there. Once the building is disinfected, a request will be moved to open the university,” he said.

A girls’ college, the Islamabad Model College for Girls (IMCG) Sector F-10/2 has also been sealed after two positive cases were reported there.

The district health teams are taking precautionary measures on the entire campus to prevent the further spread of the virus.

With these latest figures, the number of coronavirus cases in Islamabad has jumped to 19,012 and deaths to 212. The recoveries in the federal capital have also shown some promising results with 17,454 recovered cases so far.

773 new cases in one day

Pakistan on Tuesday reported 773 new cases of coronavirus and 6 deaths in a period of twenty-four hours. With these latest figures Pakistan’s toll due to coronavirus stands at 6,745 and total number of infections 329,375. The county conducted 27,133 tests in a day making the total number of tests to 4.317678 million.