Pakistan coronavirus lahore
Pakistan volunteers and a police officer stand guard outside the area which authorities sealed after a group of people tested positive for the new coronavirus, Friday, April 10, 2020 in Lahore. Image Credit: AP

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday expressed his resolve to defeat coronavirus in the country and utilise all resources for this purpose. At the same time, he cautioned the nation that the worst was still to come.

During a visit to Peshawar’s quarantine centre established at the Hayatabad Medical Complex and to examine facilities there, Imran complimented the doctors for performing their duties on the front line.

“Our entire nation stands behind our doctors and the medical staff who have put their lives at risk while looking after the coronavirus patients”, Imran said.

Tremendous pressure by end of April

The PM, however, reiterated the warning he gave a day earlier in Quetta that the country’s health care system is bracing for an unprecedented pressure with a huge spike in number of cases by the end of April.

“We are taking all preventive and precautionary measures to absorb that pressure and come out of it successful,” he said. He promised all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to the doctors and medics who are deployed in coronavirus patients’ isolation wards.

Rs14b cash assistance for 12m families

Imran said his government had launched the biggest-ever cash assistance programme for those daily wage and low income individuals who have been affected by the virus. The cash distribution has started under Ehsas Programme under which each family will be provided Rs12,000 (Dh264.31) cash grant. A total of Rs144 billion (Dh3.17 billion) has been allocated for this purpose.

Punjab set to go ahead with home quarantine

Meanwhile, the Punjab government has finalised the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for home quarantine in the province for the mildly hit patients of coronavirus.

Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid told media that measures will be taken in case the hospitals and health facilities across the province run out of space for patients or doctors and medical staff are not in adequate numbers to look after each patient.

The idea of home quarantine has earlier been debated at all levels and some officials doubted it would not work as, recently, some patients during home isolation not only arranged private functions but also saw their guests and relatives, possibly transmitting virus among healthy people.