Prime Minister Imran Khan feels happy that Pakistan’s coronavirus situation and response to epidemic is better than many countries.
PM Imran said the real number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan is less than the projected one as of April 30. “We imposed a lockdown when we had 26 cases and the public also cooperated with us.
“When you compare Pakistan to other countries, then our situation is much better. We were assuming that our hospitals would be full by now but then our situation is much better,” he said.
The premier said he spoke to Hassan Rouhani and Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, the Iranian and Egyptian presidents, respectively.
“Iran has now decided to close large gatherings such as weddings and schools and open up all businesses,” the PM said. “They also fear that their losses due to unemployment are bigger than that from the coronavirus.”
What about neighbours?
The Cairo leadership, he said, “decided on the first day to lock down large gatherings but they tried to make sure the construction sector remained working”.
“Egypt’s and our tally is the same and their economic condition is similar to ours. Our lockdown was much stricter than them but the deaths remained the same.
“We decided to share both our experiences in the future,” PM Imran added, noting that his team of ministers knew that daily wagers, labourers, waiters, and taxi drivers would be the “worst-affected” of all.
“I would like to congratulate Dr Sania [Nishtar] for the Ehsaas [Emergency Cash] programme. It is a proud moment for us.”
The prime minister explained that the money disbursed to deserving people was based on relevant data and not political affiliations. Sindh, he noted, received the highest number of payments under the Ehsaas programme.
“I was very happy to see that the lowest strata of society could get the money. We have so far distributed Rs81 billion,” he said.