Pakistan says 18 million people could lose jobs due to blockade as coronavirus count crosses 20,000

ISLAMABAD: About 18 million Pakistanis could lose their jobs in the country due to the continued blockade that is applied to prevent the spread of the novel, a high minister said Sunday when the COVID-19 count crossed 20,000 after 981 more patients were diagnosed during the day. .

According to tjhe's calculations Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), around 20 million to 70 million inhabitants of the country could fall below the poverty line in the current perspective, Planning Minister Asad Umar said in a televised press conference.

Umar, who also chairs the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) on the coronavirus, said about 18 million people could lose their jobs due to the ongoing blockade.

He said it was announced that the current closure would last until May 9 and the Prime Minister Imran Khan You will be informed of the situation in the coming days.

We will then decide on the post-May 9 strategy after a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC), he said.

Umar also said that the coronavirus was not as fatal in Pakistan as in some other countries of the world, in an apparent reference to Europe where tens of thousands of people have died due to the virus.

We have significantly improved the capacity of our healthcare system. We currently have 1,400 ventilators for coronavirus patients and an additional 900 will be added in two months, he said, adding that only 35 coronavirus patients were on ventilators.

He said that the country now has the capacity to develop medical equipment and will soon begin domestic production of ventilators. He said there were 55 labs for testing and we have the capacity to carry out more than 14,000 tests on a daily basis.

Umar said that the test, monitoring and quarantine system was made functional and implemented in two sectors of Islamabad .

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Health Services said that out of 20,078 coronavirus cases, Punjab reported 7,494 cases, Sindh 7,465, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 3,129, 1,172, Islamabad 393, Gilgit-Baltistan 364 and Pakistan -occupied Kashmir 67 cases.

He said 17 more patients also died on Sunday, bringing the total deaths to 457. Another 5,114 people have so far recovered. So far, authorities have conducted 203,025 tests, including 8,716 in the past 24 hours.

The trend showed that the number of patients was constantly increasing.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday night said he was not sure when the vaccine against COVID-19 will be available and expressed fears that we may have to live with the coronavirus for six months or (even) a year.

Khan said that the war against the pandemic can be won with wisdom and not with force to stop the masses.

The Pakistan International Airlines announced its first flight to bring back stranded nationals from the US, when PK 8722 would depart from Washington for Islamabad on May 13.