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Without effective interventions, Pakistan's COVID-19 cases can rise to 200,000 by mid July: WHO alerts

Without effective interventions, Pakistan's COVID-19 cases can rise to 200,000 by mid July: WHO alerts

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 24 Apr 2020, 08:26 am

Islamabad/IBNS: The number of COVID-19 positive cases in Pakistan can rise to 200,000 by mid-July if "effective interventions" are not taken, the World Health Organization warned as it estimated the magnitude of the disease in the upcoming days.

WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom made the comment at the launch of the Pakistan National Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan virtual conference.

"Without effective interventions there could be an estimated 200K+ cases by mid-July. The impacts on the economy could be devastating, doubling the number of people living in poverty. We must act in solidarity, with a coherent, coordinated approach," WHO quoted Tedros as saying.

"When this year began, little was known about COVID19. Now, it has spread globally, upending health systems and economies, and putting lives and livelihoods at risk," WHO tweeted quoting Tedros.

Meanwhile, Pakistan is observing holy Ramadan month from Friday.

As congregational prayers/Taraweeh commence in hundreds of thousands of mosques across the country on Friday (today), Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned ulema and khateebs to adhere to the already agreed 20-point standard operating procedures (SOPs) to avoid the spread of coronavirus, failing which he said strict action will be taken against mosques’ managements, reported Dawn News.

“We will close those mosques where violation of SOPs will be committed,” the prime minister said.

Trouble with clerics:

Despite PM Imran Khan's warning, there have been reports that some prayer leaders and elders of various areas have refused to abide by the SOPs issued by the district administration and the police during Ramazan and vowed to organise Taraweeh prayers in congregations, media reports said.

Talking to Dawn, caretaker of a seminary and a mosque, Nazeer Ahmed, insisted that Covid-19 was nothing but God’s wrath for their wrongdoings.

He claimed that so far no case had been reported from any mosque. 

Earlier, two separate agreements were signed between the administration and the leading ulema on Wednesday to implement the SOPs during Ramazan, Dawn News reported.