Pakistan warns of closing down major cities if cases continue to rise
Authorities in Pakistan have warned people that they may have to close down major cities if the Covid-19 cases continue to rise with the current rate, as per a report in Dawn. The warning comes at a time when hospitals across the country are filling rapidly with Covid-19 patients.
The coronavirus situation has become “extremely serious” in the country, warned Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Planning Asad Omar. He also heads the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), the body responsible for managing the Covid-19 crisis in the country.
Omar said the nation needs to understand the “gravity of the situation.” “Take care of yourself and your fellow Pakistanis. The situation needs to be taken seriously,” he was quoted as saying by Dawn following a review meeting on Wednesday.
If the public shows cooperation and seriousness, he said, “we are hopeful that we will not have to take this ultimate step (locking down cities).” If cases continue like this, he warned, “we might not have a choice.”
Omar further said, "the number of patients visiting hospitals on a daily basis has risen from between 100 to 150 to over 600. The condition of some patients further deteriorates once they reach the hospital and they have to be given oxygen.”
The center and provincial administrations had worked hard to increase the beds in major cities, he said, adding still there are some cities reporting over 80 percent occupancy rate.