Asad Umar, Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives said that the tally of novel coronavirus cases might double within the next two weeks and possibly reach 1.2 million cases by the end of next month.
Talking about the past 24hrs, Pakistan reported 6,365 Covid-19 cases and 67 deaths, taking the national tally to 142,229 and 2,663 fatalities.
The minister, while addressing a press briefing at the National Coordination and Operation Centre (NCOC), said by mid-June, the number of cases is expected to reach 150,000. “Based on the current pace of cases, the number of confirmed cases can reach 300,000 by the end of the current month and will reach one million to 1.2 million by the end of July”.
“The good news is that it is in our hands to control the spread of disease, and we can do it by following the standard operating procedures (SOPs),” he added.
While rejecting the idea of a complete lockdown, the minister said Prime Minister Imran Khan had appealed to the masses often, to adopt all precautionary measures. According to him, the authorities can’t enforce complete lockdown; that’s why the government introduced a tracing, testing, and quarantine (TTQ) policy, ensuring ‘smart lockdowns’ at hotspots.
The minister announced that 2,150 intensive care unit beds with oxygen facilities are underway, whereas the virus’s testing capacity had also been increased, saying… “We were only testing 500 people at the start of the pandemic. We can conduct 30,000 tests a day, and we have decided to take our testing capacity to more than 100,000 tests a day by the end of July”.