Asad Umar said on Friday a strict lockdown could not eliminate the novel coronavirus for it is highly infectious and will continue to spread.
Speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, he said unlike dengue which can go away by killing mosquitoes, Covid-19 will end only after a vaccine is developed. He added countries that enforced strict lockdowns to stem the virus spread saw re-emergence of the disease after relaxation in restrictions.
Asad Umar said the Pakistan People Party (PPP) proposed a six-week-long lockdown to combat the virus. Had the six-week lockdown been so effective, the virus would have gone away in countries where strict lockdowns were imposed, he pointed out.
“We cannot blindly follow whatever is happening in the US, UK and Europe,” he declared and added, thankfully, Covid-19 cases are lower than projected in the country to date.
Asad Umar said Pakistan has achieved the capacity of conducting over 15,500 tests per day and 70 laboratories are fully functional in the country. In the past 24 hours, more than 13,000 tests had been conducted, he disclosed.
More than 1,000 ventilators are being added to the existing health facilities to cater to the needs of serious patients, the minister informed the house. He said the federal government is working in close coordination with the provincial government in an effort to combat the coronavirus.