PM Imran fears fourth Covid wave looming over Pakistan, terms Indian-origin variant ‘the biggest concern’

Published July 8, 2021
The premier, in his video message, expressed regret that Pakistan was not among the countries producing their own vaccines, saying "it will cause a bit delay to vaccinate our entire population.". — DawnNewsTV
The premier, in his video message, expressed regret that Pakistan was not among the countries producing their own vaccines, saying "it will cause a bit delay to vaccinate our entire population.". — DawnNewsTV

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday warned of a looming fourth wave of Covid-19 in the country, terming the Delta variant, which is believed to have originated in India, “the biggest concern”.

Pakistan has witnessed a sudden rise in daily cases in recent days.

According to the government's Covid-19 portal, the number of daily Covid-19 cases dropped from four digits to three digits on June 25. The daily cases being reported remained close to the 900 mark till June 27 and further fell to 735 on June 28. Then the number of cases gradually started increasing and doubled in just one week. The positivity rate, which stood at less than 2 per cent in June, crossed 3pc after a gap of 20 days.

A day ago, the Natio­nal Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) had also confirmed presence of different variants of coronavirus, including the Delta (Indian), Beta (South African) and Alpha (UK) variants, in Pakistan and detection of their cases in May and June.

In a video message addressed to the nation today, the premier referred to countries including Afghanistan and Indonesia hit by the Delta variant and expressed concern over the upward trajectory of Covid-19 cases in Pakistan, just days after they were on the decline.

“We fear the Indian variant could strike Pakistan and as a precautionary measure, we need to adhere to the SOPs,” he warned.

While thanking people for abiding by the SOPs on his previous appeals, he urged the masses to continue their cooperation with the administration and compulsorily wear masks at all places, especially “restaurants, wedding gatherings, and indoor spaces, because such spots are extreme contributors to spread of the virus.”

The premier said he knew people had become tired of following the SOPs for over a year, but said: "We will further put your stamina to test for your own safety."

He said it was not a herculean task to wear a mask.

Talking about the downsides of a lockdown on the country, the prime minister said: “When you impose a lockdown, the most affected segment is the poor, and for the sake of our people, our economy, and our elders, I urge everyone to wear masks,” he appealed.

He said that Bangladesh and Indonesia had imposed strict lockdowns, adding that we need to take measures to prevent that situation from clutching us.

He also said the government had to ensure that sacrificial animals on Eidul Azha should be slaughtered at sites outside cities to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Take the jab

The premier also urged the masses to get themselves vaccinated.

“Unfortunately we do not produce vaccines, so we may get a bit late in vaccinating our entire population against the coronavirus,” he added.

He urged people, especially those in urban areas, to take the jabs.

“If we survive the fourth wave, we will be able to save our country,” he concluded.

Opinion

Editorial

A new operation
Updated 25 Jun, 2024

A new operation

Clear deterrent action is needed against terrorist groups, but without upending the lives of people in the affected areas.
Power theft
25 Jun, 2024

Power theft

FEDERAL Energy Minister Awais Leghari’s statement during a TV interview that electricity theft amounts to Rs600bn ...
Fatal air
25 Jun, 2024

Fatal air

TOXIC air can cost us our children. It causes life-threatening illnesses, inflicts lifelong damage and leads to ...
Time for dialogue
Updated 24 Jun, 2024

Time for dialogue

If the PML-N and PTI remain mired in mutual acrimony, an ever-widening gap will continue to allow non-political forces to assert themselves.
Property taxes
24 Jun, 2024

Property taxes

ACCORDING to reports in the local media, along with the higher taxes imposed on real estate in the recent budget, ...
Fierce heat
24 Jun, 2024

Fierce heat

CLIMATE change is unfolding as predicted by experts: savage heat, melting glaciers, extreme rainfall, drought, ...