Pakistan has applied for an additional $ 3.7 billion from three multilateral creditors to deal with the economic crisis caused by the outbreak of the corona virus, as the pandemic continued to spread, infect nearly 1,200 people and kill nine people so far .
In addition to an IMF loan of $ 1.4 billion, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank will grant the country loans of $ 1 billion and $ 1.25 billion, respectively, said Treasury Secretary Abdul Hafeez Shaikh at a press conference on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had previously announced an economic aid package of 1.2 trillion rupees.
The number of coronavirus patients in Pakistan has reached 1,179 according to the latest official data.
According to the ministry’s website, there were 421 patients in Sindh, 394 in Punjab, 131 in Baluchistan, 123 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 84 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), 25 in Islamabad and 1 in Pakistani-occupied Kashmir health services .
There was another death due to the virus, which increased the number to 9 while 28 patients had recovered and 5 were in critical condition. According to the official website, 77 new cases have been reported so far on Thursday.
There was a slight improvement in Sindh as the number of new cases slowed, but increased in the areas of Punjab, Baluchistan, KP, GB and federal capital.
According to Liaquat Shahwani, government spokesman for Baluchistan, 12 other coronavirus cases have been reported, bringing the total number of provinces to 131.
CP health officials reported 43 new cases when the province’s number rose to 123. The most affected area was the manga village in the Mardan district, where the virus spread when a man returned from Saudi Arabia after a pilgrimage (umra) and invited 2,000 villagers to celebrate it. He was reportedly hugging everyone.
He was later tested positive and was the first to die in Pakistan from the corona virus.
Pakistani President Arif Alvi has called on religious scholars to stop all prayers in the community to curb the spread of the novel corona virus.
The move came after a “fatwa” (edict), issued on Wednesday by the Grand Imam Shaikh of Jamia Al Azhar and the Supreme Council in Egypt, which says that the head of state has the authority to end collective prayers in the current situation.
The clergy informed the President that over 3 million Madrassa students would be sent home after the seminars were completed.
Prime Minister Imran Khan visited an isolation center in Islamabad on Thursday, where he was informed of the arrangements by the chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority.
Regardless, Prime Minister Khan chaired a meeting of the National Core Committee to assess the response to the containment of the virus.
Planning minister Asad Umar informed the media after the meeting that it was decided to keep educational institutions across the country closed until May 31.
In addition, the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) was not allowed to fly four special flights from the government to Toronto, London, Manchester and Birmingham since the number of coronavirus cases in the UK and North America had increased.
The PIA had previously announced that it would offer exclusive premium flights for passengers who have to return home immediately.
Pakistan has already canceled international flights this week. Freight flights are, however, exempted from the no-fly ban.
Despite the increase in the number of positive cases, Khan was still ambivalent about the issue of a full curfew, like the curfew, which would hit daily operations and those living below the poverty line hard.
He urged the provinces to continually rethink the blockade as this could have a serious economic impact.
In the meantime, the Sindh province has decided to release 829 prisoners on trial, according to the instructions of the chief judge of the Sindh High Court, Ahmed Ali M. Shaikh, to reduce the burden on prisons and reduce the risk of infection in prisons.
Similar steps have already been taken in the federal capital areas on the instructions of the Islamabad High Court.
In addition, all 104 members of the Senate or House of Lords decided to donate a monthly salary to the government-run emergency fund to fight the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
However, Senate chairman Sadiq Sanjrani would donate three monthly salaries to the fund.
The Pakistani economy felt the heat of the local and global blockade and the currency lost 4.40 rupees and reached 166 rupees against the US dollar in intraday trading on the interbank market.
It was found that the rupee fueled to an all-time low of 164.05 rupees on June 27, 2019.
The closure in various provinces and areas was ongoing and the number of people on the streets was considerably small. However, there have been cases where people have been seen together and some of them have been arrested by the police.
The police also arrested a groom and wedding guests in the Pakpattan region of Punjab after they gathered for the wedding in violation of the ban on all of these gatherings.
The novel corona virus, which developed in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of December, has meanwhile spread all over the world. The COVID-19 has so far killed over 21,000 people and infected nearly half a million people around the world.
Pakistan saw a surge in COVID-19 cases after hundreds of pilgrims who had returned from Iran, one of the worst affected countries, tested positive.
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