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PM Imran hopeful Pakistan's 'hot and dry' weather will mitigate virus threat

PM Imran hopeful Pakistan's 'hot and dry' weather will mitigate virus threat

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday expressed the hope that Pakistan's "hot and dry" weather will help to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak, urging citizens to exercise social distancing and self-discipline.

Speaking to senior journalists in Islamabad, the premier said: "We can manage [the outbreak]. There is a difference of opinion, but some doctors say that the type of heat Pakistan experiences, that makes the virus lose its effectiveness [to spread]."

If we exercise discipline for the next month-and-a-half, and avoid going to public places, and if those showing symptoms self-quarantine, then the spread of the virus can be be controlled, he said.

"We can manage this [virus]. If we show discipline and avoid public places and gatherings, and if those that show symptoms go into self-quarantine, the chances of the coronavirus spreading can be lessened to a great extent."

According to the premier, Pakistan faces two major issues if the situation continues to worsen.

"If the number of cases in the country spike, then at least four to five per cent [of the patients] will need intensive care. This can become a serious problems for us [...] we do not have the necessary facilities to deal with this."

The second thing, according to the premier, was panic spreading among the people. "Panicking is more dangerous for us than coronavirus," he said, adding that the government will not be able to do anything if people start panic-buying.

However, despite the number of coronavirus cases in the country skyrocketing on a daily basis, the premier ruled out a country-wide lockdown.

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