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Pak PM calls for national unity to counter COVID-19

Islamabad, March 18 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has called for unity with responsibility to win the war against coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a speech on Tuesday evening, the Prime Minister said, “We need to protect ourselves and others to prove that we are a responsible nation. Do not panic. The government will try its best to control the disease, provide medical facilities and ensure supplies.”

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Khan told people to support the government in its efforts against the disease by staying at home to judge themselves, avoiding attending public gatherings, taking other precautionary measures and going for medical checkup only if they have COVID-19 symptoms, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Prime Minister also urged the people to learn from China in combating the disease and hailed China's successful efforts to control the virus spread, saying, “At the time when the number of cases are increasing in the world, the affected people are decreasing in China, which is very good news.”

“We are in constant contact with China since the outbreak. China is already helping us, but we need to learn from it even more,” said Khan.

The country has recorded at least 235 positive patients of COVID-19 so far.

The Prime Minister said that an economic committee would determine how the government could cope with the effects on the country's economy by the coronavirus, adding that the government would take measures to facilitate exporters and those who would suffer losses during the crises.

The country has closed all public and private educational institutions, marriage halls, cultural centres, cinemas, and cancelled all sports activities and official events and also blocked its western border crossings with Iran and Afghanistan.

Khan said the country would continue strict screening at all entry points as it has already screened over 9,00,000 people since the country started taking measures against the disease. Quarantine centers are being established across the country and suspected patients, especially coming from abroad, are being kept there.

–IANS

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