As of 5 April 2020, there were 2,818 positive Coronavirus cases countrywide with Punjab continuing to be most affected province with 1,114 cases.
The Government extended its lockdown across Pakistan until 14 April 2020 and the closure of all educational establishments to 31 May 2020.
Prime Minister launch PKR 144 billion (US$ 861 million) Ehsaas Emergency Cash initiative reaching 12 million vulnerable families
The RCCE sector partners have reached over 40 million people through social media and robocall messages and the Polio helpline, repurposed for Covid-19 response, has received a total of 966,889 calls.
UNICEF has supported the installation of WASH facilities in 61 in designated health care/isolation/quarantine facilities reaching 20,890 people
The Government of Pakistan convened a meeting of the National Security Committee on the 13th March 2020 chaired by the Prime Minister and established a National Coordination Committee, chaired by the Special Advisor to the Prime Minister for Health and Population to formulate and implement a comprehensive strategy to stop the transmission of the virus and mitigate its consequences. This committee designated the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) as the leading operational agency. In each province the Chief Ministers have convened task forces to coordinate the response, with the Provincial Disaster Management Agencies (PDMA) as the leading provincial operational agency.
Furthermore, the Emergency Operating Centre (EOC) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) has been activated as an Incident Command and Control Hub. The Pakistan Army has been mobilized and its institutions and doctors are assisting the civil administration and utilizing all resources at their disposal to effectively combat the coronavirus outbreak.
The Federal and Provincial governments have taken a number of precautionary measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus include. Following the NCC meeting, held on 1 April 2020, the government has decided to extend its lockdown across Pakistan until 14 April 2020, banning gatherings of all kinds for social, religious or any other purpose at any public or private place. Shops selling food, medicines and essential items and the transportation of goods are exempted from the ban. The Government extended the closure of all educational establishments from 5 April 2020 to 31 May 2020. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) will operate 17 special flights between April 4 and 11 to bring back around 2,000 overseas Pakistanis.
The revised Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP) is being prepared by the Ministry of Health and NDMA, in consultation with partners and International Financial Institutions (IFI), and with the technical support of the United Nations. The revised national SPRP is aligned to the global SPRP. The SRSP will be complemented by a SocioEconomic plan being prepared by the Planning Commission in collaboration with NDMA, and in consultation with IFIs and the United Nations.
The PKR 144 billion (US$ 861 million) Ehsaas Emergency Cash (social protection) initiative was launched by the Prime Minister on 1 April 2020 and will reach 12 million families across the country. Each family will receive at least PKR 12,000. In addition, the Government of Sindh released PKR 580 million (US$ 3.5 million) for food distributions to support daily labourers and the most vulnerable sections of the population who are suffering due to the lockdown. The Government of Punjab has started the PKR 10 billion (US$ 59.8 million) “Insaf Imdad Package” (Justified Assistance package).
The Prime Minister announced, on 27 March 2020, the formation of a nationwide youth force labelled ‘Corona Relief Tigers’ to help the government fight against the spread of coronavirus and in two days 90,000 volunteers have been recruited. The force would be used to supply food items to people in their houses in the event that Covid-19 cases sharply rise in a locality. The recruitment began on 31 March.
As of the 3 April, Pakistan has conducted 30,308 laboratory tests of which 2,450 tested positive. Out of the 2,450 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan: 1,122 cases are hospitalized; 126 have recovered and been discharged; 1,167 cases are in home isolation and there were 35 deaths. There is a total of 8,493 people in the 209 quarantine centres across the country.
A total of 1,102,562 people have been screened at the Point of Entry (POE) and 234 suspected cases were identified.
The government has been able to put in place 303,000 beds for isolation and quarantine, but provision of WASH facilities and feeding the patients remains a challenge in some of these facilities. The critical care capacity in hospitals is limited at 1 per 100,000 population. The Second shipment of medical aid including 15 ventilators, 300,000 face masks and 20,000 N-95 masks from china has arrived in Pakistan.
A COVID-19 WhatsApp Helpline was launched by the Government in 7 local languages and the Government of Punjab has started telemedicine in the Province, however, all Pakistan can access this service.
The Polio Programme is providing support for COVID 19 response, especially in the areas of surveillance, data management and communication and with the outbreak expanding this support will be increased. As a result, all Polio SIAs are halted until 1st June 2020, and will be reviewed after every two weeks by the National & Provincial EOCs as the situation evolves, however, Polio surveillance will continue without any interruption.