Coronavirus infections in Pakistan could double in next two weeks

Infections could reach  1.2 million by end of July 

Asad Umar, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives in a press conference in Islamabad said that the confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus could double by the end of this month and reach 1 million to 1.2 million by the end of July.
His warning came as the coronavirus infections spreading rapidly. Last two weeks have witnessed exponential growth in the number of infected cases in the country. The federal minister said that "We're in mid-June and our [confirmed] cases have reached approximately 150,000. It saddens me to say that based on our current trajectory [of spread], experts have projected that our cases could double by the end of June," he said, adding that Pakistan's confirmed Covid-19 case tally could even reach 1m to 1.2m by end July.
Asad Umar however explained that these projections were neither predictions nor a certainty. He said that the "good news" is that the potential spike in confirmed cases was avoidable, provided the government and the people work together to stop it.
"Research [around the world] has indicated that wearing masks is a verified way of curbing the spread of Covid-19 — by up to 50 per cent," he said, adding that the National Command and Operation Centre [NCOC] had recommended that face masks be worn by everyone in public places.
"We are seeing many people wearing masks but sadly we've seen many more not wearing one. If you want to defend yourself and your loved ones, please wear masks. It's as simple as that," he added.
The minister pointed out that the government had issued guidelines regarding social distancing requirements that people should follow. "This [practicing social distancing] is the simplest way to ensure that businesses remain open and the wheel of the economy keeps turning."
He warned that if people failed to follow preventive guidelines issued by the government, it would result in "people losing their livelihoods. We're now at the stage where we will start taking administrative action against those who aren't wearing masks or maintaining social distancing," he added.
"We have to enforce smart lockdowns in hotspots because this way we can stop the spread in areas that are witnessing outbreaks and at the same time protect jobs and livelihoods by not imposing complete lockdowns," he said.
Umar said that the government aims to conduct 100,000 Covid-19 tests by the end of July.
"We were only testing 500 people at the start [of the pandemic]. Now we are able to conduct 30,000 tests per day and the NCOC has decided to take our [testing] capacity to more than 100,000 tests per day by the end of July," he said, adding that the government is constantly increasing its testing capacity.
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