British diplomatist to Pakistan Christian Turner announced a £2.67 million health package for the country to fight coronavirus — a disease that has killed over 150,000 people worldwide.
Pakistan has recorded over 140 deaths but experts have voiced fear that the country of 215 million people could see a rapid and devastating increase thanks to its shortage of medical infrastructure and crowded cities.
Turner, during a video message on Twitter, said: “Today the united kingdom is announcing health support of £2.67 million to Pakistan, to detect the virus, protect communities, and assist the foremost affected.”
“This is a unprecedented situation as millions are plagued by a coronavirus,” he said.
The British envoy noted that the people round the world have changed their behaviours and conduct thanks to the virus — social distancing and precautionary measures.
“We are repurposing DFID’s(Department for International Development) add Pakistan to assist the foremost vulnerable,” he said.
Turner expressed confidence within the country and said that Pakistan had the aptitude to cope and overcome the coronavirus crisis.
“Although we are socially distancing, we are coming together,” he noted.
“We can calculate friends in difficult times,” Turner added.
Pakistan to urge $1.4 billion in coronavirus aid from IMF
The IMF, each day earlier, approved the disbursement of US$1.386 billion to Pakistan under the Rapid Financing Instrument to handle the economic impact of the coronavirus shock.
“While uncertainty remains high, the near-term economic impact of COVID-19 is predicted to be significant, giving rise to large fiscal and external financing needs,” the international lender said during a statement.
Worried about hurting an already weak economy, Prime Minister Imran Khan has resisted a sweeping, nationwide lockdown but provinces have shuttered schools and firms.
“The domestic containment measures, let alone the worldwide downturn, are severely affecting growth and straining external financing,” said Geoffrey Okamoto, the IMF’s first deputy manager.
“This has created an urgent balance of payments need,” he said.