Pakistan Seals of Hot Spots Amidst Coronavirus Spike

Pakistani authorities rushed to seal of nearly 1,300 hot spots after the country continued their record-breaking surge of new cases for the second day.

Authorities recorded their highest single-day total of 6,472 new Coronavirus cases on Saturday bringing Pakistan’s confirmed total to 132,405 cases, of which nearly 50,000 were reported in June itself.

Cricketer and former captain Shahid Afridi tested positive for Coronavirus.

The country’s lockdown had gone into effect in March and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government has since then eased restrictions, calling them necessary to save the economy.

The World Health Organisations has declared Pakistan the second-most vulnerable country to pandemics after Afghanistan.

The health agency had written a letter to the government asking them to further impose a two-week strict lockdown. However, authorities ruled it out and are now imposing a “smart lockdown” by closing areas where cases have been confirmed in recent weeks.

Khan called it the only solution for developing economies and the government also announced an ambitious target of 2.1% GDP growth and a 7% fiscal deficit for the 2020-21 financial year.

The GDP target is much higher than the World Bank’s recent projection of negative growth at -0.2% with a much higher fiscal deficit of 9.4% in the current year.

Analysts have called the targets unrealistic and said the government may introduce a mid-year supplementary budget to reflect that reality.

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