ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday urged the people of Pakistan to show "self discipline" and refrain from going outside to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, which has killed nearly 170 and infected 8,516 people in the country.
Prime Minister Khan's remarks came days after he cautioned that Pakistan may see an increase in the number of coronavirus cases from mid-May and the healthcare system could come under significant pressure.
"My message for people is to stay home as much as possible during this pandemic. The more people show self-discipline, the easier it will be for us to manage the COVID-19 plus ease the lockdown gradually," he said in a tweet.
According to health officials, Punjab has registered 3,822 COVID-19 cases, while 2,544 infections have been reported in Sindh, 1,235 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 432 in Balochistan, 263 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 171 in Islamabad and 49 in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
A total of 168 people have died from the disease in Pakistan.
The Ministry of National Health Services has not updated its data so far.
As the number of cases continue to rise, Planning Minister Asad Umar chaired the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) meeting on late Sunday on how the virus can be controlled by creating awareness amon people.
He said the best way to tackle the pandemic was to practise social distancing and follow other policy measures such as not going out of home without an emergency.
The NCOC prepared a 48-day strategy, which has pre-Ramzan, Ramzan, and post-Ramazn components, all of which aim at educating and informing the public about the potential risks, advocating adherence to social distancing practices and other containment measures, preparing the people for observance during the holy month under the special circumstances, and ultimately preventing the spread of the disease, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The NCOC's campaign, which has already gone into the execution phase over the past couple of days, is titled "Zindagi Rawan, Zara Fasla Mehrban".
The NCOC had earlier recommended targeted lockdown and easing of restrictions.
Prime Minister Khan on Tuesday announced the reopening of 'low-risk industries'.
The restrictions on religious congregations was maintained.
The coronavirus outbreak is likely to create a constitutional crisis as the lawmakers have to decide how the National Assembly's budget session would be held.
The session is held in May and June to announce annual budget before the end of financial year on June 30.
Earlier, the Parliament House building was closed for three days (Friday to Sunday) as a precautionary measure after the two staff members contracted the virus.
Globally, 165,238 people have died and over 2.4 million have been infected by the coronavirus, according to data maintained by Johns Hopkins University.