The Pakistan Prime Minister, Mr. Imran Khan, has said that his country cannot afford to implement a large-scale urban lockdown like other Western nations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus even as it reported over 180 positive cases of COVID-19.
Several countries, including the United States, have announced the closure of restaurants and other businesses as a preventive measure to stop the people from passing the virus on.
However, Mr. Khan on Tuesday said that such a move would threaten to cripple the economy of the cash-strapped country.
Pakistan, which is home to megacities such as Karachi with millions of people living in close proximity, has confirmed 189 cases of coronavirus as on Tuesday. There have been no official deaths so far.
The total number of cases in Sindh province, bordering Iran, rose to 155 on Tuesday, bringing the country's tally to 189, an official said.
Sindh has 155 positive cases, followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 15, Balochistan 10, Gilgit-Baltistan 5, Islamabad 2 and Punjab 1, the official added.
'So far 119 patients in Sukkur have tested positive while 115 tested negative. In addition to this, 36 tested positive in the province — 34 under treatment and two cured,' spokesperson for the Sindh government Barrister Murtaza Wahab said.
Provincial authorities also confirmed five new cases in the Sindh province, taking the country's tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 189, Mr. Wahab was quoted as saying.