ISLAMABAD: Pakistan doesn’t see the novel coronavirus outbreak, which has had a devastating impression on the worldwide financial system, delaying the initiatives beneath the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Financial Hall (CPEC).
“CPEC comprises long-term projects whose completion, in many cases, is spread over years,” Overseas Workplace spokesperson Aisha Farooqui stated at her weekly briefing on Thursday.
“We are quite confident that we will be able to complete the CPEC projects in time and, going forward, the short-term impact by the spread of COVID-19 will be counterbalanced by effective and swift mobilisation of resources,” she added.
CPEC is a flagship challenge of Chinese language President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Highway Initiative (BRI) that envisages linking the economies of over 65 nations by a community of roads and rail hyperlinks.
The second part of CPEC is scheduled to kick off when President Xi will go to Pakistan someday this 12 months. Nonetheless, it’s not clear if the go to will go forward as deliberate due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The variety of coronavirus circumstances across the globe has recorded an exponential progress over the previous few days. The circumstances are additionally rising in Pakistan as authorities have began conducting checks of extra suspected sufferers.
The sudden spike in circumstances within the nation has prompted authorities to take a raft of measures to comprise the pandemic.
Authorities are urging residents to restrict their motion and keep away from social contact.
As a part of these measures, the spokesperson held the briefing by a video hyperlink and answered questions despatched by journalists.
When requested if Pakistan had formally requested China for assist in coping with the coronavirus disaster, Aisha famous that the 2 nations had all the time stood by one another, notably in difficult instances.
“During President Dr Arif Alvi’s recent visit [to China], letters of exchange were signed between the two countries aimed at building capacity and addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19 in Pakistan,” she added.
After the coronavirus outbreak within the Chinese language metropolis of Wuhan in December, 1000’s had been contaminated there inside a span of some weeks. Beijing needed to put in place draconian measures resembling locking down all the metropolis for over a month.
The steps helped Chinese language authorities in stopping the virus from spreading to different components of the nation. On Thursday, Beijing stated that no regionally transmitted case was reported from mainland China, elevating hopes that the pandemic could possibly be managed with efficient measures.
The spokesperson stated in view of the worldwide outbreak, the federal and provincial governments had been taking a collection of measures to comprise the unfold of the illness within the nation.
“It is a rapidly evolving situation. The government and all stakeholders are monitoring, evaluating and coordinating all mechanisms and systems to ensure safety of the citizens.”
The spokesperson stated the international affairs ministry had determined to take precautionary measures in opposition to any potential public publicity and subsequently suspended all walk-in consular providers apart from the attestation of energy of lawyer.
“Attestation of documents can be carried out through courier companies during this period. Walk-in consular services would remain suspended from March 18 till April 3 and be reviewed subsequently,” she elaborated.
“The ministry has also established a crisis management unit for coordination on COVID-19 under the supervision of the special secretary (administration) to liaise with the diplomatic corps in Pakistan as well as with our missions abroad and their respective outreach to our diaspora communities worldwide. Hotline numbers of the crisis management unit have been shared on our website.”
The spokesperson additional stated Pakistani embassies and consulates had arrange 24/7 hotlines.
“We have also nominated focal persons to facilitate the Pakistani overseas communities in their respective countries. All these contact details are available on our social media platforms and on the website of the ministry,” she added.
“We advise our diaspora communities to exercise caution and personal responsibility for their personal health as well as of those in their family and communities in line with the advisories of local authorities wherever they may be.”
The spokesperson additionally suggested Pakistani neighborhood members overseas to keep away from all non-essential journey in addition to keep away from public locations and factors of congregation and apply social distancing in a accountable method for their very own security and the protection of throughout.
“The role of the media in building public awareness on safety and precaution during this difficult time is crucial and deeply valued. This challenge can only be tackled through collective action. Thank you for your support.”
To a query, Aisha stated Italy was dwelling to about 150,000 Pakistani nationals, concentrated largely within the North of Italy (Lombardy area with its capital as Milan).
“Our embassy in Rome and consulate general in Milan are in constant contact with the Pakistani community. The embassy as well as the consulate general had set up 24/7 helplines to provide services and information to the community at the start of the outbreak.”
She stated the Pakistani embassy in Rome and consulate basic in Milan had been additionally coordinating with academic establishments the place Pakistani college students (round 1,500-2,000) had been finding out.
“So far we know about the unfortunate death of one Pakistani origin person who lived near Milan, Mr Imtiaz Ahmed,” she added.