ISLAMABAD                  -             Pakistan has decided to seek fresh funds from the multilateral agencies to deploy towards Covid-19 prevention across the country.

The government is also working to reallocate funds from foreign projects to the Covid-19 prevention across the country.

“Economic Affairs Division is finalizing re-allocations of non-utilized funds from some foreign projects & seeking fresh funds from multilateral agencies to deploy towards Corvid-19 prevention across the country,” said Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar on Twitter yesterday. 

He aimed to make these funds available to relevant departments by next week. The Finance Division is also working in close coordination with the adviser on health for provision of local funds.

The provinces have also been asked to keep close coordination with their respective health departments for provision of resources, he concluded.

The number of confirmed cases in Pakistan of COVID-19 has risen to 21 after Sindh reported its 15th patient on Friday. Karachi has been the worst affected city so far, with 14 of the total confirmed cases. Of the remaining, five cases have been reported in Gilgit-Baltistan and one case has been reported each in Hyderabad and Quetta.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) had already warned that coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak could cost the Pakistan economy in the range of $16.387 million to $4.95 billion, or 0.01 to 1.57 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). In the best case scenario, the impact on Pakistan would be limited to a $16.387 million, or 0.01 percent. In the moderate case scenario, the outbreak in China is more widespread and lasts longer, with travel bans and precautionary behaviour abating only after three months. In such a scenario, the impact on Pakistan would be $34.12 million. In the worse case, the impact of COVID-19 would widen to $60.81 million, or 0.02 percent of GDP. In the hypothetical worse case, the impact of COVID-19 would be more wide and may cause $4.95 billion or 1.57 percent of GDP, besides loss of 0.9 million employment.

According to the ADB global impact in the range of $77 billion to $347 billion, or 0.1 percent to 0.4 percent of GDP.