The IMF also acknowledged the Rs1.2 trillion relief package announced by the government to mitigate the economic losses due to the virus. — AP/File
Women wait to receive cash under the government’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme for families in need, during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Monday, April 13, 2020. Pakistan plans to distribute financial assistance among 10.2 million low-income families across the country impacted by the virus. (AP Photo/Muhammad Sajjad)
Volunteers disinfect the Karachi Press Club building in an effort to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus, in Karachi, Pakistan, Monday, April 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
People receive cash vouchers under the government’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme for families in need, during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown to help contain the spread of the coronavirus, in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)
A worker sprays disinfectant in the premises of Karachi Press Club during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Karachi on April 13, 2020. (Photo by Rizwan TABASSUM / AFP)
Women stand in a queue as they wait to collect cash of financial assistance through a mobile wallet under the government’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme for families in need during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Lahore on April 13, 2020. (Photo by ARIF ALI / AFP)
A vendor wearing a facemask waits for customers beside closed shops in a market during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Lahore on April 13, 2020. (Photo by ARIF ALI / AFP)
Police officers try to restrict people from defying the nation-wide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Monday, April 13, 2020. (AP Photo/Pervez Masih)
A vendor distributes water to shops during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Rawalpindi on April 13, 2020. (Photo by Farooq NAEEM / AFP)
Labourers sit on a roadside during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Rawalpindi on April 13, 2020. (Photo by Farooq NAEEM / AFP)
ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday noted the rapid pace at which Covid-19 has been spreading in Pakistan and acknowledged the Rs1.2 trillion relief package announced by the government.
“Covid-19 has been spreading rapidly in the past month in Pakistan, with 4,489 confirmed cases claiming 63 deaths, as of April 9”, the IMF said in its new publication
Policy Tracker of its 193 member states.
The fund said both the federal and provincial governments, in response, have implemented a range of measures to delay and contain the spread of the virus. These included quarantining more than three thousand travelers from Iran, closing borders with neighboring countries, international travel restrictions, school closures, social distancing measures, and lockdowns in cities and provinces across the country.
Pakistan army troops were deployed starting March 23, to help provincial governments in their measures to contain the spread of virus.
On the fiscal side, authorities announced a relief package worth Rs1.2tr on Mar 24. This, the IMF said, included an elimination of the import duties on imports of emergency health equipment, relief to daily-wage workers worth Rs200 billion, followed by Rs150bn of cash transfers to low-income families, Rs100bn accelerated tax refunds to the export industry and Rs100bn financial support to small and medium enterprises.
The economic package also earmarked resources for an accelerated procurement of wheat at Rs280bn, Rs50bn financial support to utility stores, Rs70bn relief in fuel prices, Rs15bn support for health and food supplies and Rs110bn electricity bill payments relief. This also included Rs100bn for an emergency relief fund and Rs25bn transfer to the NDMA for the purchase of necessary equipment.
On the monetary and macro-financial side, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has responded to the crisis by cutting the policy rate twice by a cumulative 225 basis points to 11pc in less than two weeks in March.
On March 17, the SBP announced two refinancing schemes. First, TERF worth Rs100bn to stimulate investment in new manufacturing plants and machinery at 7pc and the second, RFCC worth Rs5bn to support hospitals.
Related Slideshow: Life under coronavirus lockdown araround ound the world (Provided by Photo Services)
The coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of people around the world. People have been advised to stay indoors and many cities went into complete lockdown to contain the spread of the disease. Here is a look at how people are getting on with their lives through the period of self-isolation and lockdown.
(Pictured) A lone taxi drives over a typically gridlocked highway, with the Burj Khalifa in the backdrop, in Dubai, UAE, on April 6.
Residents write the words “Stay home” with their mobile phones as they stand on the balconies of their apartment block in Brussels, Belgium, on April 5.
Daily wage workers rest after receiving food supplies provided by a municipality, in Islamabad, Pakistan, on April 6.
A stranded American couple salute as they arrive at the international airport to board a special repatriation flight back to U.S., in Kathmandu, Nepal, on April 5.
Chef Colin Fassnidge poses in his lounge room alongside his daughters, prior to filming his cookery show in Sydney on April 4. Fassnidge is posting online cooking videos on social media, providing recipes and cooking tips to help Australians stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A volunteer distributes food to the homeless, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on April 5.
A Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)’s anti-riot water cannon sprays disinfectant at a deserted open market in Hatcliffe township, in Harare on April 4.
Two girls enjoy the beautiful weather on the balcony of their home in Sassenheim, Netherlands, on April 4.
A police Special Task Force personnel stands guard at a checkpoint in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on April 3.
Family members play their instruments to perform the song “Aleluya” on their balcony in support of the medical staff in Barcelona, Spain, on April 5.
A migrant worker from Myanmar uses her phone as she works in an elephant camp, which is closed to tourists due to the nationwide lockdown, in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, on April 3.
A 76-year-old artist works on a painting at his home studio in Pine Bush, New York, U.S., on April 5.
Women gather to receive food aid in Abuja, Nigeria, on April 3.
A woman lights candles to mark the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in Mumbai, India, on April 5.
A 5-year-old girl watches Queen Elizabeth II’s address to the nation, which is a special broadcast to the U.K. and the Commonwealth in relation to the coronavirus outbreak, in Ariccia, Italy, on April 5.
A few customers are seen at the Kaveza modern market as only essential shops are open during the lockdown, in Kigali, Rwanda, on April 1.
Teddy bears and other soft toys sit inside windows on the Lower North Shore district as part of a worldwide “bear hunt” to entertain children during the lockdown, in Sydney, Australia, on April 5.
Catholic faithfuls attend a mass via online live streaming of Palm Sunday, in Manila, Philippines, on April 5.
A man enjoys the sun on his balcony in Toulouse, France, on April 4.
An elderly woman tries protective glasses sent by her son to protect her during the coronavirus pandemic, in Ostrowiec, Poland, on April 4.
A music band’s members perform at the balcony and roof of their home in Izmir, Turkey, on April 4.
A man is seen working from his home kitchen in Turin, Italy, on April 2.
Sisters Nina and Ivy Goodall take an online zumba lesson at their home in Auckland, New Zealand, on April 2.
A boy plays on a mobile phone sitting on a window sill of his house in Mumbai, India, on April 1.
A girl jumps rope on the roof of a building in Mexico City, Mexico, on March 31, after her school canceled classes to contain the spread of coronavirus.
An elderly woman connects with her loved one through a video-calling app, in Châtelet, Belgium, on March 30.
Members of a flat-sharing community watch a movie at their living room, in Dortmund, Germany, on March 27.
A musician plays an instrument for neighbors from his balcony in Budapest, Hungary, on March 22.
A banner stating “Everything will be fine” is placed on a balcony in Garbatella district in Rome, Italy, on March 22.
Residents clap and bang utensils from their balcony to cheer for emergency personnel and sanitation workers in Ahmedabad, India, on March 22.
Two young boys talk to their grandmother through a window as both their grandparents self-isolate themselves at their home in Knutsford, England, on March 22.
A couple sits in the 5th floor apartment window on a sunny spring day in downtown Warsaw, Poland, on March 22.
A man plays Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” on his trumpet from a balcony in Munich, Germany, on March 22.
A woman standing on the balcony reaches out to catch a rose delivered to her via a drone on Mother’s day, in Beirut, Lebanon, on March 21.
DJ Francesco Cellini holds his tablet and phone as he plays for his neighbors from the rooftop terrace of his apartment building in Rome on March 21.
A man installs a banner on his balcony with the words “Support for caregivers” in Paris, France, on March 21.
Paper sheets reading “Everything will go well” in Italian are displayed on a window in Brussels, Belgium, on March 21.
Spanish director Isabel Coixet is seen giving a talk about cinema industry as part of the ‘#NuestroCineNosUne initiative raised by the Spanish Cinema Academy, in Madrid, Spain, on March 21.
Women dance to a song in their balcony, as radio stations across the country play music for a flash mob to raise spirits, in Rome on March 20.
A couple connects with friends and family using Zoom at the end of their first Friday working from home in New York City, New York, U.S., on March 20.
Dancer Anika Bendel practices in her apartment in Stuttgart, Germany, on March 20. She is a production manager of a dance project that trains children and elderly people.
A family prays at home after Friday prayers were suspended in the holy city of Najaf, Iraq, on March 20.
A mother with her two sons speak with their grandparents through FaceTime in Paris on March 20.
Two girls practice a dance they made up in their backyard at the end of their first week of home school in New York City on March 20.
Leanne Francis, first grade teacher at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, conducts an online class from her living room in San Francisco, California, U.S., on March 20.
A mother and daughter perform artwork in Claira, France, on March 20.
Anna Polackova and Alex Polachov, owners of a Czech traveling family circus, sit in their trailer in Riga, Latvia, on March 19.
Spanish blues singer Beatriz Berodia sings from her balcony during a daily evening concert to support health workers and to make it easier for her neighbors to bear the lockdown in Madrid on March 19.
After the closure of schools, a boy does his schoolwork at home in San Anselmo, California, on March 18.
French yoga teacher Nadege Lanvin does a live broadcast of her yoga lesson in Paris on March 18.
A family watches Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa address the nation over the COVID-19 situation, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on March 17.
A mother and her daughter receive an online dance lesson by Takujiro Hanayagi, a Japanese traditional dancer, at their home in Tokyo, Japan, on March 17.
A woman wearing a face mask reads a book in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on March 16.
A brother and sister do their school work at home in Laveen, Arizona, U.S., on March 16.
Hagit Bustan holds a video call with her grandmother Ester Wienrib, an Israeli Holocaust survivor who recently celebrated her 97th birthday away from her family due to coronavirus precautions, in Hulda, Israel, on March 15.
A woman washes the hands of her husband at their home in San Fiorano, Italy, on March 15.
A girl watches an online lecture after her private school closed for five weeks in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on March 12.
A two-year-old girl looks at a hen through a window in San Fiorano on March 12.
A young boy pats his family dog while watching an exercise video made by teachers at Northshore Middle School, which has moved to online-only schooling for two weeks, in Bothell, Washington, U.S., on March 11.
A family eats dinner, as a TV broadcasts news on the coronavirus, at their home in Shanghai, China, on Feb. 20.