Urging the nation to show unity in the persisting difficult time, President Dr Arif Alvi has stressed the need to form a China-like volunteer force in Pakistan to fight the new coronavirus.

President Alvi, in a video message, said China has fought the coronavirus pandemic on the national-level and formed a force of volunteers which was also needed in Pakistan.

He said that people must unite to face the challenge instead of panicking, and asked clerics to raise awareness regarding COVID-19. The president also asked media houses to play their role in spreading awareness so that people adopt prevention measures.

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The president said that China was facing isolation and extreme criticism from the West over the spread of coronavirus, but, he added, the Chinese leadership has appreciated Pakistan for exhibiting full confidence in Beijing and not bringing back students.

He admitted that the Pakistani students, who had shown concerns over not being repatriated from China, studying in 15 different universities in the virus-hit country had also now changed their opinion after being looked after by Chinese authorities in a better way.

“I have thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping over taking good care of them [Pakistani students in Wuhan/Hubei].”

He also said the Chinese exhibited great resilience and unity against COVID-19 pandemic and Pakistan should learn from their experience to combat the disease.

The president added that during his trip to the erstwhile epicentre of the virus, he held hours-long discussions with the Chinese leadership over effective measures adopted by Beijing to contain COVID-19.