A Pakistani businessman said strict lockdown of the country's 204 million people was causing serious hardship, but it was saving lives.
The Al Jazeera news agency reported 40 deaths so far from Covid-19 in Pakistan, and more than 2600 cases of infection.
Aly Hossain is a businessman in the Punjab capital Lahore - a city of 12m, now in its 21st day of lockdown, after what was meant to be 14 days.
He said it was causing a lot of hardship, but there was little option for containing the spread of the deadly virus.
"I think lockdown was the only option - the only solution for this disease.
"Our government took the step very quickly and after that we were able to control this ... spread."
News agencies reported that Pakistan, despite its close proximity with China, remained coronavirus-free until the 26 February when a young man from Karachi tested positive after returning from Iran - one of the worst-hit countries.
After a brief hiatus following the first case, Covid-19 cases spiked as more pilgrims returning from Iran tested positive for the virus.
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Hossain said Lahore was right now deserted, which he had never before seen.
"It feels like ... it's a very different kind of situation, right now. We have never seen it like this before, in my life.
"Everything is closed, businesses are closed and people are scared of what will happen in the future."
Hossain said the country faced many problems.
"I talk about my business, which is currently closed. I have to manage a little factory so we are closed, and we are at home and we don't do anything."
He said the government was trying to help but it did not have sufficient funds to relieve the scale of need.
The World Bank announced at the weekend it had approved a $US200m ($NZ340m) package to help Pakistan take effective action against the Covid-19 pandemic by strengthening the country's national healthcare systems and mitigating socio-economic disruptions.
The focus would be on the health sector, but would also help the poor and vulnerable cope with the immediate impact of the pandemic through social protection measures, food rations, and remote learning education.
Hossain supported his wife and young daughter, his parents and siblings, and said many were relying on charity and family to survive.
He was not sure when they might begin to see any improvement, but hoped it would be soon.
"We don't have any clear picture right now about what is going to happen but the government is telling us to prepare for 10 more days, then this lockdown will be over and we will be back to business."
Hossain said that in general, and despite the difficulties, the population seemed calm and hopeful of a good outcome.
"They are always very optimistic - they don't do panic and they always try to manage in any condition and in any situation, and so far we are managing it.
"We are hoping for the best."
The World Bank Group said in a news release at the weekend that it was rolling out a $US14 billion ($NZ24b) fast-track package to strengthen the Covid-19 response in developing countries and shorten the time to recovery.
The immediate response included financing, policy advice and technical assistance to help countries cope with the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.
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