Coronavirus: Pakistan’s federal government, Sindh province divided on Lockdown option


By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan has ruled out lockdown in the country saying this option would lead to unemployment and poverty among low -income strata of population..
He advised the nation to self-quarantine to prevent the spread of coronavirus which as already killed four people in the country while the total tally has jumped to 646 cases on Sunday.
However, while differing with his advice, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)-led Provincial Government in southern province of Sindh has announced complete lockdown for 15 days with effect from Sunday midnight.
“Pakistan currently does not have the capacity to provide the entire nation with food at home if a lockdown is imposed in the country,” said Imran Khan on Sunday afternoon during his address to the nation on television. Imran explained what a lockdown actually mean. “First let me tell you what a lockdown is. It means imposing a curfew and locking people in their houses,” he explained .

Imran Khan insisted that the situation in Pakistan does not call for a lockdown yet.
“If the condition was similar to that of Italy, I would have imposed a lockdown,” he added.
Prime Minister appealed to the nation to impose self discipline and should not indulge in panic buying, as with collective efforts, they would overcome the threats of Coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic.
He said that Pakistan was different from rest of the world. It would create economic woes if we go for lockdown as 25 per cent chunk of its population was living below the poverty line. The issue of panic is more dangerous than Coronavirus. If all go on panic buying, it will result in irreparable damage to society,” he said.
Imran Khan said that about 90 per cent affected persons from the disease had mild symptoms and they recovered quickly. “The pandemic could spread quickly, if the nation did not take precautionary measures,” he warned.
The Prime Minister said that social distancing should be given preferences instead holding marriages or other social gatherings insides homes as it would be an injustice with the old population of the country who were the most vulnerable segment of society, reported APP.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister of Sindh Murad Ali Shah on Sunday imposed a complete lockdown in Sindh for 15 days, restricting movement of people.
He said that all offices will be closed and gatherings banned. People will not be allowed to go on streets. Shah said that law enforcement agencies will be told that if someone is out due to a necessity they should be permitted, adding that if anyone steps out they should carry their CNIC.
Sick people will be allowed to visit the hospitals. One driver and one passenger will be allowed in a car and sssential services including food supplies will continue.


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