PM rules out nationwide lockdown
Imran says govt to announce economic package on Tuesday
KP government says Peshawar not to undergo shutdown
Sindh CM advises 3-day self-isolation
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday addressed a press conference on the coronavirus, as new cases emerge from various parts of the country.
The prime minister said that his government will not 'censor' anything from the masses, saying that if authorities were not transparent on cases emerging throughout the country, then it will be difficult to treat them.
The prime minister said that social distancing was "very important" to contain the virus, advising people not to go to public places. "The best thing you can do is self-qurantine instead of going to hospitals," he said. "Practice self-isolation rather than going to hospitals. Stay at home if you demonstrate symptoms and keep away from the elderly," he said.
PM Imran
rules out lockdown, announces economic package
Prime Minister ruled out a complete lockdown, saying that the federal government will not do the same as the economic impact will be disastrous.
He said that the government had shut down cinemas and barred people from gathering at public places. However, he said that the federal government was not in favour of a lockdown as its effects will prove difficult for the poor.
Imran said that Italy and other countries that had imposed a lockdown could so as their per capita income was higher than Pakistan's. He said that it was important to keep the economy afloat and at the same time, keep people safe from the pandemic.
"We have to strike a balance here," he said. "Hence, we have decided to incentivize the construction sector. Hence, we are telling people to practice self-discipline and avoid going to public places."
The prime minister said that the government was working on an economic package which will be announced on Tuesday. "We cannot compete with other countries of the world who are announcing economic packages," he said. "However, we will protect our lower and labour class against the effects of the coronavirus. This package will do so."
Meanwhile, the provincial capital will not undergo a lockdown, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister's Adviser Ajmal Khan Wazir said Friday, appealing, however, to people to be cautious.
Addressing a press conference in Peshawar, Wazir said: "In the current environment, it is better to say greetings than to shake hands. There can be no greater greeting than Assalam-o-Alaikum.
"It is better to refrain from going to gatherings without any justification," the adviser added.
People needed to abstain from all non-essential travel, the adviser said, stressing that there will not be a lockdown in Peshawar.
Meanwhile, the Sindh province will go under a three-day lock-down, Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah announced on Friday, as the number of local — or 'social contact' — cases rose from 40 to 51.
"People should go into complete isolation for three days," Shah said during the 23rd meeting of the provincial task force on coronavirus. "It is important for people to remain inside their homes" for themselves and other's safety.
During its briefing to the committee, the Sindh health department informed the participants that there were 151 cases in Sukkur. The results of 420 samples from Sukkur Phase 2 were yet to be released as were those of 83 samples from Larkana.