PM urges self-isolation as Sindh, GB go into lockdown
Imran says Pakistan’s economic situation doesn’t allow the govt to enforce lockdown
Sindh govt enforces stringent curbs on public movement to prevent spread of coronavirus
Punjab govt joins the chorus as provinces seek deployment of Pakistan Army troops
ISLAMABAD/KARACHI/LAHORE: The Sindh government on Sunday announced a 15-day lockdown from midnight whereas Prime Minister Imran Khan once again urged the people to exercise self-isolation to curb the spread of coronavirus which has so far infected 687 people across the country.
In a brief, pre-recorded address broadcasted live on mainstream as well as social media, the prime minister called on the citizenry to exercise self-isolation “as much as possible” to contain the spread of the viral disease.
“If you feel any symptoms of flu, it is better to avoid going out so that the virus does not spread to the elderly,” he said, adding that this would enable the healthcare system to take care of the people.
He also said that people should show self-discipline to “win this war against the virus”.
The premier further said that if Pakistan’s situation was as bad as Italy, he would have imposed a lockdown immediately. However, he noted, Pakistan’s financial situation does not allow this since there are daily wagers who have to be taken care of. “The countries […] the developed countries, which imposed a [complete] lockdown, are rich economies,” he said, adding, “They have money, food supplies and resources to sustain [prolong lockdowns].”
“If you [the masses] cooperate with us [the government], we will overcome [this] difficult time like China.”
Pakistan’s virus tally currently stands at 686 with four confirmed deaths. Five people have recovered so far, according to government figures. Globally, the virus has affected at least 308,720 people, leaving 13,071 dead. Some 95,838 people have recovered so far.
Imran said that the pandemic has his full attention and that of his team. “All my team is thinking right now is how to tackle this [coronavirus],” he added.
The premier announced that he will address the nation again on Tuesday with a plan for the industrial sector without further divulging into details.
“I want to assure you we’re working very hard […] I will announce on Tuesday a comprehensive plan for the industrial sector,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, in a video message, said that he had consulted clerics, politicians as well as the administration, following which he decided to go for the lockdown.
Separately, through a tweet, Sindh government spokesperson Senator Murtaza Wahab said that “precaution is the only way out”.
During the lockdown period, Murad said, all the offices and gatherings will be closed. Additionally, those who are not required to, will not be allowed to go outside in public.
Murad further announced 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 Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) with them.
However, Murad clarified in case of sickness, people will be able to visit the hospital but there should not be more than three people in a car.
Moreover, one driver and one passenger will be allowed in a car as per routine and essential services, including food supplies will continue.
second province to announce
Following the footsteps of Sindh government, Gilgit-Baltistan government has also imposed lockdown in the province from 12:00am in wake of the spread of coronavirus pandemic, Dunya News reported.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Gilgit-Baltistan Law Minister Aurangzeb Khan said that the province will be locked down from midnight for an indefinite period.
He said that this will be called home lockdown and police and rangers will be patrolling day and night.
PUNJAB SEEKS ARMY DEPLOYMENT:
On the other hand, the Punjab government requisitioned the army under Section 245 to help the provincial administration as it sought to contain the virus.