Coronavirus outbreak: Is Punjab government going to extend the lockdown?

As the number of Coronavirus positive cases is steadily increasing in Pakistan, the provincial governments are viewing the situation to determine whether the lockdown should be extended or not. Sources claim that the Punjab government is likely to enforce partial lockdown in the next week.

lockdown

Pakistan’s provincial government are mulling over to decide whether the lockdown should be extended or not. Pakistan like other states hit by Coronavirus outbreak is observing lockdown which is proving to be effective to combat the virus.

According to reliable sources, the government of Punjab on Saturday has decided to extend ongoing lockdown by seven more days. The lockdown triggered after coronavirus outbreak will now persist till April 21, which was to end on April 14, sources privy to the development said. The extension in the lockdown is aimed at controlling the spread of novel coronavirus in the province.

It was also learnt that suggestions are being reviewed for the opening of more industries in the province during lockdown. The sources said, the official announcement of extending lockdown in Punjab will be made by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Monday.

Earlier, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said he cannot make any prediction regarding the end or continuation of the ongoing COVID-19 lockdown across the country.

Asad Umar, while addressing a press conference at National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), said that no predictions could be made regarding the lifting up of restrictions after 14 April amid COVID-19 crisis. He added that the decision regarding the lockdown will be taken this week by the federal government.

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Similarly, the Sindh government is also considering to review its lockdown orders. In this regard, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani said on Tuesday that the lockdown rules will be revised on April 14, paving the way towards little leniency.

According to details, PPP’s Ghani explained that the rules under the coronavirus lockdown will be relaxed after April 14 so that some sectors will be given conditional permission to resume their operations.

It is worth noting that the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan rose to 4,897 on Saturday after new infections were confirmed in the country.

Similarly, the number of confirmed cases in the USA topped 501,000 on Saturday, as the worldwide death toll surpassed 102,000. With the number of infections worldwide topped 1.7 million, including more than 376,000 recovered patients, the WHO has urged caution to countries considering easing restrictions put in place to stem the outbreak.

Read more: Pakistan loses a senior doctor due to coronavirus, death toll of doctors reaches 3

Importantly, Italy, hard hit by the virus, will remain in full lockdown until May 3 to stem the tide of new coronavirus infections, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced on Friday. “If we give up now, we would put all the positive results achieved so far at stake and restart with a new rise in the death toll,” Conte said.

Analysts believe that Pakistan’s economic condition does not allow the country to prolong a curfew-like lockdown. Prime Minister Imran Khan has been of the view that any attempt to restrict daily wagers to their residences might lead to some serious law and order situation.

We should, ‘argued the premier’, be careful before we decide to take any stern action to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Some media persons slammed PM Imran for not comprehending the situation and letting the virus spread across the country. However, with the passage of time, the premier was able to offer concrete evidence to support his version of partial lockdown.

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