Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on March 22 ruled out complete lockdown in the country, saying it will create chaos and urged people to self-quarantine to curb the spread of the coronavirus, which has so far claimed four lives and infected 646 people in the country. Addressing the nation as cases of the novel coronavirus surged across the country, Imran Khan reiterated that lockdown will create chaos as more than 25% of people were living below the poverty line and their lives will be shattered. He said the situation in Pakistan does not call for a lockdown yet.
“Let me first tell you what a complete lockdown is. It means imposing a curfew and locking people in their homes,” said Imran Khan. We cannot afford complete lockdown as it will create massive unrest, he said, adding that the situation in the country is not as bad as in Italy or France. If the condition was similar to that of Italy, I would have imposed a lockdown, he said.
He urged the people to follow the policy of self-isolation and stay inside their homes. He said the government was constantly watching the situation and all the necessary measures will be taken accordingly. The government on March 21 suspended all international flights for two weeks and curtailed train services to curb the spread of the virus, which has turned into a major global crisis. Official data issued by the National Disaster Management Authority showed at least 646 confirmed coronavirus cases.
Pakistan's Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG-ISPR) on Sunday held a special review meeting in the wake of the Coronavirus. Taking to Twitter, the Spokesperson of the Pakistan Armed Forces, Major General Babar Iftikhar stated that the high-level meeting was done via video link. According to him, the COAS planned and reviewed the Army's readiness to assist the people of the country amid the Pandemic. Further, he stated that the Pakistani Army and the medical resources have been trained to assist the people.
(With PTI inputs)