Addressing the people of his country on Sunday, Pakistan PM Imran Khan ruled out the possibility of imposing a lockdown in Pakistan. Acknowledging Pakistan’s dire economic condition, Khan stated his government did not have the capacity to take care of 25% of the population which is under the poverty line if a lockdown was implemented. At the same time, he advised the people to go into self-quarantine. According to him, it was possible for most people to get cured by staying at home. Moreover, he contended that panic at this juncture was more dangerous than COVID-19.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan remarked, “Full lockdown means that we have impose curfew in the country. If the economic condition of Pakistan was like the USA, Italy or France, I would have announced a lockdown in Pakistan. But our problem is that 25% of our people are below the poverty line. If I impose a full lockdown, the rickshaw drivers, small shopkeepers, villagers will be locked. They will not be able to feed their wives and children. We do not have the capacity of delivering food to their homes. China had done this, but it is the world’s second-richest country. I can only say this- You should yourself go towards a lockdown. You should go into self-quarantine. If you have 90% coronavirus, it is like flu and you will be cured by staying at home. Panic will cause more damage than coronavirus.”
First detected in Wuhan in December 2019, COVID-19- the novel coronavirus has affected 185 countries in the world. Presently, there are over 2,67,013 confirmed cases of COVID-19 which has led to the death of 11,201 people. As there is no vaccine or specific antiviral medicine to deal to treat COVID-19, countries have been grappling with all possible mechanisms to contain its scope. So far, China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran have witnessed the most number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus.
On Saturday, Pakistan suspended all international flights for two weeks and curtailed train services as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases surged to 730. All the educational establishments have been closed until April 5. Meanwhile, the Balochistan province has already imposed a 21-day partial lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, a total lockdown will be imposed in the Sindh province, which has witnessed the maximum number of positive coronavirus cases in Pakistan from the midnight of March 22.