Due to spike in Covid-19 infections, Pakistan warns to reimpose strict lockdown


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Covid-19 infections and the deaths caused by the virus continue to spike following government’s suspension of preventive measures that were taken in March to contain spread of the virus.
With more than 1,500 new infections of novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the number of confirmed cases in Pakistan crossed 58,300 on Tuesday. In the same time, 37 new deaths raised the tally of nationwide fatalities to 1,205.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s top aide on health Dr Zafar Mirza has warned that the rapid pace at which the virus was spreading could force authorities to re-impose a strict lockdown. Two weeks ago, the government had eased lockdown restrictions, maintaining bans only on restaurants and educational institutions.
“Unfortunately, there is now this thinking among us that this disease (Covid-19) was only here to stay till Eid, and that somehow it will disappear after Eid. This is a huge misunderstanding,” Mirza warned at a press briefing on Monday. “I want to warn Pakistanis that if you don’t take precautionary measures, this crisis could turn into a huge tragedy,” he added.
Despite Mirza’s admission that deaths and number of infected patients were rising, PM Khan has repeatedly downplayed the threat, saying in one of his recent press conferences that the threat from coronavirus was “low” in Pakistan. He has also urged provincial administrations to ease lockdown restrictions against the advice of healthcare professionals, claiming that the country was too poor and cannot afford to shut businesses.
On PM’s orders, public transport services had also been restored in most parts of the country last week.

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