PM Imran again opposes full lockdown

Asks people to wear facemasks, follow SOPs, get vaccinated as Indian Delta variant has hit Pakistan

By: News Desk      Published: 04:00 PM, 1 Aug, 2021
PM Imran again opposes full lockdown
TV grab.

Warning the public against the fourth wave of the coronavirus in the form of the Indian Delta variant that has hit the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday appealed to the people to wear facemasks, follow SOPs and get themselves vaccinated ruling out the imposition of full lockdown, reported 24NewsHD TV channel. 

"Just by wearing facemasks, the chances of the transmission of the virus reduces by nearly 60% to 70%," the prime minister said.

The premier was answering questions from the public on the telephone and social media under the session "Apka Wazir-e-Azam aapke saath" on Sunday.

“We don't want a lockdown again because we know it puts the livelihood of the poor segments at risk and weakens the economy. The Sindh government wanted to impose a complete lockdown which is fine because when movement stops the number of cases goes down," Imran Khan said. 

He said the Sindh government lockdown was the right decision but it would also impact the labourers and daily wagers and urged the provincial government not to impose complete lockdown before finding the solutions or answers to how they would be helping the poor.

“Our federal government had some issues with the Sindh government as they wanted to impose complete lockdown. It was absolutely the right decision as it controls the spread of the virus. But the problem is to save the economy and daily wagers,” the PM said. “India imposed a complete lockdown without proper planning,” he added.

The Prime Minister lauded NCOC team and Pakistani nation for adhering to the SOPs in combating the COVID-19. He thanked the Ulema for backing the government’s SOPs in mosques.

Before taking phone calls, the Prime Minister said that the fourth wave containing the Indian variant of COVID-19 pandemic is very lethal as it spreads at a fast pace.

"Therefore, smart lockdown is the most viable solution," he said. "We cannot destroy our economy by imposing a full lockdown."

Answering a question regarding job quotas, the premier said that the centre is very small, therefore, he would instruct all the provinces to allot job quotas to deserving people. 

In reply to citizens’ queries, the premier downplayed price hike in the country saying inflation rates in Pakistan is the lowest.

He clarified that petrol had to be made more expensive due to an increase in global prices, but petrol and diesel prices were too lower in Pakistan than the same in other parts of the globe.

He said inflation was the biggest problem and they were trying to control it. He said it was a difficult time for the salary based classes in the country but the farmer had become rich in his regime.