PM Imran asks nation to celebrate Eid with simplicity to avoid virus surge
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Prime Minister Imran Khan said Friday that Pakistanis should celebrate the upcoming Eid festival with "simplicity" to prevent a spike in new coronavirus cases.
He said Pakistan was "amongst the fortunate countries where Covid-19 cases in hospitals, especially in intensive care and death rate have gone down, unlike in our unfortunate neighbour India."
"Eid ul Azha must be celebrated with simplicity so as not to repeat what happened last Eid when SOPs (standard operating procedures) were ignored & our hospitals were choked", Khan tweeted, adding that he was ordering the "strict implementation" of government guidelines.
Pak is amongst the fortunate countries where COVID 19 cases in hospitals, esp in intensive care & death rate have gone down, unlike in our unfortunate neighbor India. This positive trend has been the result of our smart lockdown policy & the nation observing govt SOPs.— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 17, 2020
The Eid festival of animal sacrifice will begin at the end of the month and lasts for several days. Authorities expect a rush of people going to markets to look for sheep, goats and other animals to slaughter. Many in Pakistan return to their family homes from cities to observe the festival.
According to official tallies, around 260,000 people in Pakistan have tested positive for coronavirus, including more than 5,470 deaths. In recent days, Pakistan has seen the rate of new infections slow considerably.
In recent days, Pakistan has seen the rate of new infections slow considerably. While some medical experts have said this is because of a decrease in testing, Khan said the "positive trend" was primarily the result of "smart" lockdowns in which hotspots are sealed off.
Cricketer-turned-politician Khan drew criticism early in the virus crisis for resisting a comprehensive, nationwide lockdown and instead leaving provincial governments to enact most of the restrictions. He argued that impoverished Pakistan could not afford the type of sweeping shutdowns seen in other countries.