Corona cases far less than feared; will gradually relax lockdown: PM
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the number of cases of the coronavirus has been far less than anticipated 50,000 cases by April 25, and announced the gradual relaxation in the lockdown.
While addressing the nation through media briefing on Saturday, PM Imran said “We fear escalation in the corona cases between May 15 and 20 but we’re well prepared for it.”
The PM said that “The people should realise that lockdown cannot be made successful through force.”
He said that the government has given a relief package according to the limited resources at its disposal, and said “I realise there will be no use of any lockdown if people with empty stomachs come out of their houses. In such case, all the social distancing will lose its sense or purpose.”
Imran Khan appealed to the imams of mosques to persuade people to follow the guidelines agreed upon between the government and the ulema.
While informing the media about the new ordinance against the hoarders, the PM said “Now there are two ordinances, one against the hoarders and the other against the smugglers,” and indicated the stricter measures against the violators. “Now, we’ll catch the big fish too.”
While alluding to the political rivals, the PM said “For last two three weeks, I’ve been observing people are playing politics on the coronavirus; it must stop now.”
“It has been said that government is concealing death figures from the coronavirus,” the PM said, while asking the detractors “Will the cases cease to exist by hiding?”
He said that it is not only the PTI that is affected by this “national crisis” but all the parties are equally affected by it.
Imran Khan said that it will be unfortunate if any government tries to conceal the death figures. However, he said “I feel there’s a class that is perturbed by the low cases of deaths in the wake of the infection.”
About the possible increase in cases in future, he said, “From May 15 to 20, we’re fearing an escalation in the number of corona cases,” and added that the government is taking steps to meet that situation.
About the opening of construction industry, the PM said “We opened the industry in view of the destitution of the daily wagers as I was particularly worried about this impoverished class.”
The PM pleaded the news anchors and the ulema, who are considered opinion-makers in their respective domains, to guide people about the effectiveness of the lockdown.
“If the coronavirus spreads further, we’ll be forced to close the factories and the construction sites too.”
More than once, PM Imran warned the hoarders and those who seek opportunities in such critical times that “Whoever is found involved making money through unfair means, we’ll catch him. Also, there’s a news for the hoarders that we have devised two ordinances for them.”
Meanwhile, PM’s Assistant on National Security Moeed Yusuf too briefed the media about the government’s efforts to bring the overseas Pakistanis to home. He told the press that earlier the government was bringing 2,000 Pakistanis to Pakistan in a week; now, the number has increased to 6,000.
At the end, PM Imran Khan said that the coronavirus wave might take up to six or eight months. But the more important is what would be Pakistan’s victory threshold at the end of it. “If we saved the spread of poverty, we’ll be the victors.”
He said no society could flourish where there is an island of the privileged class is surrounded by the ocean of the underprivileged.
“It’s the first time the government has prepared packages for the small shopkeepers, hawkers and daily wagers.”
PM said that it is our challenge to control the spread of poverty, and “it is the time to offer sacrifices for those who have for those who have not.”