Pakistan extends virus lockdown till May 9
The National Coordination Committee has decided to prolong the country-wide lockdown to another two weeks up to May 9, in addition to the announcement of no-load shedding during Sahr and Iftar in Ramazan.
The NCC met under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan which was also attended by all the provincial chief ministers through video link.
While briefing the media, Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umer said: “We’re enhancing the facilities for corona-testing on a broader scale,” and said that all the provinces gave their recommendations in the NCC meeting.
“Not only that the provinces gave their recommendations, but they will have to implement the recommendations as well,” Asad Umer said, and added that the government has the full support of the army in the implementation of its plans.
“Another decision we took today is that there will be no load shedding during Ramazan in any part of the country,” Asad Umer said while adding that he believes there will be more prayers this year.
“But You have to be very careful about the rights of the people (Haqooq-ul-Ibaad) as no person should be infected by you,” Asad said, alluding to keep maximum social distancing. However, he remained short of explaining it further.
“Our army is fully supporting the civil administration and would help in implementing the smart lockdown,” the minister added.
He said Pakistan was enhancing the capacity of coronavirus testing in the country as testing was the only way forward in the fight against the coronavirus.
Asad said that almost half of the money allocated for the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme has been distributed among deserving families. He said the government has provided the financial assistance to 5.7 million families so far under Ehsas programme and remaining families will also receive the assistance in the due process and the programme would continue during the month of Ramazan.
He said that Ramazan is a decisive month, and “If we control the virus in May, and people prove to ensure the SOPs, we hope to see a better situation on Eid, paving the way for improved economic conditions for the people following Edi.”
But in the same breath, he indicated more restrictions if the people fail to ensure the maximum preventive measures, “there could be tougher days in terms of lockdowns.”