Govt hints at imposing complete lockdown in the country
Fawad Chaudhry welcomes Maryam Nawaz’s decision to cancel Karachi visit
The government has hinted at imposing a complete lockdown in the country if the situation arising out of the raging coronavirus cases does not improve in a week, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
Addressing newsmen in Karachi on Saturday, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said the government will ponder over slapping a complete lockdown in the country if the coronavirus cases do not come down in a week.
“Pakistanis have a window of one week to strictly follow the SOPs and help in bringing down the number of the deadly disease,” he added.
Responding to a question, Fawad Chaudhry welcomed PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz’s decision not to visit Karachi due to the worsening Covid-19 situation in the country.
Fawad Chaudhry said that the prime minister has always resisted a complete lockdown but if the number of deaths from the virus keeps going up, the government will have to take “difficult decisions”.
“Daily wagers, the poor segment of society, and traders will suffer the most if a lockdown is imposed,” Fawad said, pointing out that to prevent this SOPs implementation should be ensured.
The minister said that hospitals in major cities are under pressure. “In Lahore, 90 percent of ICU beds are full.” Oxygen beds in Gujranwala and Multan have reached 88 percent and 85 percent capacity, he added.
The coronavirus positivity ratio in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is alarming. “The infection rate in Mardan has reached 40 percent,” Fawad revealed.
As many as 560 ventilators in Pakistan are presently occupied.
For the upcoming general elections, the Election Commission of Pakistan should devise separate SOPs.
“I’m happy that Maryam Nawaz canceled her visit to Karachi today,” the minister said. “It’s important that political parties cooperate with the government in curbing the spread of the virus,” he added.
Fawad pointed out that the coronavirus situation worsened in India because of the election campaign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Hundreds of people were attending campaigns every day.
To help restaurants and businesses, the government is trying to work with food and other delivery companies so shopping can be done at home, he said and added “Covid-19 vaccination will take some time.”
The minister said “It will at least take us a year to vaccinate the entire nation.”