Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday deferred imposing a broad lockdown in the country, instead opting to direct the Pakistan Army to aid the police in the enforcement of coronavirus SOPs.
“The situation is changing very fast and we might have to impose a lockdown in the days to come, which would be devastating for the economy and the poor,” he said.
A meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) was held today with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair to review the prevailing coronavirus situation in the country and take a decision on imposing lockdown in cities with a high positivity ratio.
The COVID-19 situation in the country is getting worse day by day. In the last 24 hours, Pakistan reported 144 deaths and at least 5,870 new coronavirus cases, said the NCOC in its daily statement.
Out of 144 deaths, 57 patients died on the ventilators. At least 4,652 patients are in a critical condition, as per the NCOC.
On Thursday, 72 died in Punjab, 14 in Sindh, 37 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, three in Islamabad, one in Balochistan, and six in Azad Kashmir.
Even with the worsening situation of COVID-19 in the country, the PTI government has repeatedly insisted against a lockdown, inviting criticism from the public.
Criticism on Twitter
Feheem Younus, a specialist in infectious diseases, shared data on the trend of the pandemic in India and Pakistan, cautioning that if Pakistan wants to slow down the spread of the diseases it needs to act and prepare right now.
Others highlighted how much the situation has deteriorated with hospitals working at full capacity and no more room for new patients.
Others commented that given the trends; Pakistan is likely to follow in the footsteps of India with its mismanagement of the pandemic.
The PTI government has maintained that lockdown is an unviable option due to the possible economic impact it can has on the national economy and the living standard of daily-wage earners and workers. However, these concerns do not mitigate the fact that without a lockdown the situation will only get worse.