ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan rejected the Sindh government’s recommendation to impose a country-wide complete lockdown for two-weeks to curb the third wave of the coronavirus.

The prime minister commented that Pakistan can not afford a complete lockdown as the daily-waged class would be adversely impacted. The comments were made in response to Chief Minister of Sindh Murad Ali Shah’s comments that the government should impose a “complete lockdown” across the country for two weeks to stem the spread of the virus.

PM Khan said that for now the government will continue its policy of smart lockdowns, and he emphasised the need to exercise even more caution during the third wave of the coronavirus.

CM Sindh had previously commented that the federal government should ban intercity and interprovincial transport for two weeks as the mutated strain of coronavirus is more dangerous than the last 2 waves of the virus. “I have antibodies yet I am still afraid of corona[virus],” CM Murad had said, highlighting how dangerous the coronavirus infection is.

He also criticised the government’s failure to roll out mass inoculation for the public, saying the federal government had failed to procure vaccines and was relying on donations from China and the COVAX. 

This disagreement over policy comes as Pakistan sees a raging third wave of the virus. In the last 24 hours, 4757 people tested positive for COVID-19 in Pakistan while 78 lost their lives, according to the latest statistics released by the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC). Punjab recorded over 2,000 COVID-19 cases for seven days straight, with 2,698 cases today.

As of March 31, the total active COVID-19 cases in Pakistan stand at 50,397. Yesterday, 43,965 tests were conducted with Sindh conducting 7,853; Punjab:20,983; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa(KP):7,650; Islamabad(ICT):5,976; Balochistan:488; Gilgit-Baltistan(GB):207 and Azad Kashmir(AJK):808.

Out of 1,756 ventilators reserved for COVID-19 patients in the country, 412 ventilators are currently occupied. There is no patient on the ventilator in AJK, GB, and Balochistan. So far, Pakistan has seen a total of 603,126 recoveries.

A total of 667,957 cases have been detected so far in the country with AJK reporting 12663; Balochistan:19557; GB:5024; ICT:57833, KPK:87055; Punjab:220392 and Sindh:265433.

Till now, Pakistan has recorded 14434 deaths. Punjab is on top of the list with 6365 casualties followed by Sindh:4497; KPK:2342; Islamabad: 568; Balochistan: 207; GB: 103 and AJK: 352.

631 hospitals in Pakistan are equipped with COVID-19 facilities with 3,912 patients being treated across the country. A total of 10,197,329 tests have been conducted so far.


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