ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan once again emphasised the need to strictly follow SOPs amidst the third wave of the coronavirus. He said that the new variant of the coronavirus and the third wave is extremely dangerous in comparison to the previous two waves. 

The comments came before the premier held a question-and-answer session with the public. He cautioned that if the public did not adhere to SOPs, the government will be forced to impose major restrictions.

“I have noticed … people are not caring [and] are not taking precautions while going out in public,” he said, cautioning that this could lead to the spread of the virus.

“We have so far been protecting our people, we are not imposing a lockdown [or] closing our factories. We are only imposing minor restrictions so that this wave doesn’t spread rapidly. But if this spreads, it will have a very negative impact and we will be forced to take steps.”

Imran Khan said the country could face economic repercussions due to the spread of the virus and lead the country to an economic crisis if the government is forced to impose a lockdown. “Allah blessed Pakistan especially and saved us from the looming danger,” he added.

“I request you to wear a mask wherever you go; it costs nothing and is highly beneficial, and the world has recognised its advantages,” he told the public.

The primer said the if the lockdown is imposed the poor and lower-economic sections of the society will be the most affected, citing that nearly 150 million people fell below the poverty line after industries and businesses close down. 

At least 422 COVID-19 patients are battling for life on ventilators whereas 4,288 critical cases are being treated at hospitals across Pakistan, according to the data released by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Sunday.

Pakistan reported 5,020 new cases amid an unrelenting third wave of the virus. Over the last 24 hours, 81 people passed away: 74 patients, including 24 on ventilators, died in hospitals. Punjab continues to register the greatest number of COVID-19 deaths, followed by Sindh.

A total of 14,778 deaths have been registered across Pakistan so far.

The number of fatalities registered in the provinces stands at 6,572 in Punjab, 4,506 in 4,509, 2,440 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 579 in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), 211 in Balochistan, 103 in Gilgit Baltistan (GB), and 364 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

As of April 4, 2021, there are 60,072 active cases of COVID-19 in Pakistan.


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