Curbs reconsidered as virus cases spike
May 26 2020 12:46 AM
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Prime Minister Khan: urged the sharing of the joys of the Eid with the downtrodden and neglected segments of society.

DPA/Internews/Islamabad

President Dr Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan, while congratulating the nation on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, have urged the people to keep adhering to the precautionary measures as the whole world is being ravaged by the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The highly-contagious coronavirus causes the Covid-19 respiratory disease.
In his message, President Alvi said that the whole nation, with solidarity and precautionary measures, would face the critical challenge of coronavirus.
He said that besides sharing the joys of the Eid, the day reminds the people to also include the needy and deserving people in these pleasures, by paying special attention to such segments of the society.
Alvi also prayed for the solidarity and strength of the nation to successfully overcome the pandemic.
In his message, Prime Minister Khan said that by sharing joys of the Eid with the downtrodden and neglected segments of society, people can transform the observance of the religious occasion into purposeful and objective event.
The prime minister also emphasised on the observance of precautionary measures and the government’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) with regard to limiting the spread of the coronavirus, so that people could save the lives of their loved ones and their countrymen.
He stressed upon the need for social distancing and maintaining precautionary measures.
Meanwhile, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has also congratulated nation on the auspicious occasion of Eid al-Fitr.
Yesterday officials said that Pakistan may reinforce its lockdown to stem the spread of the coronavirus, amid a spike in infections and deaths three weeks after restrictions were lifted.
Health authorities and regional governments expressed alarm as Pakistan’s confirmed coronavirus caseload surged past 56,000, with nearly 1,200 related deaths.
The number of confirmed cases has more than doubled from 23,000 on May 6, when the country began easing the coronavirus lockdown.
New reported cases appeared to spike over the Eid this weekend.
“We might go for a nationwide lockdown again because the virus is spreading rapidly,” said the de facto health minister, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, who blamed the fresh wave of infections on the population not adhering to social distancing.
“All warnings by the government were not heard,” he said. “This carefree approach can aggravate things and our health system can collapse.”
Tens of thousands of people travelled by bus, train and private car to celebrate the Eid in their hometowns over the weekend.
Markets remained crowded with shoppers, few of whom wore face masks.
“This situation cannot be left on its own,” said Murad Ali Shah, the chief minister of Sindh, Pakistan’s worst-hit province. 
“There seems no option except reverting to strict restrictions,” he said.
When announcing the end of the lockdown, Prime Minister Khan said that he was compelled to take the decision for the sakes of several million people whose livelihoods were at stake.
The concern remains that a prolonged lockdown could force more than half of Pakistan’s 220mn population into poverty.



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