Pakistan Govt Extends Lockdown with Relaxed Restrictions

In an effort to contain coronavirus in Pakistan, the government has extended the lockdown for further 2 weeks, with some relaxed restrictions to facilitate the economy. Here are the key points to note from Prime Minister Imran Khan briefing today:

  1. Schools, cinemas and other high-risk and public places will remain close until further notice.
  2. Export-related businesses, chemical and cement plants, software development houses, mines, paper packaging to resume operations.
  3. Six airports to be reopened by April 20th to bring back 6,000 stranded Pakistanis
  4. The following low-risk industries (identified by the government will resume operations under partial lockdown).
    • Industries which have labour work on their premises
    • Cement and fertilizer plants
    • Mines and minerals
    • Dry cleaners
    • Glass manufacturing
    • Horticulture nurseries
    • Veterinary services
    • All export industries provided their orders are approved by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan
    • Books and stationery shops

In his speech, the PM warned the public to still take precautionary measures, “we need to continue to exercise caution,” he added, saying that “every move we make carries risks”. “On one hand we have corona and on the other we have hunger,” he lamented.

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Emphasizing the need for Pakistanis to continue to maintain social distancing and exercise self-discipline, IK added that even though things do not seem as bleak in the country right now and that “if the curve spikes up, our current health system will not be able to meet the challenge”.

The current tally of active CO-VID 19 cases in Pakistan has crossed 5000 with 100 deaths and over 1300 recovered patients.