Rise in COVID-19 cases: PM Imran Khan rules out another lockdown

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has rejected the closure of businesses, schools and industries again in view of rising novel coronavirus cases during its second wave in Pakistan, Khyber News reported. Pakistan cannot afford to go into a lockdown again, Prime Minister Imran Khan said, urging everyone to strictly follow the preventive measures against the novel coronavirus.

Addressing a Cabinet meeting here in the federal capital, PM Imran Khan said the provincial governments needed to ensure the implementation of Trace, Test & Quarantine (TTQ) and smart lockdown strategies pertaining to the coronavirus. “The country cannot afford lockdown again,” the premier said after the Cabinet was briefed on the COVID-19 situation across the nation.

The federal government also decided to strictly implement coronavirus SOPs, sources told. Pakistan has recorded 336,260 coronavirus cases, of which 315,446 have recovered, and close to 7,000 deaths. Sindh has the highest number of cases, at 146,774, with Punjab closely following at 104,894. Separately, accompanied by his economic team in Islamabad, the prime minister announced a package for small industries, underscoring that Pakistan’s industries would not be closed down now. Additional power to small-scale industries would be provided at a cost of 50%, he said.

If the number of COVID-19 cases rises, the businesses and industries would continue their operations while heeding the SOPs, he added.
PM Imran Khan said the second wave of the deadly coronavirus was spreading rapidly throughout the world and cases in Pakistan were also shooting up.

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