COVID 19:Pakistan extends lockdown till April 14

09:10 PM | 1 Apr, 2020
COVID 19:Pakistan extends lockdown till April 14

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan on Wednesday extended the coronavirus lockdown period till April 14 over fears of the spread of the virus in the country. This was announced by Federal Minister for planning and development Asad Umar after attending the National Coordination Committee meeting.

He said the decision has been taken keeping in view the analysis and data regarding deaths and the number of affected patients.

The minister maintained that the situation regarding coronavirus has improved after imposing restrictions in the country. “Lockdown throughout the country is bearing fruit as a number of cases would have been much higher if containment steps were not taken in a timely manner," he said.

“All units of the country including the federal government, and governments of all four provinces, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir have jointly decided that the current level of lockdown should continue for another two weeks,” Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives said while addressing the media.

However, he said that in the meantime, the NCC would keep on monitoring the situation closely and the decision could be revised by either reducing restrictions and period or increasing the restrictions that all would depend on the pace of spread of the virus.

Expressing satisfaction over slow pace of spread of the virus, the minister said that the government’s strategy of imposing restriction had yielded positive results.

“Therefore, we do not need any further restrictions to be imposed at current stage,” he added. Asad Umar informed that the services and industries which need essential items such as eatables, energy, and medicines would have to be kept open to ensure proper production and supply of the essential items.

He said except for some complaints from some areas of the country, all the provinces were fully implementing the decisions of NCC.

With respect to the transportation of Pakistanis abroad, the minister said on April 4, the government had decided to run the first flight of Pakistan International Airlines that would carry Pakistani passengers who wanted to return back to their country.

“Passengers will be tested and they will be kept in quarantine facility till the results are received,” he said, referring to the government’s aim to resume flight operations.

If they test negative, then we will ask them to self-quarantine and take necessary precautionary measures, the minister said.

“On April 5, we will review this measure of bringing people from abroad, if it is successful then the flights will be started in different airports of the country.

However he informed that the domestic flights would remain suspended until further order.