Will take strict measures now to prevent COVID-19 spread: PM

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Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday that his government would now take strict measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Pakistan.

The prime minister was briefing the media in Lahore on the coronavirus situation. He once again ruled out the possibility of a complete lockdown in the country.

“Imposing a lockdown is not an issue for rich countries,” he said. “The circumstances in our country are different.”

PM Khan noted that 25% of Pakistan’s population lives below the poverty line. “A complete lockdown means to shut down the economy.”

He said in countries like Pakistan only smart lockdowns were the solution to the issue.

The premier said his government had repeatedly urged the masses not to take the pandemic lightly, but now it would take strict measures to keep the virus from spreading.

“We have reached a conclusion that we will have to take strict measures now,” he said. “We will impose selective lockdowns at virus hotspots.”

PM Khan said no one would be allowed to go to a public place without a face mask.

He said his government would mobilise the Tiger Force for the implementation of SOPs. The premier said he had already issued directives to party leaders in this regard.

Pakistan saw a spike in coronavirus cases since PM Khan’s government lifted the lockdown in the country late last month.

The number of coronavirus cases has since multiplied. They jumped to 134,667 Saturday. The virus has so far killed 2,574 people in Pakistan.