Coronavirus pandemic: Imran Khan rules out lockdown in Pakistan, says it will ‘create chaos’

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Coronavirus in Pakistan: In what is starkly different from the way countries around the world are approaching the coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has said he will not enforce a lockdown in his country as it will create chaos, and urged Pakistanis to self-quarantine to keep a check on the spread of COVID-19 virus.

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As on Sunday, four people had died of coronavirus in Pakistan and over 750 people had been infected, PTI reported.

Imran Khan, in an address to the nation over the coronavirus pandemic, said that a lockdown would cause chaos as Pakistan has over 25 per cent people living below the poverty line and lives of these people would be shattered.

Reiterating that the situation didn’t warrant a lockdown in Pakistan, Imran said a coronavirus lockdown would mean imposing curfews and locking people in their homes, and that Pakistan’s conditions weren’t as bad as Italy or France to warrant a lockdown.

Imran further added that his government was closely monitoring the situation and would take necessary action. Pakistan had on Saturday suspended all international flights for two weeks and stopped train services to check the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Meanwhile, six Pakistani officials were suspended for clicking a selfie with their colleague who tested positive for coronavirus, PTI reported.

The report quoted Pakistan’s Dawn News as saying that in Khairpur district, the deputy commissioner suspended six revenue officials who were seen clicking selfies with a colleague who had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The report said that the infected man had a travel history of visiting Iran. The six had gone to visit the patient at his home when he returned from a month-long pilgrimage, and he was not exhibiting any symptoms of coronavirus at that time, the report said. The officials later posted the selfies to social media. Later on, all those who had come in touch with him were isolated when the man tested positive.

Pakistan has put a ban on sporting events in view of the coronavirus, with the Pakistan Cricket Board saying that the rest of the Pakistan Super League, that was halted mid-way through the season, would be held in if the situations arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic improved.