Pak govt may close down major cities if precautionary measures to contain COVID-19 not followed: Minister

Sajjad Hussain
·1-min read

Islamabad, Apr 21 (PTI) The chief of Pakistan's anti-coronavirus body warned on Wednesday that major cities of the country may be closed down if precautionary measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 are not taken seriously.

Minister for Planning Asad Umar's remarks came after 148 people died in the last 24 hours due to the worsening coronavirus situation.

Umar after chairing the meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), which is spearheading a national drive to combat the coronavirus pandemic, said the situation was not good as people were not following precautionary measures.

'At the NCOC we reviewed the pandemic situation, which is bad. We have taken several decisions to impose more curbs which would be announced on Friday,' Umar said.

'Further restrictions will be imposed. Let me make it clear, the level at which the virus is spreading and our hospitals are filling up...if we don't act now, we will have no choice but to close down major cities,' he warned.

“Right now we are not closing major cities but we just have a margin of a few days,” he said.

Umar said that the administration in different provinces had failed to implement the SoPs (standard operating procedures) and the number of active patients had crossed 83,000.

Pakistan on Wednesday reported 5,499 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 772,381.

The overall positivity rate was 11.63 per cent. PTI SH NSA