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A Lockdown Will Be Less Painful For Pakistan Than Spike In Coronavirus Cases

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Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan does not need a lockdown to prevent the spread of coronavirus because the country’s economy cannot afford it. “The poor will die of hunger if we shut down our cities”, he told the nation in his address about the coronavirus crisis in the country.

However, Uzair Younus, a fellow of Atlantic Council says that the perception that people will starve to death due to the lockdown is unfounded. He took to Twitter to offer a response to the Pakistan government’s strict view against locking down the country to prevent coronavirus.

He said that if the government refused to close down the business and everything continues as usual, the virus will continue to spread, and the vulnerable segments who cannot afford to sit at home and practice self-isolation, are likely to fall victim of the disease. “The virus will affect them more than the elites”, he said.

He further says 100s of deaths are likely from the virus it the crisis ‘hits a tipping point’, and when that happens, a lockdown will be the only way out. “In that scenario, the economic cost of the lockdown will have to be borne by society, particularly the vulnerable, who are more likely to be sick.”

Moreover, he notes that the duration of the crisis and its peak is likely to be higher with business as usual. A poactive lockdown can lessen the number of cases and deaths.
“In short, business as usual inflicts long-term pain which will be much higher than short-term pain through a lockdown”, he concludes.

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Many people have reacted to PM Imran Khan’s reluctance to lockdown the country saying that the losses caused by a lockdown will be much lesser in extent that the losses the country will likely face due to the spread of coronavirus if there is no lockdown.

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Naya Daur