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Coronavirus Coronavirus Updates Governance News

Pakistan Should Learn To Live With Coronavirus, Says PM Imran

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Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a televised press conference on May 15 that the people of Pakistan will just have to learn to live with the coronavirus. 

He said that the lockdown situation in Pakistan cannot be compared to that of developed nations like Germany, Wuhan or South Korea. “Lockdowns are meant to curb the spread of the virus but can they stop it?” he asked. 

He reiterated his opinions about the lockdown, saying that we have a higher ratio of poverty in the country and the lockdown is just not an option.

He also said that the number of people who have been economically affected by the crisis have reached up to 150 million. “How long can the government continue the Ehsaas programme and how long will Rs 12,000 be sufficient for one family?” he asked.

“We know that the country’s cases will increase, but we also know that if we don’t start taking steps [to ease restrictions], people will start dying of hunger. As prime minister I have to think about these people.

He said that Pakistan has yet not witnessed a situation as worse as the rest of the nations where the virus peaked so following the SOPs for regulating the contagion should be enough. 

To the business owners, he said: “It is very important for you to follow SOPs. If cases rise in one particular area, such as a factory, we will be forced to lock that area down. It will cause you harm.”

He repeated the importance of showing discipline and being responsible at an individual level as citizens who care about each other.

With reference to resuming the flow of public transport he said that some provinces are still not fully in agreement.

“We have not taken a decision. Whatever decision we take, we have to think about how we can help the vulnerable because public transport is for the poor. We will be making their lives more difficult.”

The PM also announced that the cash distribution under the Prime Minister’s Coronavirus Relief Fund will begin from Monday. The main objective of the fund is to help those who have become unemployed due to the virus, he said.

Imran concluded the press conference by adding that Pakistan will emerge as a “stronger nation” from the current crisis.

“From here on out till the end of the year, make up your mind that you will have to live with coronavirus. We will have to live with it until we have a vaccine,” he reminded.

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