More to die from hunger than virus in lockdown: Pakistan PM

Despite a spike in coronavirus cases, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has refused to consider a national lockdown implemented by other nations, claiming that such a move would push people to death from hunger before the virus could attack them.In a television broadcast, Khan appealed to the Pakistanis to take self-precautions rather than isolating themselves in their homes as it will lead to starvation and deaths, which the country won’t be able to prevent with limited resources.

While the rich countries, such as the United States, can afford to take extreme measures like social distancing and lockdowns, a poor country like Pakistan would be devastated by such methods.

The Pakistan government this week announced a rupees1200-relief-package to bef-up anti-coronavirus measures. Khan admitted that the money may not be enough, and will have to rely on Pakistan’s natural strengths to fight the battle. “It is a tiny amount compared to the $2 trillion earmarked by the US, but it must find the best possible way to deal with the crisis,” the Pakistani Premier said.

He said Pakistan’s biggest strengths are its large youth population and resilience. He emphasized that since the elderly and the sick people are the most vulnerable to CoVID-19 infection, youth will take up the fight head-on.Khan said that a Youth Tiger Force, comprising the young members from various sections of society, is being mobilized to visit door-to-door and sensitize people on the preventive measures. He, however, added that his government is monitoring the situation round-the-clock by a team of experts from his office, and if the need arises, it will take further measures to slow the spread of the virus.

According to Pakistan’s health ministry, the total figure of detected cases rose to 1,865 and 25 deaths as of April 1. The Punjab Province reported the most number of confirmed cases with more than 650 victims.

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