‘Sindh’s Covid-19 lockdown a correct decision but…’: Pakistan PM Imran Khan weighs in
Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan on Sunday criticised the provincial Sindh government's decision to impose a partial week-long lockdown to curb a fresh outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. In a live question-and-answer session, Khan, while admitting that lockdown is a "correct" decision, questioned how the poor section of the society will make their ends meet while the restrictions are on.
"There was a small problem between the federal and Sindh governments. Sindh wanted to impose a lockdown which is the correct decision and will help in curbing the spread of the virus," Khan said. The Pakistani premier, however, added, "On the other hand, what we need to see is whether we will be able to save the economy from the lockdown. There is the issue of hunger as well. How will the daily wage earners and poor section of the society be able to make ends meet during the lockdown"
The chairman of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) further said vaccination is the only way out of this pandemic.
The Sindh government had earlier requested the federal government to not politicise the issue. Speaking at a press conference, Murtaza Wahab, an advisor to chief minister Murad Ali Shah, had pointed that the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the agency responsible for Pakistan's response to Covid-19, had not said anywhere the lockdown "should not be imposed."
Besides Khan, Fawad Chaudhry, the federal minister for information, also expressed the PTI government's "concern" over Sindh's decisions. Calling the lockdown "inappropriate," Chaudhry had said the provincial government "cannot take decisions unilaterally."
In recent days, Pakistan has seen a fresh uptick in its daily Covid-19 infections in what has been described as its fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. According to experts, the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has led to this fourth wave. On Sunday, the NCOC said more than 5000 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, in what is the highest single-day rise in cases since April 29, when the daily caseload stood at 5112.
(With agency inputs)