Govt may reimpose lockdown after Eid if SOP violations continue: Mirza

Updated May 25, 2020

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Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza addressing a media briefing on Monday. — DawnNewsTV
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza addressing a media briefing on Monday. — DawnNewsTV

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said on Monday that Pakistan's coronavirus cases and deaths were on the rise and urged citizens to follow government mandated standard operating procedures (SOPs) against the virus, warning that "strict lockdowns" could be reimposed across the country if the trajectory continued.

Lamenting that the government's instructions and SOPs to control the spread of the virus were not being followed, the prime minister's aide said:

"As we promised when we eased the lockdown, if this trend continues we may reimpose strict lockdowns after Eid."

Noting that there was this perception amongst people that the virus outbreak in the country had ended, Mirza reminded everyone that deaths and cases were rising continuously.

"Unfortunately, there is now this thinking among us that this disease [Covid-19] was only here till Eid and that somehow it'll disappear after Eid. This is a huge misunderstanding.

"I want to warn Pakistanis that if you don't take precautionary measures, this crisis could turn into a huge tragedy.

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"I urge the nation to act with extreme responsibility to curb the spread of the virus. The cases are rising very fast and we need to be careful, more than ever."

Enumerating coronavirus statistics from around the world, the prime minister's aide stated that Covid-19 has now infected more than 5.5 million people globally and killed nearly 350,000.

"But the characteristic of this disease is that a huge majority of the patients recover from it — therefore the good news is that millions have also recovered and are now healthy," he said.

He clarified that most of the active cases in the country were mild and those patients were quarantining at home. He requested them to stay at home and recuperate until they are tested negative.

"Unfortunately, there are 112 patients intubated in Pakistan right now. These patients are critically ill and are fighting for their lives at this very moment." Mirza said, as he warned that the number of critically ill patients in the country was also rising fast.

He said the spread of the virus could only be halted by staying at home as much as possible, practicing social distancing, wearing masks and taking precautionary measures while going out.