Easing lockdown does not mean coronavirus threat has gone, says governor Punjab

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Lahore: Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has warned that the government will be left with no option but to take stringent measures, if people did not take coronavirus pandemic seriously. “Easing lockdown to allow selected businesses does not mean that the threat of coronavirus has been averted,” he said. The governor said doctors were unanimous in saying that the incidence of coronavirus was getting serious and further spread just because of people coming out of homes unmindfully would put an unbearable pressure on country’s healthcare system. Governor Chaudhry Sarwar said the government would take strict action if precautionary measures were compromised at any public place including mosques to save Pakistan from facing the US and the UK-like situation. The governor thanked the King Salman Relief Centre and Hayat Foundation for providing ration worth Rs160 million for around 150,000 poor families. Through the Punjab Development Network, he said, ration would be provided to some 500,000 poor families during the next few weeks. He was addressing a press conference on the occasion of providing relief goods for poor families from the Saudi government’s King Salman Relief Programme. The King Salman Relief Programme and Hayat Foundation representatives Kehkshan Tabassum, Muneeb Ahmad and others were also present at the press conference.

Governor Punjab told media persons that each ration bag for a poor family contained 10kg flour, 5kg sugar, 5kg rice, 5litre cooking oil, 2kg dry milk, half kg tea leaves and 2kg dates. He said the ration provided was worth Rs166.1 million. He said this ration would be distributed in 10 cities including Lahore and added that more ration would be expected from the King Salman Relief Programme and Hayat Foundation. He said the first phase of distributing ration would be completed soon. Chaudhry Sarwar said that Saudia Arabia was Pakistan’s true friend and always helped Pakistan in its hard times. He said Pakistan was facing hard times in the wake of coronavirus pandemic because thousands of poor families were in dire need of ration.

Replying to a question, the governor said it was unfortunate that people were not taking the current tough situation seriously and added that easing of lockdown did not mean that the coronavirus had been controlled. He said doctors in Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore were unanimous in saying that people should take the current situation seriously otherwise Pakistan would face the US and the UK-like situation. The governor said the government was heading towards smart lockdown but would never compromise on precautionary measures everywhere in the country. He said the government would be compelled to take strict measures, if the masses did not take coronavirus pandemic seriously to save Pakistan from any untoward situation. The governor said it was government’s responsibility to apprehend hoarders and control prices and sent them behind bars, if required.