Pakistan Live Updates
- Pakistan’s government has said is aiming to move towards “smart lockdowns” as opposed to the current countrywide restrictions on public movement and gatherings, as the country’s coronavirus outbreak saw cases cross 8,000 on Sunday.
- Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeatedly warned of the economic risks of a full countrywide shutdown of the economy, which has already led to spiralling unemployment in the South Asian country, where many work for daily wages or in other ways that are outside of the formal economy.
- The International Monetary Fund has given Pakistan $1.5bn in emergency financing to help absorb some of the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The government has been handing out roughly $70 to more than 10 million families hit hardest by the lockdown.
- Pakistan has 7,025 confirmed coronavirus cases including 135 deaths, an increase of 11 in the last 24 hours.
- Pakistan’s government has loosened restrictions on a range of industries across the country in a bid to battle the economic fallout of a continuing lockdown, in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
- Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that the construction industry would be foremost among more than a dozen sectors that would be allowed to reopen operations on Wednesday.
- The Pakistan government is facing mounting criticism within the country and abroad for its delayed reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the virus spreading quickly due to failures in screening and quarantining.
- The Pakistan government also failed to take effective action to shut down mosques, with thousands joining Friday prayers on March 20 and March 27. Commentators within the country have criticized the government’s lack of action, pointing out that Saudi Arabia had suspended the Umrah pilgrimage and shut even the Grand Mosque in Mecca.
- Early in March, some 250,000 men from Pakistan and abroad gathered at Raiwind near Lahore for a five-day meeting of the Tablighi Jamaat, after the country had already reported confirmed COVID-19 cases and there were public demands for the gathering to be called off.
- Provincial health minister Dr. Azra Fazal Pechuho said the patients were 82 and 60-year-old and were tested positive on Wednesday. She added that the cases were of local transmission. “The 60-year-old patient had heart problems and was ventilator whereas the 82-year-old patient had renal problems. This brings the total number of deaths in Sindh to 13,” said the minister.
- The government of Pakistan’s largest province of Punjab has allowed the treatment of critically ill patients of the COVID-19 with chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine besides expanding the capacity of beds across the province, according to a media report on Tuesday.