ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday announced to extend lockdown by two weeks, with exception to construction industry.
“Public places including restaurants will remain closed, while businesses related to the construction industry will function normally,” Imran Khan said while addressing a media briefing in Islamabad. He was flanked by Special Assistant to PM Dr Zafar Mirza and Planning Minister Asad Umar.
The prime minister said under 18th Amendment the provinces had the authority to make their own strategy, however if a province did not want to devise a strategy then it had the right for it too.
On spread of coronavirus in the country, he said COVID-19 spread with arrival of Pakistanis from abroad. He said the government was devising a strategy to bring back stranded Pakistanis from abroad.
PM Imran said the strategy regarding Ramadan would be announced after consultation with Ulema of different sects.
On halting smuggling of wheat, Imran said an ordinance was being formulated and those involved in smuggling of wheat would not be spared. He also warned hoarders to refrain from hoarding during Ramadan or they would be dealt with an iron hand.
“The chief ministers and chief secretaries of all the provinces have been consulted for taking decision on what industry to open and what not,” he said.
He said construction industry was according to Moody’s was the most low risk sector to be opened amid coronavirus situation.
He expressed satisfaction over the speed of the spread of coronavirus in Pakistan. “Only 30 percent cases have been reported in contrast with the projection we had made in this regard,” he said.
Dr Zafar Mirza said as per their calculation the number of coronavirus cases would have climbed to over 18,000, while currently it was just above five thousand which was a good sign. He said mortality rate in the country was also low in comparison with other countries.