ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday that the government cannot bear the burden of having people below the poverty line unemployed, therefore he has decided to close every other industry except tourism.
The Prime Minister further said that the people should not believe that the lockdown has ended but to learn how to live with the coronavirus.
While informing the nation about the situation regarding the coronavirus, he said that he had warned on the very first day that the virus will be here to stay, it will spread and deaths will rise. He requested the nation to follow SOPs.
The more careful people will be, the better, he said. Until the vaccine arrives, we are going to have to find a way to live with the virus. Lockdown is not the cure, it is merely a measure taken to reduce the spread of the virus. We have to act as a responsible nation. If the spread of the virus slows down, hospitals and doctors will not be overwhelmed.
“I have been saying since day one that the poor have to be taken care of,” he said. In India, the poor are in dire straits due to the lockdown, where poverty and the spread of the virus is increasing, so are deaths.
The Prime Minister said that the lockdown had detrimental effects on the lower class. The attitude of the elite towards the lockdown versus the poor was completely different from each other.
Imran Khan went on to say that the research showed that 25 million people in the country are informal labourers.
Addressing the nation, the Prime Minister said that our economic conditions were not good before but due to the coronavirus epidemic, investment and our exports have declined. 13 to 150 million people in Pakistan have been affected. The government does not have the resources to give more money to the people. Some specific areas will remain closed, all others will be reopened. He said that tourism must be opened. The Gilgit-
Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governments will set up SOPs in this regard.
It should be noted that the number of coronavirus cases in the country has exceeded 72,000 while the number of deaths has also reached over 1,500.