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Govt easing lockdown to facilitate poor, boost economy: PM

*Imran says lockdown is not a solution but a precaution to curb spread of virus

Updated June 01, 2020

(Karachi) Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government has decided to further ease lockdown in the country to facilitate the poor segments of the society and boost economy of the country.

Addressing a media briefing after NCC meeting on coronavirus and lockdown situation in Islamabad on Monday, he said that complete lockdown will only be imposed on weekends (Saturday and Sunday).

He mentioned that business and trade activities will operate five days a week from 8am till 7pm. However, he urged the public to follow SOPs and take precautionary measures. "We are only allowing those businesses to operate where there is low risk of spread of coronavirus."

He maintained, "There are 25 million labourers whose families will starve if they don't work. So I, personally, have always believed that the lockdown was going to affect these workers.

"And the purpose of a lockdown is that it only stops the spread of the virus. It is not a solution. Let me repeat, a lockdown isn't a solution or treatment.

"When we impose and enforce lockdowns, people starve. Those who live in DHA don't care about these things. They analyse things differently."

The PM said, "Corona is not going anywhere and we have to live with it." He warned that the coronavirus will continue to spread. The prime minister said that 80 to 90 percent coronavirus cases came from abroad.

"The world has agreed, the richest countries have come to the conclusion that the virus will spread no matter what. Nothing can be done about it. The virus will spread and our death toll will also rise."

He added that the public should take precautionary measures to curb the spread of the virus.

The premier highlighted that the government has also decided to start operation of 40 trains and measures are also being taken to bring back stranded Pakistanis from abroad through special flights.

He said the government is also working to revive tourism industry. "I think that tourism should open now because tourism provides jobs to many in Gilgit-Baltistan and elsewhere. My appeal to you is please be a responsible nation because we have to prevent the spread of virus and also avoid poverty and misery."