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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday came down hard on the leadership of Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDM) for deliberately endangering the lives and livelihoods of people by going ahead with their rallies despite a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.

In a series of tweets after the PDM held a rally in Peshawar, the prime minister said that several major cities had seen a drastic increase in the number of virus patients on ventilators.

"Increase in Covid patients on ventilators in last 15 days: Peshawar 200 pc, Multan 200 pc, Karachi 148pc, Lahore 114 pc, Islamabad 65 pc. Multan and Islamabad Covid ventilators capacity utilisation stands at 70 pc,” tweeted the PM.

He said that countries around the world were enforcing "complete lockdowns" amid a second spike in infections, warning that the PDM was "deliberately endangering lives and livelihoods" because the government in Pakistan too would have to impose a "complete lockdown" if cases continued to rise at the current rate.

“The opposition is callously destroying people's lives and livelihoods in their desperation to get an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance). Let me make it clear: they can hold a million jalsas (rallies) but will not get any NRO," he added.

PM Khan said that he did not want to impose a lockdown which would hurt the economy, which he said was showing signs of "robust recovery".

"Unfortunately, the Opposition's only goal is NRO at whatever cost to the lives of people [and] the country's economy."

The city of Peshawar was on high alert as the PDM an alliance of 11 opposition parties – held a rally at Ring Road amid security threats and the risk of the spread of coronavirus.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020