ISLAMABAD TELEGRAPH REPORT
ISLAMABAD: As cases of corona-virus spike in Pakistan, people are restricting themselves to home avoiding shopping and market-trotting.
Big shopping malls in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad a have observed huge reduction in number of visitors soon after Prime Minister Imran Khan requested people of Pakistan to avoid unnecessary trips to markets and public places.
Pakistan has avoided imposing strict lockdown since the novel coronavirus emerged in the central China city of Wuhan towards the end of last year and proliferated to almost the whole world within a couple of months. Markets have been opened across country of 210 million people.
Despite calls, Prime Minister Imran Khan refused to impose strict lockdown arguing it may end up in increasing the sufferings of poor.
Confirmed cases of Corona virus spiked to 200,832 on Saturday June 27, 2020. Shopping malls looked almost empty on Friday June 26, 2020. During a visit Giga Mall in Pakistan’s garrison city of Rawalpindi, a staffer of Islamabad Telegraph observed the shopping mall looked almost empty with less number of visitor. International brands including ‘Mother care’ and ‘Levis’ were found without any customers.
Islamabad Telegraph got to know that the people restricted themselves to homes on call of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Earlier this week, Imran Khan’s government identified 500 coronavirus hotspots across the country to be targeted in its “smart lockdown” strategy.
Dr. Zafar Mirza, the prime minister’s special adviser on health and head of the federal health ministry, told legislators earlier this week on Monday that these areas would be targeted for limited locality-based lockdowns – which the government has dubbed “smart lockdowns” – to control the spread of the coronavirus.
“Due to the current economic situation, it is impossible to implement complete lockdown in the country. However, the government [is] focusing on smart lockdown policy,” a statement released after the meeting said.
Pakistan has emerged as one of the countries with the fastest rate of coronavirus infections in recent weeks, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Covid-19 respiratory illness caused by this mysterious contagion has so far infected more than 9.6 million people in 202 countries and territories of the world – and over 490,000 of them have died and counting.
Despite its close proximity with China, remained coronavirus-free until February 26 when a young man from Karachi tested positive after returning from Iran – one of the worst-hit countries. After a brief hiatus following the first case, Covid-19 cases spiked as more pilgrims returning from Iran tested positive for the virus.
Nearly one-and-a-half months after imposing the lockdown across the country, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced to ease the lockdown in phases.
The nationwide tally of Covid-19 patients stands at 200,832 with 72,880 cases in Punjab, 78,267 in Sindh, 24,943 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 10,116 in Balochistan, 1,4176 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 12,206 in Islamabad and 1,003 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Buyers thronged shopping malls last month which were allowed to reopen last month after the Supreme Court’s order.
The apex court last month ordered the reopening of shopping malls and markets for the whole week all-over the country which had been shut down during the lockdown given the COVID-19 pandemic.
A five-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed, and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sardar Tariq Masood and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, heard the suo moto case regarding combating the coronavirus pandemic.