Govt Announces to Extend Lockdown Till May 9

The government on Friday announced to extend ongoing lockdown till May 9 that imposed due to spread of novel coronavirus in the country.

The government also warned that a strict lockdown would become inevitable on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha if the people fail to follow instructions issued by it to contain COVID-19 during the holy month of Ramazan.

“This is a decisive month and if we follow the guidelines sincerely, we will manage to get rid of this virus and would be able to resume our normal routine life on Eid and afterwards,” Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said in a televised press briefing after a meeting of National Coordination Committee (NCC) held here on Friday.

Calling upon all Muslims of the country to take protective measures against COVID-19, the minister said no one is prohibiting to worship during this holy month, but keeping in view the current scenario, they should try to remain at home and worship at home.

He said in Islam, every Muslim has the responsibility not to harm his or her fellow human being, and this responsibility also lies in case of this pandemic.

Asad Umar informed that after a successful pilot test of smart lockdown or system of testing, tracking and quarantine, the government also decided to launch this system from tomorrow (April 25).

He said under this system, the government would increase its capacity to reach out the coronavirus suspected patients and also to whom such patients had already met during few days so that the coronavirus could be contained by tracking and tracing the patients.

“The system was finalized after having a pilot test and today the NCC has accorded final approval to this national system.

The implementation of this system, he said would be done through the provinces and the system would work at the grassroots level (tehsil and union council levels).

The civil administration federal government, and armed forces would also participate in implementation of this system.

With respect to another decision taken in the meeting, the minister informed that there would be no loadshedding across the country during Seher and Iftar timings of the holy month.

About the ongoing Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, the minister informed that so far Rs. 69 billion had been distributed among 5.7 million families which means the government had achieved 50 percent of its target.

“This programme would continue during the month of Ramazan,” he added.

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