ISLAMABAD: The government has said that strict coronavirus restrictions are inevitable given the rise in COVID-19 deaths and the positivity ratio across Pakistan.
This was said by the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Health, Dr Faisal Sultan as he addressed a news conference on Tuesday.
The premier’s aide said that a few weeks ago, 400-500 cases were being reported across the country on a daily basis. The tally, he said, had shot up to 700-750 cases of the infection per day.
“The Coronavirus death rate has increased in the country,” he said, adding that that the positivity ratio had surged to 2.5-2.75%.
Dr Faisal said that the masses were not adhering to coronavirus precautions as they should, given the pandemic was still far from over.
Focus to be on areas with higher positivity ratio
Now, Pakistan is entering a phase where we need to tighten coronavirus curbs, the PM’s aide said, adding that an official plan would be formulated soon.
“Our focus — tightening coronavirus restrictions — will be more on the cities and areas where the positivity ratio of the virus is high,” Dr Faisal said.
The premier’s aide said that authorities were mulling over several plans and recommendations to impose restrictions to stem the spread of the virus.
“We urge local administrations to implement coronavirus SOPs,” he said and warned that the government would impose a fine on people who did not follow coronavirus SOPs in public places.
‘Reduction in business timings’
The special assistant said that business timings across the country may be reduced in light of the growing cases of the pandemic. He said that business timings that were in place during the pandemic may be restored again.
Dr Faisal said that the government was mulling over setting up a hotline so that the citizens could inform authorities when coronavirus SOPs were being violated.
“Restrictions are hard [on the people] and no government wishes to impose them,” he said, adding that if people follow coronavirus safety measures, Pakistan could beat this wave as well.
“Further details will be disclosed after deliberations with all provinces,” Dr Faisal added.
Pakistan has recorded 329,375 coronavirus cases, 6,745 deaths, and 311,440 recoveries from the pandemic, according to official statistics.