Cannot continue with lockdown for long: PM Imran

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Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated that the country could not sustain a prolonged lockdown as labourers and the daily wagers were suffering.

“The entire world is trying to restart its economy. Places like New York where thousands are dying have also decided to re-open their industries,” PM Imran said at the launch of a web portal supporting individuals rendered jobless due to the pandemic.

“Even rich governments are reopening because they realise they cannot keep the country under lockdown for long. This is why we have decided to open our construction industry,” he said.

“Never in the history of this country have we given such huge incentives to the construction industry as we have done now,” he noted.

The prime minister said the main aim of his government was to make sure the people of the country were not burdened.

“This is why we brought down petrol prices by Rs30. Earlier we brought the price of diesel down by Rs27. Even India does not have these low prices,” PM Imran remarked.

He added that since the price of petrol was slashed, prices of everything should fall as well.

Speaking about the web portal, the prime minister said it will help those who have lost their jobs due to the lockdown.

“People can register on the website where their credentials will be checked,” he said.

The prime minister also thanked everyone who had donated to the Corona Relief Fund, saying that he himself was monitoring the Fund and its resources.

“I want to thank all those who have donated to the Fund. All the money will be audited and everything will be told to the nation,” the prime minister said.

He added, “We have brought a transparent system. For every rupee donated to the Fund, the government will give four times that to the needy. Through this Fund, we are trying to reach as many people as possible.”

He continued, “The public needs to work with the government to combat the virus. They [public] need to take precautionary measures. If I had tested positive, it would have been my responsibility to make sure I self-isolated and quarantined.”

“The public needs to play its part in this fight against coronavirus,” PM Imran said. “We do not know when a vaccine for the virus will be made available. If we have to live with this for the next six months or a year we need to have a plan.

“The more discipline we are the more easily we would be able to defeat it. The public needs to practice social distancing on their own. We cannot force them to do anything.”

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