People shop at a market in Karachi on Thursday. AFP
The Pakistan government has said that it has no immediate plan to go for a stricter lockdown, despite thousands of new COVID-19 cases, as well as deaths, it was reported on Friday.
Speaking to Dawn news on Thursday, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said that although there were reports from some big metropolitan cities about pressure on certain hospitals due to an increase in the number of COVID-19 patients, the overall situation and conditions in hospitals overall were "satisfactory".
Faraz said the number of COVID-19 patients was still less than what they had previously estimated.
Responding to a question, he expressed his concern over reports of violations of SOPs (standard operating procedures) by the public, but said there was no decision to impose a "strict lockdown" in the country.
Faraz said there was no confusion among the government ranks or in the mind of Prime Minister Imran Khan about the need for continuing economic activities in the country.
He said the lockdown was not sustainable in a country with more than 150 million poor population.
"The situation is tricky. We are very closely monitoring facts and figures which will basically become our guide," he said.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Zafar Mirza told Dawn news also on Thursday that the next meeting of the National Coordination Committee on COVID-19 would be held on June 1.
The remarks come as the number of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan has increased to 62,789, while the death toll stood at 1,286.
Indo-Asian News Service
Army soldiers who manned roadside checkpoints along with police since late March when the lockdown was enforced, were seen leaving for their barracks in the capital, Islamabad and elsewhere in the country on Saturday.
Imran said Pakistanis must learn how to live with the coronavirus, as lockdown is not a treatment for the disease.
Compounding the despair, five or six houses were also destroyed in the crash of the domestic flight operated by Pakistan International Airlines, after what appeared to be an engine failure during landing.
Calls to boycott French goods are growing in the Arab world and beyond, after President Emmanuel Macron criticised Islam and vowed not to "give up cartoons" depicting the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH).
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced that it conducted 118,058 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, using state-of-the-art medical testing equipment.
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, has inaugurated the Hamdan Smart Station for Simulation and Training.