Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar, while addressing a press conference on Friday, announced that after due process and consultations at provincial and federal levels it was decided to extend the lock-down across the country till May 9.
He clarified that all the provincial governments were on board in this decision and its implementation would start from Saturday. He also said that the provinces would devise their strategy in this regard according to their circumstances.
He said that according to the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan Power Division had finalized its decision about load shedding in the country in the holy month of Ramzan and a notification in this regard was also in process. There would be no power outages during Sahar and Aftaar timings in any part of the country throughout the month of Ramzan, he clarified.
About Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme he said that it was the biggest ever relief package for the deserving people in the history of Pakistan and almost 57 lac families had received the amount of 12,000 rupees under this program. About half of the targeted families had received the money and the process would continue in the month of Ramzan as well, he added.
He said that as per calculations the month of Ramzan would be very crucial for the spread of coronavirus and everybody needed to be very careful in the offering of prayers and other obligations.
He said that if we managed to follow the precautionary measures suggested by the government and other health bodies, there were bright chances of going back to the normal routine life after Eid.
He warned that if we did not follow the measures properly and the virus spread during Ramzan, the government would have to impose even stricter restrictions on Eid.
He also wished the nation a safe Ramzan and a happy Eid afterward.
Lady doctors request the nation to stay home
A group of lady doctors held a press conference on Friday and requested the nation to stay at home as the cases were surging speedily.
One of the lady doctors said that according to the calculations of the experts the next two to three weeks were very crucial and everybody should stay at home. She also said that after this coronavirus episode the health system in Pakistan would have become even stronger than ever.
Lady doctor Nusrat Iqbal stressed the importance of social distancing and appreciated media for conveying their concerns to the government and public.
A lady doctor while crying requested the public out there to cooperate with the government and follow the precautionary measures. She said that the doctors and paramedic staff were also being tested positive for coronavirus while treating the COVID-19 patients and that was alarming. She asked who would treat the patients if there were no doctors left for their treatment.
Another lady doctor said that the government should listen to the pieces of advice from the doctors. If the doctors were saying that the only solution to this pandemic was a complete and strict lock-down, the government should respect the expert opinion.