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Pakistan

March 21, 2021

Pakistan Medical Association says govt must impose a complete lockdown across country

Pakistan

Sun, Mar 21, 2021
PMA President Dr Ashraf Nizami. Photo via Geo.tv.

LAHORE:  Doctors of the Pakistan Medical Association and other related organisations on Sunday held a press conference in Lahore to shed light on the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country and urged the government to consider imposing a full-fledged lockdown to bring the number of cases down.

According to a report by Geo.tv,  the conference was presided over by PMA President Dr Ashraf Nizami, while he was joined by PMA Lahore's Vice-President Dr Khalid Mahmood Khan, PMA Lahore's Lady Vice-President Dr Erum Shahzadi, President of PMA Punjab Dr Tanveer Anwar, Pakistan Islamic Medical Association's Punjab President Dr Imran Zafar, and several other physicians.

During the press conference, Dr Nizami said that the government must also ensure that all citizens have access to coronavirus vaccines.

"[Owing to a surge in COVID-19 cases], the government must immediately declare a state of emergency, especially in Punjab," Dr Ashraf Nizami said, adding that the government had previously adopted a lockdown policy due to the mounting pressure from different organisations.

"The countrywide COVID-19 positivity ratio has exceeded 10 %," Dr Nizami said. "Despite that, the government has committed criminal negligence in the provision of vaccines."

On the other hand, Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Saturday said that the government will not impose a "complete lockdown".

"Complete lockdown is not the solution," Asad Umar said. "We tried to explain that to people during the first wave [of the coronavirus] but they did not understand. You cannot shut down the entire country and steal people's livelihoods," added the minister.

Umar, however, had hinted at "targeted interventions", saying that the government tries to take steps that would not affect people's livelihoods.

The minister said the NCOC had identified coronavirus hotspot areas to provincial governments. He said the implementation of these smart lockdowns were not satisfactory.