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June 29, 2020

Imran exalts smart curbs as virus cases top 200,000

Top Story

 
June 29, 2020

Ag AFP

ISLAMABAD: As worldwide coronavirus cases surged past 10 million on Sunday, Prime Minister Imran Khan praised his team for being “amongst the first to enforce smart lockdowns” amid rising infections in Pakistan which surpassed the 200,000 mark.

“My team was amongst the first to enforce smart lockdowns,” Khan tweeted while sharing a Bloomberg article titled ‘Smart lockdowns are the future of Europe’. “I am proud of it for helping me continue to navigate our country through the Covid-19 crisis.”

The Prime Minister’s aide on information, Lt-Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa also tweeted: “Balancing life and livelihood has been prime focus since start of the disease spread. Key to fighting this pandemic has been to contain disease through smart lockdown downs and adherence to SOPs. Our nation adapted shown remarkable improvement in wearing masks/social distancing.”

The Prime Minister has been very vocal about his apprehension towards strict lockdowns, repeatedly citing the damaging effects on the country’s economy and often clashing with opposition-led Sindh for imposing tough restrictions in the province.

Ahead of Eidul Fitr holidays, the government eased curbs, which led to a spike in infections — according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) — as people threw caution to the wind and thronged marketplaces while flouting government advice to check the spread of the virus.

The country had 57,705 confirmed cases on May 25. Since then, Pakistan has recorded 145,250 more Covid-19 cases in a little over a month, according to official government numbers. In the past 24 hours, the country recorded 4,072 new cases, taking the total to 202,955 — more than three times the figure that was recorded on Eid. The death toll stands at 4,118 — 83 more Covid-19 victims in a day.

Prime Minister Khan also wrote: “InshaAllah, from now onwards if we follow SOPs (standard operating procedures) we will see off the worst of this crisis.”

His comments came as more than 10 million cases of coronavirus were officially declared around the world, half of them in Europe and the United States, according to an AFP tally at 0930 GMT on Sunday based on official sources. At least 10,003,942 infections, including 498,779 deaths, have been registered globally.

Europe remains the hardest hit continent with 2,637,546 cases including 195,975 fatalities, while the United States has 2,510,323 infections including 125,539 deaths. The rate of infections worldwide continues to rise, with one million new cases recorded in just six days.

The tallies, using data collected by AFP from national authorities and information from the World Health Organisation (WHO), probably reflect only a fraction of the actual number of infections. Many countries are testing only symptomatic or the most serious cases and some do not have the capacity to carry out widescale testing.