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*Pakistan’s circumstances not the same as Wuhan, Europe: Imran Khan on COVID-19 lockdown

Prime Minister defended his decision not to impose a complete COVID-19 lockdown once again, saying that Pakistan’s circumstances were different from Wuhan city and Europe. Speaking about the havoc that the coronavirus has wreaked on Pakistan’s economy, the Imran Khan said that he had not been in favour of imposing a lockdown as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had done.

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Sources recorded that PM Imran Khan was addressing the ceremony for commencement of three Ehsaas initiatives, counting Ehsaas Rashan Portal, Ehsaas Langar and Panagah App and PM’s COVID Relief Fund website, in the Federal Capital. The prime minister spoke about the damage that had been done to the economies of developed countries like Italy and the United States when they had to impose a complete lockdown, saying that long cues of people could be seen in America asking for food and charity. So it had to happen in our country [too], he said. And if provinces would have asked me I would never have allowed such a lockdown. Because when you are about to impose a lockdown, you should think about the effects your decisions will have on the masses, he added. Imran Khan said that provinces should not have ordered a lockdown until they thought about the effects of that decision on the daily wagers and the poor. However, everyone panicked all at once. They were looking at Europe and Wuhan City in China that were going through different circumstances. Our situation was totally dissimilar, he added. Iman Khan said about how he was subjected to criticism for not imposing a complete lockdown in Pakistan.

 

“He [Modi] imposed the lockdown they [criticis] wanted me to impose. I thank God that I resisted pressure and didn’t do that,” he added, noting that there 34 percent of the people in India were facing hunger and extreme poverty according to research. He furthermore said that the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund will be utilized to offer relief to people who had been unemployed by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the government will add to each donation to ensure maximum relief reaches the masses. According to the government of Pakistan, COVID-19 is having a devastating impact on Pakistan’s economy; however, to ascertain the true extent, it is important to take stock of economic performance of Pre-COVID-19, essentially for two reasons; to explore economic outcomes in relation to the policy environment adopted and second, what trajectory of economic recovery we expect post COVID-19 and will it take the “V shape” for recovery as most of the economic experts claim. The COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by WHO on March 11, 2020. The first case of the novel Coronavirus in Pakistan was confirmed on February 26, 2020. On March 13, the government started to move towards the closure of certain economic and social activities. Both the national and international economic scenarios have flagged by then. Thus, for true description of the performance of the economy, we need to compare the performance of economy pre COVID-19 and Post COVID-19.

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