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Pakistan's Sindh under 15-day lockdown; travel restricted to only need basis

ANI  |  Asia 

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Sunday announced that a lockdown will be imposed throughout the province starting midnight Sunday for the next 15 days in order to control the spread of coronavirus.

Following Shah's message, police officers in different areas of Karachi started patrolling the streets to announce the government's decision and to urge citizens to stay at home starting from tomorrow.

In a video message, the provincial chief minister said that he met with politicians from various political parties during which they discussed the coronavirus and agreed upon certain steps that needed to be taken.

Shah said that following discussions with all stakeholders, it was decided that the only way to control the virus was to curtail its spread.

"There is only one way to curtail its spread, as this virus transfers from one person to another very fast, so we need to minimise people's interaction," he said.

He said that the spread of the virus should be curtailed and at the same time, health facilities in Pakistan should be improved.

"We should not arrive at a situation where we have more patients and our health facilities are not sufficient," he cautioned.

"The purpose of the lockdown is that all offices and places for gatherings [...] will be closed."

Sindh has the largest number of coronavirus cases in the country with 292 confirmed. Pakistan's tally is currently 645 with four deaths.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he would not put the country under lockdown and urged citizens to be disciplined and self-quarantine themselves.

Addressing the nation through a televised message, the prime minister explained that enforcing a lockdown would mean a curfew and would harm the population of the country living below the poverty line.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 22 2020. 23:16 IST