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Pakistanis urge nation-wide lockdown over COVID19

ANI  |  Asia 

The people of Pakistan took to Twitter to express their displeasure with the Imran Khan government's handling of the situation amid coronavirus outbreak in the country and urged Prime Minister to put the country under lockdown to prevent further spread of the virus.

As the number of coronavirus cases in the country crossed the 500-mark, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah urged people in Karachi to self-isolate voluntarily for three days. The province has been under partial lockdown.

Omar Nadeem, owner of the Quetta Gladiators franchise of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in a post on Twitter said he was "breaking his silence" to urge Prime Minister Khan to impose a lockdown in the country.

He Tweeted, "Dear Pakistan I was silent on Twitter for a long time, didn't even celebrate our Psl4 championship but today I have broken my silence bcoz to keep Pak safe I would like to appeal to our PM sahib SIR please order a lockdown!! Lots of prayers for everyone!!!"

Singer Ali Zafar compared the number of cases in Pakistan and Italy while questioning the number of lives that will be lost if prompt action is not taken.

He tweeted, "26th Feb, First confirmed Corona case in Pakistan. 20th Mar, 481 confirmed cases (23 days later).31st Jan, First confirmed Corona case in Italy. 23rd Feb,150 confirmed cases (23 days later). 20 Mar, 41035 confirmed cases,4061 deaths. Where will we be in a month?."

Zafar is also running an online poll asking Pakistanis whether the government should announce a nation-wide lockdown or not. More than 11,000 people have so far participated in the online vote and more than 70 percent of people in Pakistan feel that the government should announce a lockdown.

Renowned economist Atif Mian in a Twitter thread laid out some of the steps he believed was needed to "protect Pakistan's people and economy". Calling the situation in the country an "emergency", he urged the closure of all non-essential activities to stop the spread of the virus.

Actress Mansha Pasha tweeted that lockdown is the only thing that worked in countries ravaged by the virus.

She tweeted, "Lockdown is the only thing that has worked in all the countries that have been ravaged by #CoronaVirus China, Italy, France. There is no other option. None. Its the only solution. The ONLY thing that has helped slow the spread. And it needs to be done. #LockDownPakistan."

COVID positive cases in Pakistan are 671 till March 21. 361 in Sindh, 137 in Punjab, 104 in Balochistan, 31 in Gilgit-Baltistan, 27 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 10 in Islamabad and 1 in PoK. 3 patients have died and 5 were discharged

The new cases have been detected in pilgrims who returned from Iran and have been quarantined in Sukkur, according to a spokesperson for the Sindh health department.

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

First Published: Sat, March 21 2020. 22:38 IST