Coronavirus update: WHO calls for new lockdowns in-country for shock reason

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This has come as the country has started to loosen its’ restrictions, according to an official on Tuesday. Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan has opposed a nationwide lockdown of the sort seen elsewhere, arguing the impoverished country could not afford it.That decision came as Pakistan’s infection rate is worsening, as it is across all of South Asia, which until recently had lagged Western nations in virus tolls.

Health officials said on Tuesday that they had recorded a total of 108,317 cases and 2,172 deaths.

Although testing is still limited, real rates are thought to be much higher.

In a letter to Punjab’s provincial health minister, Yasmin Rashid, the WHO said: “As of today, Pakistan does not meet any of the pre-requisite conditions for opening the lockdown.”

The health body recommended an intermittent lockdown cycle of two weeks on, two weeks off.

25 percent of tests in Pakistan come back positive for COVID-19, according to the World Health Organisation.

They also indicate higher levels of infection in the general population.

Hospitals across the country say they are at or near capacity, and some are turning COVID-19 patients away.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday that 136,000 cases had been reported in the previous 24 hours, “the most in a single day so far”, with the majority of them in South Asia and the Americas.

Authorities in Pakistan have therefore stepped up the enforcement of safety measures after a rise in the daily number of coronavirus infections pushed total cases to more than 100,000.

Planning Minister Asad Umar, who is in charge of the national response to the pandemic, told a weekend news conference that many markets and shops had been sealed because of non-compliance over the last few days.

“First we educated the masses about the protocols, then we warned them, and now, in the last meeting with the prime minister in the chair, we directed administrations to crack down on places protocols are not being followed.”

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Out of the 23,000 daily tests, more than one in five have been positive over the last 10 days.

Lockdown in Pakistan was lifted on May 9 and the number of tests finding coronavirus was 1 in 10 according to government statistics.

Government officials say safety protocols are not being followed, particularly since just before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

The decision to lift the lockdown on May 9 despite increasing infections of the coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, was prompted by a worsening economic crisis and unemployment.

According to a tally by Reuters, Pakistan is now the 16th country to exceed 100,000 infections.

Infections among high profile political personalities have also increased in the country.

The Minister for Railways Shaikh Rasheed and former prime minister of Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi also testing positive on Monday.

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