Restrictions eased for tourism industry

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday announced easing the restrictions for the tourism industry as the countrywide tally of coronavirus cases surged from 71,068 to 74,320.

It was announced during the National Coordination Committee (NCC) meeting, which was presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Imran Khan allowed all overseas Pakistanis to return home after the National Coordination Committee gave the go-ahead to self-quarantine policy for Covid-19 patients among them.

So far, 29,647 cases have been detected in Sindh, 26,240 in Punjab, 10,485 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 4,393 in Balochistan, 2,589 in Islamabad, 711 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 255 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The death toll also climbed to 1,574 from 1,520.

Khan said he was not in favour of imposing a “strict” lockdown that could add to the miseries of up to 150 million Pakistanis as it would render around 25 million unregistered or informal workers jobless.

However, he said, the provinces under the 18th constitutional amendment were free to make their own decisions.

Reports have emerged that the Punjab government had hidden a report, which indicates that no area in Lahore is coronavirus-free, as over 670,000 people in the metropolis have become patients of viral disease.

Mr Khan said it was the responsibility of all to take precautionary measures to curb the spread of the virus. “We have observed that only well-off people are observing SOPs but poor and common man do not follow precautionary measures without realising that if we don’t take precautions then we will continue to suffer.”