Pak to extend lockdown for 2 more weeks

Islamabad, (Asian independent) The Pakistan government has decided to extend the ongoing lockdown for another two weeks until April 14 to contain the spread of novel coronavirus in the country, it was reported.

This was announced by Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar to the media after a meeting of National Coordination Committee (NCC) on COVID-19, held here on Wednesday, The Express Tribune reported.

Umar said the forum will soon meet again to decide whether to relax or increase the restrictions.

The Minister said that stranded overseas Pakistanis will be brought back to the country in a special Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight on April 4.

The passengers will be first tested and sent for quarantine to ensure they do not spread the coronavirus, he added.

In the first stage, Umar said, the international flights will resume from Islamabad airport followed by Karachi.

“Lockdown throughout the country is bearing fruit as number of cases would have been much higher if containment steps were not taken in a timely manner,” he said.

Also speaking to the media, the Prime Minister’s aide on national security, Moeed Yusuf said 17 PIA planes will be dispatched to different parts of the world to bring back 2,000 stranded Pakistanis.

The announcement comes as the overall number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan has increased to 2,238 with 31 deaths.