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6 April 2020, Monday

Punjab: Surge in Covid-19 cases



Chinese experts call for extension of lockdown in Punjab; Minister says lockdown is causing crisis in Afghan refugee camps

PR Daily Brief | PR Team

DAILY BRIEFS
by Lakshmi V Menon


Punjab: Surge in Covid-19 cases
With 293 more coronavirus cases being recorded in Punjab in a duration of 24 hours, experts believe a critical phase of virus-circulation has commenced. 158 of the new cases were of Tableeghi Jamaat preachers; mostly quarantined at Raiwind Markaz. Presently, Punjab has confirmed 1,380 coronavirus cases; 44 per cent of Pakistan’s Covid-19 tally of over 3,100 cases. 443 of Punjab’s cases are from the Tableeghi Jamaat community. (Dawn, 6 April 2020) 

Chinese experts call for extension of lockdown in Punjab
On 5 April, Chinese health experts who met with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in Pakistan emphasized the importance of social-distancing and need to extend the lockdown for another 28 days to curb the pandemic’s spread. The delegation appreciated Punjab’s actions to tackle the virus. Experts also dismissed assumptions that coronavirus would not survive in the summer. Although Punjab, which currently has 1,380 Covid-19 cases, had imposed a 14-days lockdown on March 23, restrictions were eased to ensure availability of essential goods. (Dawn, 6 April 2020)
 
Chinese experts call for extension of lockdown in Punjab
As notified by internal security wing of the home department on 3 April, Punjab is allowing various businesses to resume (conditionally) in an attempt to slowly restore routine life. The provincial government has exempted 10 industries and allied businesses from Section 144 of the criminal procedure code. These businesses include those related to sports goods, textile industry, surgical goods, pharmaceuticals, fruits and vegetables, meat and meat products, leather and leather garments and auto parts. A step to avoid worsening of the economic state and closure of SMEs. (Dawn, 6 April 2020) 
 
Minister says lockdown is causing crisis in Afghan refugee camps
On 5 April, Minister for States and Frontier Regions Shehryar Khan Afridi, during a press meeting, warned the United Nations and the global community against a humanitarian crisis in Afghan refugee camps as a result of the lockdown implemented to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The remarks were made post the installation of a walk-through sanitation gate at an Afghan refugee camp. He claimed he had raised funds in order to help the Afghans stranded due to the lockdown. Afridi also announced PM Imran Khan’s directive to prepare a relief package dedicated to Afghan refugees, despite the economic crunch faced by Pakistan. (Dawn, 6 April 2020)

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