Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry has expressed serious concerns over the government’s decision of prematurely lifting the coronavirus lockdown, saying the Covid-19 cases will peak in Pakistan by mid-June.
The statement comes hours after Chief Justice of Pakistan Gulzar Ahmed ordered for shopping malls and markets to be opened across the country. While hearing the suo motu case on the coronavirus crisis, he further directed the provinces to allow markets and shopping malls to remain open during the weekends as well till Eidul Fitr — expected to fall on May 25.
The minister, through his official Twitter handle, said on Monday that a committee comprising experts at the Ministry of Science and Technology have stressed upon three points related to the Covid-19 pandemic. He said the experts have forecast the Covid-19 cases would peak by mid-June and with that, they have rejected the theory of “herd-immunity”, claiming that it could be too dangerous and risky for the nation.
Experts also believe, he said, that coronavirus is not just a flu but far more complicated than that. Fawad Chaudhry concluded that lockdown should not be lifted without prior safety precautions. The only way forward is Prime Minister Imran Khan’s idea of smart lockdown, he maintained.
Prime Minister Imran, in a televised news conference on Friday, defended the government’s decision to lift the Covid-19-induced lockdown saying that the novel coronavirus was here to stay and the nation would have to learn to live with it. He also stressed the need for allowing public transport vehicles to operate again to facilitate the poor, adding that the federal government was trying to reach a consensus with the provinces on the matter.