While the prime minister continues to face the heat over not implementing a nationwide lockdown, the government has tightened some restrictions amid the coronavirus crisis as the number of cases keeps rising across the country.
As several parts of the country observe a lockdown of varying degrees, there is a high risk of food shortages due to the suspension of good transportation. Airlines, trains and all forms of inter-provincial transport have come to a halt, while factories, mills, and other industries have stopped of reduced production.
The government has decided to allow the movement of goods transport ensuring the smooth supply of edible items during the lockdown. In a meeting of the National Coordination Committee chaired by the prime minister, it was decided that all four provinces, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan regions have decided there would be no restriction on goods transport and industries linked with edible items. The decision is a step in the right direction ensuring that there are no food shortages during the crisis.
There are concerns over the flour shortages as the ongoing harvest season could be affected due to the crisis. The government has maintained that there is enough stock in the country and such a situation would not arise. There is a wheat stock of 1.6 million tonnes in the country which is deemed sufficient till the harvesting of the next crop which would commence from Sindh.
The coronavirus crisis is deepening as the number of cases are escalating. Punjab has now overtaken Sindh with the most number of patients. Much need protective equipment and safety kits has arrived from China to help in the fight against the virus. The frontline health staff would also be given a crash course to deal with the pandemic before the situation worsens.
The pandemic has tested the leadership capabilities of politicians around the world. British PM Boris Johnson insisted on shaking hands until he contracted the virus himself, while US President Trump wants to reopen the country by Easter even though the number of infections has reached the highest in the world. Such is the effect of the coronavirus that world leaders have stumbled to make tougher decisions and our prime minister is no different.
Among the latest measures, the prime minister has decided to set up a youth force of volunteers to distribute food items to needy people, while a coronavirus relief fund has also been established. The number of cases can suddenly rise in the upcoming weeks and we should be prepared for the crisis.
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