Will avoid closing down factories despite second COVID-19 wave: PM Imran

LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that Pakistan will avoid closing down factories and businesses so the economy continues to recover despite the second COVID-19 wave.

While addressing to media during his visit to Lahore today, PM Imran said, “We cannot permit our people to die of hunger. Country’s economy has recovered after such hard work, we cannot discontinue its smooth functioning at this juncture,” he added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “Pakistan is moving in the right direction despite the coronavirus challenges. The government is taking further steps to continue this upward trend”, he said.

PM Imran ruling out lockdown has urged people to act responsibly and wear masks as COVID-19 cases spreading at an alarming rate across the country during the second wave.

He said that Pakistan “successfully fought” the pandemic in the first wave, and advised people to follow standard operating procedures (SOP) as they did in the early months of the pandemic.

The prime minister warned, “The virus infections are rapidly increasing and this will increase pressure on our hospitals. The situation can become worse if we did not take precautions” he said.

Replying to a question about whether the government will permit the opposition to continue to hold rallies, The PM said that no such activity must take place that can cause the spreading of the COVID-19. “We must never permit any such activities which cause people to gather,” said the PM.

“All know that when people have close contact, the virus spreads at a very fast rate. Which is why I had appealed before as well and we had put off our own rally,” he added. PM Imran Khan also talked about ongoing developmental projects in Karachi and Lahore.

He said that the projects will focus on vertical expansion, as is done elsewhere in the world, so green areas can be protected — versus being demolished for expansion — and the threat to food security is addressed effectively.

The greatest contribution the two projects will have is growth in foreign exchange and creation of jobs, he said. He said Pakistan’s coastal-line was not only appropriate for tourism but also had the potential of creating various investment opportunities.

Prime Minister Imran said the two mega projects, besides promoting the local industries, would also assist create employment opportunities in the country.