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More decisions to be taken for easing coronavirus lockdown: Asad Umar

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar said that many decisions will be taken in a phase-wise manner to ease ongoing lockdown to stem coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan, ARY News reported on Monday.

Asad Umar, while giving an exclusive interview to ARY News programme ‘Power Play’ at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), said that a session of National Coordination Committee (NCC) will be held under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday where further decisions to be made for lift the lockdown in different phases.

“More decisions are likely to be made regarding lockdown after May 9. Our resources to run the healthcare system are insufficient while a major reduction is also recorded in the education budget. On the other hand, the unemployment rate is increasing day by day, giving negative impacts on the national economy.”

Read: Govt to gradually lift lockdown to mitigate economic impact: PM Imran Khan

Umar said that the economic experts have estimated for 18 million people to become jobless in the current scenario amid coronavirus crisis. The unemployment rate is directly linked with the duration of lockdown, he added.

“In NCOC, we make decisions in view of the impacts on human life but not only focusing on healthcare arrangements.”

The federal minister emphasised on making unified decisions to get more benefits in the ongoing fight against coronavirus pandemic.

Read: Karachi nears 6000 coronavirus cases, worst effected region in country

Earlier in the day, PM Imran Khan, addressing volunteers of the Corona Relief Tigers Forces, said the government will gradually ease lockdown enforced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

He said the lockdown restrictions took a serious toll on daily-wage earners and weak segments of society, adding there is a need to lift the lockdown to mitigate its economic impact on the masses.

“We need to ease the lockdown so the people can get back their jobs,” the prime minister said, cautioning that if the people didn’t adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and gather at public places, coronavirus cases may spike, compelling the government to enforce the lockdown again.

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