Yasmin Rashid says govt contemplating reopening schools in September
The smart lockdown that was imposed in Lahore in the last two weeks of June has brought down the number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the city, said Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid.
“We have highlighted other areas as well where the cases are high and will impose a lockdown there soon,” she shared while talking on SAMAA TV’s programme Naya Din on Tuesday.
Rashid said that the overall statistics of the deadly virus in the city have declined. Cases diagnosed have reduced, the number of deaths have gone down and recoveries have increased, she contended.
Rashid revealed that the government was no longer testing asymptomatic patients of the virus on recommendations of the World Health Organisation.
The minister said that the upcoming Eidul Azha will be a testing time for the nation. “If the people don’t take precautions and are careless, the declining graph of the virus is likely to increase again, like it did on Eidul Fitr,” she warned.
It is important that people maintain social distancing, wear gloves and face masks.
She said that the R-naught of Pakistan has reduced to 0.7 which according to recent research means that the graph of infections in the country is going down. “The lockdowns have played a major role in achieving this,” Rashid said.
She said that future decisions of the government regarding lockdowns and other measures will be determined by the COVID-19 situation each day. “We need to learn to live with the virus and take precautionary measures simultaneously,” she said, emphasising that if this is done Pakistan’s overall position will get better by the year-end.
The minister added that if the downward trend continues, educational institutes could be reopened in mid-August or September. “The SOPs regarding it are being prepared with the collaboration of the health and the education department.”