ON THE GROUND

Pakistan unwilling to lock down anew despite fast-surging coronavirus outbreak

Pakistan has seen a surge in new coronavirus cases after a 40-day nationwide lockdown the government imposed in March ended.
Pakistan has seen a surge in new coronavirus cases after a 40-day nationwide lockdown the government imposed in March ended. © France 24 screen grab

The coronavirus outbreak has not abated in Pakistan, where infections could top one million on current trends. According to the World Health Organization, it is seeing one of the fastest spreads of the virus anywhere in the world. But for now, Pakistani authorities have ruled out imposing a new nationwide lockdown.

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In March, Pakistan's government imposed a country-wide shutdown for 40 days to stop the spread of Covid-19. But despite a surge in cases in recent weeks, it refuses to lock the country down for a second time, citing concerns for an already vulnerable economy.

Pakistan’s health care system has 3,000 intensive care beds for a population of 220 million. Hospitals are forced to refuse patients and tensions have led to violence against healthcare workers. The peak of the Covid-19 outbreak is not expected until August.

FRANCE 24’s Shahzaib Wahlah has this report from Lahore, Pakistan. To watch, click on the video player above.

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