Image Source/Global Village Space

On Sunday, Planning, and development minister, Asad Umar, feared that around 18 million people might as well lose their jobs during the lockdown. The restriction was imposed to curb the virus in the country but comes with significant economic consequences.

As per a research carried out by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE),  during a news conference at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Asad announced that “between 20 million to 70 million could fall below the poverty line, while 18 million people could also lose jobs owing to the virus.”

Umar emphasized during the conference that an average of 24 people were dying every day for the last six days due to Covid-19 in the country, and if the situation remained the same, then there would be 720 deaths each month.

“Around 4,000 people die in road accidents in the country every month, but we still allow cars on roads, because their necessity is greater than the danger of those accidents,” he maintained.

“If we focus on bringing Covid-19 deaths to zero, we must realize that we cope with the measures it would be needed for doing that,” he added.

“We will not be able to pay the economical price required to undertake these measures.” He feared that the lockdown might wipe out over one million small businesses.

Umar further added that the lockdown was hitting the government hard. It had already suffered a loss of Rs119 billion during April and foresaw higher losses at the hands of the virus.

“We have to run the government and all its sectors, including healthcare and education, and also provide relief to the poor with the revenue generated from taxes.”

In comparison with the United States and the United Kingdom, Pakistan has fewer casualties.

The minister claimed that the experts addressed various reasons for this significant difference in casualties. This includes the difference in weather and the level of immunization through the BCG vaccine, among others.

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