Pakistanis ‘recklessly’ ignoring COVID-19 guidelines, will lose lives and livelihoods — planning minister

A student wearing a facemask leaves beside a closed school sealed by authorities as some teachers and students tested positive for the Covid-19 Coronavirus in Islamabad on October 5, 2020.(AFP)
Short Url
Updated 20 October 2020

Pakistanis ‘recklessly’ ignoring COVID-19 guidelines, will lose lives and livelihoods — planning minister

  • On Sunday, 16 deaths were reported in Pakistan from the coronavirus, highest single-day deaths since September
  • PM Khan warns second wave of coronavirus could hit Pakistani cities with high levels of pollution

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Minister for Planning Asad Umar said on Tuesday Pakistanis were ‘recklessly’ ignoring coronavirus standard operating procedures (SOPs), warning that there would be an increased loss of lives and livelihoods if they didn’t change their attitude. 
On Sunday, 16 deaths were reported in Pakistan from the coronavirus, the highest single-day deaths since September.
“Last week daily covid mortality was 12,” Umar wrote on Twitter. “This is a 140% increase vs few weeks back. 
“We are collectively committing a blunder by recklessly ignoring all sop’s & the results have started to show. If we do not change our current path we will lose both lives and livelihoods.”

The minister’s comments come as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s special adviser on poverty alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar, tested positive for the coronavirus and announced she was self-isolating at home. 

While addressing a ceremony in Islamabad on Monday evening, PM Khan warned that a second wave of the coronavirus could hit Pakistani cities with high levels of pollution. 
In October and November, cities like Faisalabad, Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar and Gujranwala could see a spike in coronavirus cases, the PM was quoted as saying in local media. 
According to the Ministry of Health, 340 new infections were registered in the last 24 hours in Pakistan, taking the total number of cases to 323,452, with 6,659 deaths. 

Pakistan has seen a significant drop in the COVID-19 infection rate since July, compared to an average of 5,000 cases reported daily in May and June. Earlier this month, the government reimposed “smart lockdowns” in hotspot cities across the country to curb the spread of the disease. 


Pakistan condemns Houthi missile attack on Jeddah petroleum facility 

Updated 24 November 2020

Pakistan condemns Houthi missile attack on Jeddah petroleum facility 

  • The plant distributes more than 120,000 barrels of products per day
  • Fire caused in the incident was extinguished in around 40 minutes with no casualties

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday condemned a missile attack by Houthi militants on a petroleum products distribution plant in the north of Jeddah city in Saudi Arabia.
The site is considered a “critical facility” which distributes more than 120,000 barrels of products per day. A fire caused in the incident was extinguished in around 40 minutes with no casualties, Saudi authorities said.
“Pakistan strongly condemns the missile attack by Houthi militants at petroleum distribution terminal in Jeddah causing a fire in a fuel tank which was successfully extinguished without any causalities,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday. “Pakistan calls for immediate cessation of such attacks that violate the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and threaten the lives of innocent civilians.” 
Islamabad also reaffirmed its “full support and solidarity” with Saudi Arabia against any threats to its security and territorial integrity.
An official from the Saudi Aramco oil company said customers were unaffected by the attack.
“The terrorist, Iran-backed Houthi militia has been positively identified as the culprits of this cowardly terrorist assault,” said Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesperson for the Arab Coalition Forces to Support Legitimacy in Yemen.
Over the last six years, Houthi forces have carried out many missile and drone strikes on civilian airports and oil infrastructure in Saudi Arabia, including on the capital Riyadh. Cross-border attacks by Houthi forces have escalated since late May when a truce prompted by the novel coronavirus pandemic expired.