Covid-19 cases doubled in 6 days, say Pakistan doctors; urge people to avoid going to mosques in Ramzan.

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The Imran Khan government has still not imposed a total lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus disease Covid-19.

Pakistan recorded 783 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, taking the total number to 12,579, news agency reported.

According to the Ministry of National Health Services, at least 15 people have died in the last 24 hours, pushing the death toll up to 269.

Punjab reported 5,378 cases, Sindh 4,232, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 1,793, Balochistan 722, Gilgit-Baltistan 308, Islamabad 235 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 55 cases.

With the infections spreading rapidly, Pakistan Medical Association and Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) have urged people to offer prayers at homes and not in mosques.

PIMA President Dr Iftikhar Burney warned on Saturday that mosques were becoming a major source of virus transmission.

“Around 6,000 cases for coronavirus surfaced in a month… but the same doubled in the last six days,” he said, warning that the infection would further go up in the coming months of May and June.

President Arif Alvi has written a letter to the imams of mosques urging them to ask worshippers above the age of 50 to pray at home. The federal government has, however, still not imposed a nationwide lockdown. It has been done only in some provinces, that too, by local governments.

“We sought a total lockdown without thinking about the consequences for the daily wage earners, the street vendors, the labourers, all of whom face poverty & hunger for themselves & their families. May Allah forgive us our sin of neglecting our dispossessed & poor citizens,” Prime Minister Imran Khan had tweeted on his decision to not impose a total lockdown. Meanwhile, the partial lockdown has been extended till May 9.

There were reports of violation of lockdown from different cities. The police arrested 78 people and sealed 107 shops on Saturday in Quetta, capital of Balochistan, for violating the lockdown, Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani said.

He said that a total of 2,707 shops had been sealed so far.

In Punjab, the government announced that lockdown would not apply to pushcart street vendors, selling fruit, vegetables and other products.

Due to lack of observance of lockdown, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) criticised the partial lockdown policy and asked the government either impose total lockdown or withdraw it.