The total number of coronavirus cases in Pakistan has surpassed 30,000 and at least 667 people have died due to coronavirus complications. However, the country has started easing restrictions, allowing more businesses to open and operate. It doesn’t mean there will be no restrictions in place. Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar told media that Pakistan will use technology to implement a “smart lockdown.”
Pakistan smart lockdown
Umar said in a media briefing that the restrictions needed to be eased because the low-income class was suffering heavily due to the lockdown. It doesn’t mean the “preventive measures will be lifted,” said Umar. It is more important than ever to take preventive measures to contain the virus. The minister said it was the responsibility of every citizen to take precautions.
The government will be using technology to identify coronavirus hotspots across the country and trace coronavirus cases. These measures will help Pakistan implement a smart lockdown while minimizing the impact on the low-income class. Umar told reporters that Punjab has already enforced smart lockdown in 169 areas, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has enforced in 177 areas.
New website and app to inform citizens
The government has built a website that will source data from all 424 hospitals handling coronavirus cases across Pakistan. Hospitals have already started uploading data to the website. It will provide details such as the number of ventilators, beds, and patients in each of the 424 hospitals.
He told reporters that the government is also developing a smartphone app that people can download to stay informed. The app will provide information about coronavirus facilities and hospitals. If someone tests positive, they can check the app to find the nearest hospital with available beds and other facilities. So far, a lot of people have struggled to find a hospital that does have facilities because they don’t know where to go.
Both the website and app are expected to go live in the next few days. The government is also working with the Rural Support Program Network to spread awareness messages in rural areas.
He also expressed concern that some people are scared that if they revealed their symptoms or tested positive, they would be taken to quarantine centers. Umar assured that infected patients who have the facility to keep themselves isolated in their homes will be allowed to do so. He also praised the rescue workers, healthcare professionals, and cleaners.