17:18 GMT05 August 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): While Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been against a total lockdown since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, fearing that the burden would be too much for the poor who survive on daily earnings, a “smart lockdown” has been imposed in major cities starting today as the caseload reached 151,000 in the country.

    Several gym owners and bodybuilders on Tuesday hit the the streets of Pakistan's Peshawar in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with placards and posters to protest against the government’s order to shut down gyms.

    The iron-pumping bodybuilders went shirtless and flexed their muscles on the streets to gain the attention of people as well as authorities. They demanded the gyms be reopened as they have suffered losses due to the shutdown.

    The beefed-up protesters wore masks but remained shoulder-to-shoulder defying social distancing norms.

    Gyms, swimming pools, and other high-risk zones have been ordered to shut down in major cities like Islamabad and Karachi, as well as in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.

    As of Tuesday, Pakistan has total tally of 151,208 coronavirus cases, with 2,872 deaths and 56,000 recoveries. Despite the low numbers of deaths, the caseload has exploded in the last two weeks, pushing hospitals to the threshold of their capacity.

    After lifting the partial lockdown ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr in late May, the restrictions were re-imposed on Tuesday as hot spots of COVID-19 were identified amid a “smart lockdown”.

    Under smart lockdown, the areas having coronavirus cases will be put under strict measures, restraining public movement.


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