Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday rejected the Sindh government’s recommendation to impose a ‘complete lockdown’ across the country for two weeks to stem the spread of coronavirus. The prime minister said Pakistan cannot afford a complete lockdown, adding that the measure would adversely impact daily wage earners across the country. He said, for the time being, the government will impose smart lockdowns, adding that it is imperative to exercise even more caution during the third wave of the coronavirus. During a meeting of the National Coordination Committee, Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his concern over negligence regarding the implementation of Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs), and called for initiating a robust public awareness campaign to ensure the implementation of the SOPs. He said the strategy to deal with the third wave of coronavirus and to check its spread would have to be formulated while keeping in view the country’s economic situation especially the difficulties of masses. He said the government had to adopt a balanced policy so as to check the pandemic at one hand and protect the people and economy from its effects on the other. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said that a complete lockdown was needed in Pakistan to get a grip on the third wave of coronavirus. “Do a lockdown or don’t do it, smart lockdown is nothing,” the chief minister had said while speaking to media in Islamabad. He suggested the National Coordination Committee (NCC) to impose a ban on inter-city transport for next two weeks to contain the third wave of coronavirus, adding that during that time the goods transport will continue operation as usual. Meanwhile, the Sindh government has banned all marriage functions – both indoors and outdoors – with effect from April 6, and introduced a new set of coronavirus restrictions till April 11. The national tally on Wednesday of total active Covid-19 cases was recorded at 50,397 as 4,757 more people tested positive for the deadly virus and 2,848 people recovered from the disease. Seventy-eight patients died on Wednesday, 73 of whom were under treatment in hospitals and five in their respective quarantines or homes, according to the latest update issued by the NCOC. During the last 24 hours most of the deaths had occurred in the Punjab followed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Meanwhile, Pakistan on Wednesday received the first batch of purchased Chinese Covid-19 vaccines of CanSino and Sinopharm. Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Faisal Sultan along with officials from the health ministry were present at the Nur Khan Airbase to receive the vaccine doses that included 0.5 million doses of Sinopharm and 60,000 doses of CanSino that the Pakistani government purchased from China. Addressing the handover ceremony, Dr Faisal Sultan thanked the Chinese government for supporting Pakistan in the fight against the pandemic. “This consignment is a testament of the friendship between China and Pakistan.” He said that the vaccine has arrived right at the time when Pakistan is grappling with the third wave of Covid-19. He added that the vaccine will be used to inoculate the frontline health workers and the general public to protect them from Covid-19 and will play an important role in saving precious human lives. He also thanked the Chinese government for gifting two consignments of Sinopharm vaccine which had once again proven its everlasting friendship with Pakistan. Earlier, the third phase trials of the CanSino vaccine had been conducted in Pakistan and it is the second Chinese Covid-19 vaccine that Pakistan approved for emergency use in the country.