A Pakistani court has imposed a fine of 200,000 Pakistani Rupees (PKR) on a petitioner for claiming that COVID-19 pandemic does not exist and therefore the government should not procure vaccines in this regard. The Lahore High Court on Tuesday imposed the fine on petitioner Azhar Abbas and warned him of filing such frivolous petitions in the future.
Abbas, an air-conditioner mechanic, contended before the court that the coronavirus is part of an international conspiracy’ and it does not infect people by shaking hands. He said the symptoms of COVID-19 already existed for decades and they were not fatal. LHC Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan repeatedly asked the petitioner not to beat about the bush and present what ‘medical’ evidence he had to prove that COVID-19 was not real.
The petitioner failed to come up with any logical answer and tried to explain that it was an international conspiracy’ especially against the Muslim world. He also pleaded the court to stop the government from procuring coronavirus vaccine. The chief justice dismissed the petition and imposed a fine of PKR 200,000 on the petitioner.
The Chief Justice also observed that the petitioner tried to create panic and uncertainty in society and warned him of filing such petitions in the future. Meanwhile, the Pakistan government said it is in close and consistent contact with leading COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, including Chinese manufacturers, to acquire the doses.
The government said it is regularly reviewing all developments concerning the coronavirus, including data from phase-III clinical trials currently ongoing in Pakistan. “The government will make a final decision about early availability of the vaccine for Pakistan,” it said.
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