PM cautions about more deaths, spread of virus if SOPs not followed

By: Faizan Ali Warraich      Published: 07:26 PM, 1 Jun, 2020
PM cautions about more deaths, spread of virus if SOPs not followed

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday cautioned people about more deaths from coronavirus in the coming days if SOPs are not followed.

Talking to the media after a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) in Islamabad, he said the economic situation in Pakistan was not like Europe or China when the virus hit the country. “We have a different problem in our country: 25 million labourers' families will starve if they don't work. They can’t feed themselves properly twice a day,” he said.

“Lockdown was meant to curb the spread of coronavirus, as social distancing could slow down the virus spread and save the health sector from being stretched out,” he said. 

“Someone living in Defence or like Imran Khan in Banigala (PM’s residence) may not be affected by the lockdown measures but a vast majority like 30 percent of people living in Karachi's slums would be affected badly,” he explained.

Imran Khan said the lockdown that was implemented in Pakistan was not like the lockdown he wanted to impose because there was 18th Amendment and provinces were free to take decisions. “Coronavirus will not go anywhere until a vaccine comes out,” he said.   

Imran Khan said, “I informed you earlier about the spike in deaths. It depends on people how they live now with this virus.”

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

“We have made Corona Tiger Force that will go to people and educate them about how they can save themselves from virus. We have built this volunteer force because our administration and police are already overburdened,” PM said.

“I know frontline health workers are under immense pressure. The purpose of the lockdown is just to slowdown the spread of the virus. It is not a solution. Let me repeat, lockdown isn't a solution or cure.”

“We have decided to bring home more Pakistanis stranded abroad and put COVID-19 positive people in quarantine at their homes. I'm worried about our labourers in UAE and Saudi Arabia. They send us valuable remmittances,” he said. 

"I think that tourism should open now because tourism provides jobs to many in Gilgit-Baltistan and elsewhere. My appeal to you is please be a responsible nation because we have to prevent the spread of virus and curb poverty," he concluded.