Smart lockdowns could do more harm than good if SOPs not followed

Punjab governor warns industry against ignoring the agreed standard operating procedures for safety of workers

By: INP      Published: 09:12 PM, 3 May, 2020
Smart lockdowns could do more harm than good if SOPs not followed
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar.–File photo

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has said that complete implementation of the SOPs (standard operating procedures) is guarantee of the success of smart lockdowns otherwise they will cause more harm than good.

Speaking during a meeting with Forest Minister Sibtain Khan, Haji Muhammad Ramzan and others who called on him at Governor’s House on Sunday, Sarwar said the government wanted the economy’s wheel to start moving with proper precaution vis-à-vis coronavirus infection.

Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to transform Pakistan into a true welfare state, the governor said, adding that the government introduced a financial support package for small businessmen and a financial support of Rs12,000 each for those who lost their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Poor and vulnerable families will not be left unattended during these testing times,” he said.

The governor said that people were facing severe economic crisis and serious health issues. Since the business community is facing serious problems in the wake of a lockdown, he said, the government was making efforts to switch to smart lockdowns.

However, if the industry failed to follow the agreed SOPs during smart lockdowns, he said, they would cause more harm than good. “The industries being allowed to open their businesses must implement the SOPs and save precious lives,” he asserted.

Sarwar said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan the government was taking innovative steps to help all those who lost their jobs during the ongoing crisis. Daily wagers and workers at shops and industries could get themselves registered with the Ehsaas Kafalat Programme on a separate portal and receive Rs12,000 financial assistance, he added.

The governor acknowledged that daily wagers were the worst-hit segment of the society and that was why they were given a package of Rs200 billion in a most transparent manner without any political discrimination.