PM links full reopening of economy to post-Eid, Muharram corona results
Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday warned people against complacency and urged them to be vigilant during the auspicious occasion of Eid-ul-Azha as and negligence in following the SOPs may again led to increasing in coronavirus cases in the country.
The prime minister said if the people continue to observe SOPs and the curve of the coronavirus cases continued downward trend, the government would be in a position to give go-ahead to fully re-opening of the economy.
Addressing the media in Islamabad, Imran Khan said the economic situation in Pakistan was not like Europe or China when the virus hit the country.
“For last three days the lowest number of deaths has been reported in Pakistan and now we should thank Allah Almighty but at the same time If SOPs will not follow, the cases surge will be witnessed as the world has seen in Australia, Spain and Iran.”
He said secondly the government’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme also helped poor people a lot to come out of poverty.
"We don't want people to be negligent because they hear that cases are falling and deaths have decreased. That will amount to being ungrateful," he said, adding that an imposing a total lockdown would cause major economic loss.
“I think this would be unthankful if we do not comply with the SOPs as it will impact on the already affected economy as we will have no other option but to impose lockdown and businesses will be shut down.”
Prime Minister Khan said everyone should take responsibility and follow the SOPs like wearing masks and social distancing to stop the further spread of the virus on Eid-ul-Azha and Muharram.
“I will be asking the Tiger Force, shop keepers, businessmen to distribute masks as wearing the masks has been proved a key to stem the virus.”
“If people follow the SOPs on Eid ul Azha, Muharram then life would be easy for us and we will gradually reopen tourism and other sectors followed by schools, colleges and universities.”
He also urged them to try doing Qurbani online. "If you have to go to cattle markets, wear face masks and follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) for curbing the spread of the virus."
The prime minister said after necessary reviews the government aimed to reopen the sectors with SOPs for sure.
“Pakistan is among the few countries where COVID-19 is being contained. On March 13 when the government imposed lockdown, there were many challenges. People were looking towards Europe but our government realised that Pakistan’s ground realities were different from the European realities.”
The premier said Pakistan's strategy to tackle the virus had to be different as a big majority of daily wagers in the country were unregistered. "70-80% of labourers in our country are not registered; therefore, I approach had to be different than European counties.
"We could not take any drastic step like imposing a curfew. We were afraid that more people will die from starvation and poverty than coronavirus itself. India is now suffering the results of their decisions and the people are suffering in the neighbourhood," he said.
“Our smart lockdown strategy was later acknowledged by the other countries as well because imposing curfew is very difficult in such countries where people live in small houses. My appeal to you is please be a responsible nation because we have to prevent the spread of coronavirus and curb poverty," he concluded.