Time to enforce SOPs viz corona strictly: Imran
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday said that time has arrived to strictly implement standard operating procedures (SOPs) against COVID-19 and announced to personally monitor the effectuation of the government orders.
The Prime Minister, while addressing a press conference over the pandemic situation, said that the death rate is increasing due to COVID-19 in Pakistan which is more than estimation.
He said that the federal authorities are fully aware of the rise in coronavirus cases after lifting strict lockdown measures. He criticised the opposition leadership, saying that they are apparently willing to see the disasters of the pandemic by the spike in death toll and unstable economy. He slammed that the opposition leaders want to hide their corrupt practices and try to cash the difficulties being faced by the country.
“I am happy that my team guided me after holding a comprehensive consultation. My team has efficiently worked during the last three months with the consultations of all provinces. We were facing a lot of pressure; however, the team produced the best results in such a situation.”
“Our opponents wanted to push the federal government to impose lockdown in the previous phase. I am grateful to Allah Almighty that we had not imposed lockdown measures like India. The imposition of curfew in India had badly affected around 84 per cent families there, whereas 34 per cent of families could not even survive for more than two weeks if they are not provided assistance. We have distributed cash payments among 12 million needy families under Ehsaas programme,” he maintained.
“I have been saying this from the first day that the people should think about the poor families as lockdown would not affect wealthy people. We are safe from the severe consequences by not imposing the lockdown like India.”
The Prime Minister said that the time has arrived to strictly implement SOPs across the country as the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases will affect nationals and hospitals if precautionary measures are not followed. “There is a need for imposing smart lockdown here in Pakistan as a complete lockdown is not a solution,” he added.
The Premier announced that he will personally monitor the implementation of SOPs and those areas will be closed where violations will be reported. He said that the one million volunteers of Corona Relief Tiger Force (CRTF) will assist the government for the implementation of orders.
“The government is preparing a package for doctors and health workers. It is unfortunate that nobody paid attention to bring improvement in the health sectors for 70 years. Each hospital will send its data to assist the government in compiling an accurate record of the pandemic developments.”
“At this time, 107 laboratories in Pakistan are conducting coronavirus tests. We have the capability to conduct 1.2 million tests on a monthly basis. Pakistan is now testing its locally-manufactured ventilator when the world is facing a shortage of it. The number of ventilators is increased up to more than 4,000 from 28 across the country, whereas, the government ordered 1,400 more ventilators,” he said.
PM Khan expressed fear that the death count due to coronavirus will further increase in Pakistan. He urged nationals to stand strong for fighting the pandemic. He said that the COVID-19 cases will also increase till July and the lives of patients of sugar and blood pressure will be compromised if the people failed to adopt the precautionary measures.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan Thursday directed for restructuring railways on modern lines and creating opportunities for improving private investments in it.
The Prime Minister while chairing a meeting expressed his satisfaction over measures taken to restructure Pakistan Railways and directed the authorities to appoint a chief executive officer (CEO) for an improved railway system in the country.
The Prime Minister emphasized upon the need to take advantage from the experience of skilled Pakistanis living within and outside the country for restructuring the railways system. He applauded the idea adopted by railway authorities of running trains under public-private partnership. “Process to run 15 more trains with the support of private sector should also be finalized soon,” said the premier.
Khan also directed the railway authorities to utilize railways stations in populated areas for commercial activities to improve revenue generation.
The Prime Minister said that the Pakistan Railways’ project, ML-1, is a key part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and restructuring of the railway system should be made keeping in view the project. He also called for improving e-ticketing system in the railways and said that efforts should be made to provide tickets to public at their doorstep.
He said that the top priority of the government is to convert Pakistan Railways into a profitable institution so that masses could avail the facility to cover long distances in minimal expense. The restructuring process could only be considered completed when masses feel a change in the railways system, said the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has offered help to neighbouring country India overcome the coronavirus crisis, saying he was willing to share Pakistan’s successful Ehsaas Programme, which is a cash-transfer programme for the needy.
Sharing a news report claiming that 34 percent of household across India ‘will not be able to survive more than a week without add (additional) assistance”, the Prime Minister said, “I am ready to offer help and share our successful cash transfer programme, lauded internationally for its reach and transparency, with India”.
Describing the programme in another tweet, the Prime Minister said the Pakistani government has successfully transferred more than Rs100 billion to 10 million families.
“Our government successfully transferred Rs120 billion in 9 weeks to over 10 million families in a transparent manner to deal with the Covid-19 fallout on the poor.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed condolence over the death of PTI’s founder member Dr Ijaz Ahsan.
In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “Dr Ijaz Ahsan stood by us during the difficult days when our party was being mocked by the status quo.” He said Dr Ijaz was a member of the PTI’s Central Executive Committee and he diligently attended all the meetings. He prayed for eternal peace for the departed soul and patience for the bereaved family.
Meanwhile, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser called on the Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday. During the meeting, matters related to the budget session which is being held tomorrow came under discussion.
Separately, Finance Adviser Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and presented him a copy of Economic Survey 2019-20. – TLTP