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Pakistani business magnate pledges Rs1bn as COVID-19 aid

'It incumbent upon us to serve our nation best when it needs us most'

By Web Desk
April 02, 2020
Hussain Dawood. Photo: File

Business giant Engro has pledged Rs1billion in the battle against the coronavirus on Thursday, appreciating the role of the armed forces and government in their efforts to contain the virus from spreading.

Hussain Dawood has pledged "a contribution in services, kind and cash of PKR 1 billion for the short, medium and long-term" to battle the coronavirus in Pakistan".

In a statement, Dawood said that it was incumbent upon him to serve Pakistan at a time when the nation needed help. "We must work on several fronts concurrently. The need of the hour is to target on reducing the spread and impact of this virus," he stated.

The statement comes at a time when Pakistan has reported more than 2,300 cases of the novel coronavirus and 30 plus deaths.

In his official statement, Dawood highlighted what the group will focus on four key factors which include disease prevention with most of the focus on testing and diagnosis. He said that the group will also divert its energies towards protecting and enabling healthcare practitioners and other workers who were battling the coronavirus at the frontlines.

Further, he stated that the business group will aim at bolstering the livelihoods and sustenance of the "most deserving in society" and enable patient care and facilities.

"We welcome the meaningful efforts of the Government and other credible organisations who have stepped up to this challenge and we endeavour to learn from and build on the work that is being done over the long term," his statement read.

He urged people to heed the guidelines of health experts and the government to ensure the infection remains contained. Dawood paid tribute to the government, the armed forces, health workers and NGOs for playing important roles in the battle against the pandemic.

The coronavirus has wreaked havoc around the world, creating economic difficulties for businesses and countries around the globe. The worldwide number of officially confirmed fatalities from the virus rose to 47,993 on Thursday, according to a tally compiled by AFP at 1100 GMT from official sources.

More than 944,030 declared cases have been registered in 187 countries and territories since the epidemic first emerged in China in December. Of these cases, at least 182,700 are now considered recovered.

An earlier version of this article had incorrectly stated that the amount was pledged to the prime minister's coronavirus relief fund. The error is regretted and has since been rectified.