Monday July 04, 2022

PM Imran says lockdown to be lifted slowly as Pakistan's COVID-19 cases cross 20,000

'All the big problems that we have today have emerged from lockdown,' says the premier

By Web Desk
May 04, 2020
Prime Minister Imran says Pakistan will uplift lockdown restrictions gradually on May 4, 2020. — Geo News/Screengrab via The News

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said Monday that the imposed lockdown will be lifted slowing across the country as Pakistan's coronavirus cases surpassed the 20,000 mark.

"We are doing [lifting lockodwn] because the people are suffering and losing their jobs. But if SOPs are not followed we fear that it might spread rapidly and we will be forced to move towards a lockdown once again," the premier warned.

Talking about the Corona Tiger Force, the premier said that the government will spread awareness regarding precautionary measures necessary to curb the virus.

"The Tiger Force will not be paid, they will do jihad [against coronavirus]," he said, adding that the team will set up help desks in union council offices and help register the needy.

"All the big problems that we have today have emerged from lockdown," he said, adding: "This has impacted local vendors and the white-collar workers as well."

The tiger force will spread awareness among the general public but it is the responsibility of factory managers and the businessmen to ensure that the SOPs are implemented, he said.

PM Imran, explaining the impact of the virus across the world, said: "Our country was already poor, but it [coronavirus] even hit rich countries, such as the UK, hard."

"In UK even more than 250,000 people registered themselves to volunteer after their prime minister requested [...] We [Centre] are launching the Corona Tiger Force as the concept is not uncommon," he said.

"The administration alone cannot handle it [the coronavirus crisis], hence we needed a volunteer force," he added.

'Medics in Tiger Force to be assigned specific task'

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said that nearly one million volunteers had registered themselves in the Tiger Force.

"As many as 17,000 of the volunteers are associated with the field of health, and nearly 1,800 of them are MBBS doctors," he noted.

"With the help of Usman Dar, we sent them a special questionnaire in which we asked them what role could they play in their locality as a health professional," he said.

"We have received their replies, and now plan to assign them a specific task so that they could offer services in an isolation centre present near their residence or they could assist authorities and make the implementation of SOPs in a better way," he expressed.

"Of the 1,800 doctors several of them have shown interest in becoming a part of out Digital Pakistan initiative to provide telemedicine service," Mirza said.

"In the coming days as our Testing, Tracing, and Quarantine strategy spreads, these medical workers will play a pivotal role,” he added.