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Malik asks PM to convene joint meeting of CMs on coronavirus


March 22, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate’s Committee on Interior Senator Abdul Rehman Malik advised Prime Minister Imran Khan to convene a joint meeting of all chief ministers of provinces and announce a relief grant to all provinces to overcome coronavirus and also testing kits.

“I had warned in the meeting of the Senate’s committee on Interior on February 27 that it will become a national security hazard and the government to devise anti-coronavirus National Action Plan to battle this deadly epidemic,” he said in an exclusive interview to The News and Jang on Saturday.

Senator Abdul Rehman Malik said that the Senate Standing Committee on Interior had called an emergency meeting on 27th February just after the confirmation of the first two cases in Pakistan and had proposed the 31 recommendations to the government to combat the spread of Coronavirus in the country. He said that those 31 recommendations will be helpful for the government to combat the virus if followed in letter and spirit.

Senator Rehman Malik suggested that Prime Minister Imran Khan should allocate the fund of Rs10 billion on prevention of coronavirus and implement 31 recommendations of the Senate’s Committee on Interior.

He called for more testing kits, adding that we should not deny if someone is suspecting that he is suffering from coronavirus.

Senator Rehman Malik said in a meeting with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza who called on him Thursday, discussed in detail the prevailing situation after the coronavirus outbreak and reviewed the preventive measures taken by the government. He said the government should import the testing kits and to provide to the people on subsidise rates.

He said Dr Zafar Mirza was efficiently and capability on it but according to his information the government did not have the kits, ventilators and masks in sufficient quantity and even not a single hospital in Islamabad have the facility of corona test for the people. He said though the National Institute of Health have limited facility in this regard and it is only for those people who were going abroad and its cost is Rs23,000 which is out of reach of common man.

He said the doctors of PIMS isolation Centre complained that they have neither any medical kits nor masks.

“The government should provide the facility of corona tests at PIMS, Polly Clinic and CDA hospital,” he said. He said that the isolation centre should be established in selected places out of populated areas with all facilities of screening and testing for coronavirus. He said that the quarantine centers should be equipped with the pattern of international standards.

He urged the government that in wake of further spread of the coronavirus, the government should export more testing kits and other necessary medical instruments well on time. Senator A Rehman Malik urged the government to provide financial help to the labourers suffered because of the growing tensed environment after the coronavirus outbreak.