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March 27, 2020

Rehman Malik urges govt to impose curfew across country

National

March 27, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator A Rehman Malik has urged the government to impose curfew throughout the country in the wake of the coronavirus as mere lockdown is not the solution. Rehman Malik stressed that the lockdown does not ensure complete disconnection of the people but a real curfew will create the desired disconnect. “The outbreak of coronavirus is a national security issue and no one should play politics and blame game over it as it is a matter of human lives,” he said in a statement on Thursday. He expressed his concerns that in the coming weeks we all will be in danger due to the spread of coronavirus. He said that we need to disconnect and isolate the coronavirus infected people from healthy people but just lockdown is not a solution because by lockdown the people to people contact is not being disconnected. He emphasised that the coronavirus will not end without a full and tighten curfew to break its life-cycle from further multiplications. He affirmed that if not today, the government will have to impose curfew tomorrow so its further delay will be more dangerous and damaging. He said that the government was cautioned that the coronavirus could spread in Pakistan after its outbreak in China and Iran. He said that the committee had issued instructions for setting up screening test and isolation centers at all the airports and other entry points and had suggested that every passenger should be tested and quarantined upon entering Pakistan. He said that the Interior Committee had termed the coronavirus outbreak as a national security issue and had asked the government to impose an urgent medical emergency in the country in both of its meetings held on February 27th and March 6th. He said that he has advised the prime minister to convene a meeting of chief ministers of four Provinces to formulate a joint strategy against coronavirus. Senator Rehman Malik said that the committee had prepared a 30-point plan

containing preventive measures and had sent it to the federal and provincial governments to implement it to control coronavirus in the first phase before it spread countrywide. He also said that the situation would have been different and far better today if the government had taken timely action against the spread of coronavirus soon after its outbreak in China and Iran and had followed the committee's suggestions. He said that a senior PPP colleague opposed and asked: “why I have asked Army for help”. “In My response was that I did not call for martial law nor ask the Indian Army for help but the own Army Medical Corps to assist civil hospitals to do the tests and treatment of virus victims to combat this deadly disease collectively.” He said, "I thank the Chief of Army Staff for his full support to the civil hospitals". “In these difficult times, we have to fight against the hidden enemies by consensus,” he said. He also said that our Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari extended the hand of help to Prime Minister Imran Khan but the country did not see the desired level of response from the government.