Pakistan Army to help ensure SOP implementation: PM
Pakistan has imposed stricter measures as it continues to battle the third wave of the coronavirus.
Asad Umar, the head of the National Command Operation Center, said on Friday the government has made the following decisions to curb the virus spread.
If the situation deteriorates, the government will be forced to impose a lockdown in different cities. The NCOC will hold discussions with different provinces and make a detailed plan for that too, Umar added.
The decisions were made during a meeting of the National Coordination Committee today (Friday).
Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing the NCC meeting, appealed to the people to wear masks and follow all coronavirus SOPs.
The situation in India is becoming worse. People are not getting enough oxygen, and Pakistan is heading towards the same, he claimed. “The situation is not as bad as India because we increased the capacity of our hospitals last year.” Our cases are, however, rising rapidly.
Please follow the SOPs and wear a mask every time you leave your house, he said. “If you start wearing masks today and make this a practice till Eid, then we won’t have to take any strict measures.”
People have been advising me to impose lockdowns in cities but I don’t want to do it. Lockdowns affect the poor the most. “You have to be careful yourself, otherwise you will leave us with no other option.”
The Pakistan Army will work with the law enforcers to ensure the implementation of SOPs. “They will be deployed on roads along with the police now,” the premier added.
People have been talking about the vaccination process, he said. “Let me tell you that we are trying our best to procure vaccines for the country. There is a shortage worldwide.”
He explained that it will take a year for the vaccination to show its effects. The cases will go down after a year or so. “Till then, please continue to wear your masks. We have to fight this pandemic together.”
Markets, businesses, and shops across Sindh will now remain closed on Fridays and Sundays. They will be allowed to operate from Sehri till 6pm.
The Sindh government, which had modified the days to Saturdays and Sundays, has rescinded its April 16 order on the recommendation of traders.
Asad Umar will chair a meeting of the National Command Operation Center at 12pm.
The meeting participants are expected to make important decisions to control the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.
Decisions will be made about businesses, transport and offices. They will review the healthcare situation in Pakistan too.
On Wednesday, Dr Sultan warned that a lockdown could be imposed in major Pakistan cities to contain the spread of the virus.
“All the options are always on the table in national decision-making and it is possible that we will have to do that,” Dr Faisal had told SAMAA TV, when asked if the government was considering imposing a lockdown.
The virus has so far claimed 16,600 lives in Pakistan, according to official figures. The number of confirmed cases has jumped to 772,381.