ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has repeated his concern that the Pakistan cannot afford a complete lockdown. Premier has indicated the continuation of business and industries on a certain scale with strict SOPs amid the 3rd wave of COVID-19.

Prime Minister expressed his views during a  National Coordination Committee (NCC)  meeting on Covid-19 that he chaired  via video link from his residence.

“The authorities must swing into action for ensuring implementation of the SOPs. The third wave of the pandemic is very dangerous and there is a need to take safety measures. However, the country cannot afford a total lockdown and therefore businesses will continue to operate at a limited scale. We successfully fought the pandemic’s first wave by adopting a better strategy. It is the need of the hour to once again show a responsible behaviour,” sources quoted the PM as saying.

Chief ministers of all the four provinces also participated in the meeting via video link. Prime Minister Imran directed the relevant authorities to strictly implement coronavirus related standard operating procedures (SOPs). He also asked the relevant department to run a campaign encouraging use of masks.

The premier asked the relevant authorities to ensure transparency and merit in the vaccination process.The participants were briefed about procuring the Covid-19 vaccines and the ongoing process of administering these vaccines to different categories of people.

During the meeting, the prime minister emphasized on initiating a robust public awareness campaign to ensure the implementation of corona SOPs.

He said the most effective strategy to deal with the third wave of coronavirus was to check the factors behind fast spread of the contagion and using face masks.

The prime minister, who was also briefed about the situation in the region after the outbreak of the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic, said the worldwide experience showed that the use of face masks had been most effective in checking the spread of the virus.

He was concerned about the impact of COVID-19 related restrictions on poor factions of the society.  He vowed that the government’s strategy will be made around this factor. Due to which his  government had to adopt a balanced policy to check the pandemic at one hand and protect the people and economy from its effects on the other.

The prime minister said the previous wave of COVID-19 had rendered just 20 million people in Pakistan jobless. The poor segments were provided effective relief through the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, he added.

The provincial chief ministers and officials briefed the prime minister on the COVID-19 situation in their respective provinces.

 

 

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