Pakistan’s confirmed coronavirus cases tally has surged to 90,602, with new cases reported from all across the country on Friday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan while addressing the volunteers of the Corona Relief Tiger Force on Friday said that the country cannot afford to go back towards a lockdown, urging the public to follow the government’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) for curbing the spread of the virus.
“It is important for you to ensure that people follow SOPs because we can’t go back to lockdown, this country cannot afford it,” he said while addressing the volunteers of the Corona Relief Tiger Force.
“If we can slow down the [infection] curve because of SOPs, it will reduce pressure on hospitals.”
He added that the country was already emerging from a difficult situation before the pandemic hit. “The purpose of reopening industries was to help the vulnerable.
A lockdown for the privileged is not a problem, PM added, but it is a problem for the working class.
“How much more money can Ehsaas give? That is why important for you to ensure the implementation of SOPs,” he said.
PM also added that none of Pakistan’s coronavirus cases were traced back to mosques, despite the government’s critics stating otherwise.
He said: “We were the only country in the Muslim world that said we would not bar Taraweehs and would keep mosques open. We decided that whoever goes there will have to follow SOPs.”
While quoting the example of Sialkot, he said, “There weren’t enough police officials in Sialkot to stop the public from going to mosques so our tiger force went and raised awareness.
“Our critics said that the virus will spread from mosques [but] we did not see any cases emerge from there and today the world is opening mosques with standard operating procedures in place. This was an achievement for the force.”
PM Imran Khan said that the main objective of the Corona Relief Tiger Force is to create awareness among the public.
“In Pakistan, we have 1,700 deaths, we knew corona would spread. We have to understand corona is a virus that spreads when people gather so that is why we need to maintain social distancing.
“I will give you instructions every day. We will regularly give instructions on what you need to do, what the hotspots are [and] we will guide you.
“The virus will spread, you can’t stop that. You can look people up in their rooms and that would slow the spread but it will not end it.”