PM Imran says lockdown is to be slowly lifted as the COVID-19 cases in Pakistan cross 20,000
Prime Minister Imran Khan said Monday that the enforced lockdown would be lifted gradually across the world, as the coronavirus cases in Pakistan reached the 20,000 mark. “We’re doing [lifting lockodwns] because people are struggling and losing their jobs. But if SOPs aren’t enforced we’re afraid it will spread quickly and we’re going to be forced to go back to a lockdown,” cautioned the Premier.
Speaking of the Corona Tiger Force, the Premier said the government would raise awareness about the precautionary steps needed to curb the virus. “The Tiger Force will not be paid, they will do jihad [against coronavirus],” he said, adding that the team will set up help desks in union council offices and help register the needy.
“All of the major issues we have today have arisen from the lockout,” he said, adding: “It has also affected local vendors and the white collar workers.” The tiger force should spread awareness among the general public but it is the factory managers and businessmen’s duty to ensure that the SOPs are enforced, he said.
PM Imran, describing the worldwide effects of the virus, said: “Our country was already poor but it [coronavirus] also struck rich countries like the UK hard.” “In the UK, even more than 250,000 people registered to volunteer after requested by their prime minister […] We [Center] are launching the Corona Tiger Force as the idea is not unique,” he said. “The [coronavirus crisis] cannot be addressed by the administration alone, so we needed a volunteer force.
‘Medics to be given unique roles in Tiger Force’
Meanwhile, Health Prime Minister Special Assistant Dr Zafar Mirza said nearly one million volunteers had enrolled in the Tiger Group. “In the health sector, as many as 17,000 volunteers are involved, and almost 1,800 of them are MBBS physicians,” he said.
“We sent them a special questionnaire with the help of Usman Dar, in which we asked them what role they might play as a health professional at their locality,” he said.
“We have received their responses and are now preparing to assign them a particular role in order to be able to provide services in an isolation center near their home or to support authorities and help enforce SOPs,” he said.
“Many of the 1,800 doctors showed interest in becoming part of the telemedicine service provider’s Digital Pakistan initiative,” Mirza said. “These medical staff will play a pivotal role in the coming days as our Monitoring, Tracing, and Quarantine policy spreads.