–Faraz says other countries eyeing to adopt Pakistan’s model against the outbreak
–Tania says smart lockdown policy helped bring the situation under control
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz has said that those who criticized Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Covid-19 policy should at least praise him after the policy has succeeded in establishing a balance between the public health and national economy.
“Even at that time, the elite in the country tried to do politics over the issue and called for complete lockdown without keeping in view the situation faced by the poor segments of the society,” he said while taking a jibe at the opposition parties during a press conference on Sunday. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus, and Focal person to the PM on Covid-19 Dr. Faisal Sultan were also present on the occasion.
Faraz said that PM Imran was not deterred despite criticism and reiterated his calls for a balance between the anti-coronavirus measures and economic activities.
“There are countries now who are eyeing to follow Pakistan’s model to cope with the Covid-19 situation,” he said and asked the opposition leaders to be ashamed over politicizing the matter rather than praising the premier’s efforts.
He said that PM Imran launched the Ehsaas Programme to provide relief to the masses during the pandemic and 13.1 million people availed the facility.
Talking about other efforts to tackle virus outbreak in the country, he said that they did not even have details of beds in the country at the beginning and have since established the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to improve coordination with the provinces.
The information minister said that Allah helped them in tackling Covid-19, followed by praise-worthy inputs from doctors, police, paramedics, and other frontline workers.
“It is due to our consistent policies and by the grace of Allah that we are able to achieve these successes,” he said and further lauded the untiring efforts of Dr. Faisal from Shaukat Khanum Hospital and SAPM Tania.
Faraz said the Covid-19 situation was far more threatening than a war-like situation and if it was not tackled properly, it could have led to a civil war-like situation. “Food shortage is a far more dangerous situation than war,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, SAPM Tania stated that the federal and provincial governments and armed forces took collective decisions and introduced a targeted trace, testing, and quarantine strategy.
She said one-third of Covid-19 tests are being conducted under this strategy. She said that the objective of the smart lockdown policy was to control the epidemic while keeping the economy intact. She further said that a complete lockdown could have a detrimental effect on the public as well as the economy. She noted how the number of cases was declining daily.
Focal person to PM on Covid-19 Dr. Faisal said that all provinces and other federating units are on one page to combat this global pandemic, and played a commendable role in this regard.
He said that the nation should follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) strictly and seriously to stop further spread of the coronavirus.
He urged the people to avoid going to gatherings without wearing masks. He said that all indicators are showing a declining virus spread and this success was made possible due to teamwork.