Pakistan’s prime minister says effective SOP enforcement must to protect citizens from pandemic
Eidul Azha will be commemorated under exceptional circumstances this year, Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday, as he directed authorities concerned to expedite the finalization and implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to curb the spread of the coronavirus during the festivities.
Chairing a meeting in Islamabad to review the prevailing coronavirus situation in Pakistan, Khan said the current crisis requires strict implementation of SOPs to protect people from the virus.
While reviewing the available facilities for coronavirus patients in hospitals, the prime minister expressed satisfaction on the steps taken thus far to provide the required number of beds and oxygen tanks. “Keeping in view the regional and international experience, it has become clear that the strategy adopted [by the PTI] to control coronavirus has yielded improved results,” he claimed.
Referring to the “smart lockdown” currently being enforced nationwide, the prime minister urged authorities to involve local leaders to ensure the successful implementation of this strategy. “The Tiger Force should also be utilized,” he said, adding that the volunteers would raise public awareness among the masses, as well as assist the administration in achieving its aims.
Separately, on Tuesday morning, President Arif Alvi said he had commenced meetings to devise a plan for Eidul Azha—likely to occur at the end of July. “Clear signals should emanate for the people on how to follow directions and SOPs of government,” he posted on Twitter, adding that special focus should be given to social distancing and mandatory face masks; online and institutional sacrifices; open air livestock markets; designated areas for sacrifices; market timings; and Eid prayers.
Prime Minister Khan has already warned that Pakistan would likely reach its peak of confirmed coronavirus cases at the end of July, and has urged the public to adopt preventative measures or risk the situation spiraling out of control.