Information minister says P.M. Khan has decided to commemorate upcoming Eid at home in light of coronavirus pandemic
The Government of Pakistan has formulated strict rules and regulations to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus during the upcoming Eidul Azha festival, Information Minister Shibli Faraz said on Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference after a meeting of the federal cabinet, Faraz said that district administrations have been directed to ensure implementation of preventative measures to prevent a surge in infections during the Muslim festival.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to celebrate this Eid at home and had urged the public to do the same amidst the ongoing pandemic. He said people should avoid meeting each other during this trying time to curb the spread of the virus.
Summarizing the government’s strategy of coping with COVID-19, Faraz claimed it had proven successful because Pakistan remains one of the countries “least affected” by the coronavirus. He reiterated Khan’s claims that Pakistan’s strategy was in line with the country’s “ground realities.”
The information minister said Phase II of the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program had been launched to mitigate the suffering of the impoverished. Thus far, he said, Rs. 150 billion had already been distributed “apolitically and in a transparent manner.”
Referring to the issue of “dubious licenses” for Pakistani pilots, Faraz said the government was working to restore international air travel as well as strengthen the engineering section of the Pakistan International Airlines. He said that 28 pilots had thus far been dismissed because they possessed “fake and dubious licenses,” adding that proceedings had been initiated against PIA and Civil Aviation Authority officials that had issued these licenses.
Local media reported 37 pilots had been suspended for allegedly having suspected credentials, but their inquiries were still pending. Similarly, 450 PIA pilots have been fully cleared, while out of 104 pilots of other airlines, 100 have been cleared.
The information minister said the cabinet had also been updated on progress into the sugar inquiry report. He said a sugar reforms committee had been constituted to ensure the provision of the commodity at affordable prices.
He said the cabinet had also lauded Adviser to the P.M. on Finance Hafeez Sheikh and his team for preparing a “tax-free budget” for fiscal year 2020-21 despite the difficult circumstances arising from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.