PESHAWAR – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that federal government was providing all-out assistance to the provinces to control spread of coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister expressed these views during his visit to Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC) where he was briefed about KP government’s relief efforts, arrangements for treatment of coronavirus patients and measures adopted to contain spread of pandemic. The prime minister assured that federal government’s support to all provinces would continue.
He directed Governor KP, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, and concerned ministers to visit the affected areas by themselves and ensure availability of facilities to the people at their doorsteps. The PM was given briefing by Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz and informed that provincial government enforced corona emergency on February 3.
It was further apprised to the PM that KP Governor, Chief Minister, Health Minister and other relevant authorities were monitoring the whole situation on daily basis. As many as 275 quarantine centers have been established with the accommodation capacity of 18,000 persons in the province. The PM was further informed that KP Chief Minister had announced Rs 32billion Relief Package.
The PM was further told that 583 ventilators were available in KP and numbers were being increased. Some 638 regular and 1299 contractual doctors were recruited in the province. In addition to it, 9000 retired doctors, nurses and paramedics voluntarily registered and can be called if required.
Similarly, 400 rapid response teams were constituted to deal with the coronavirus situation. The capacity of coronavirus testing was being increased and district administration was empowered to facilitate people.
The Prime Minister appreciated the measures of KP government and said that in the present situation, the government was concentrating to prevent coronavirus along with providing relief to poor segment of the society.
The prime minister was accompanied by Governor KP Shah Farman, Chief Minister KP Mahmmod Khan, Federal Minister Asad Umar, Minister of State Shahryar Afridi and Special Assistant to PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar and health minister KP Taimur Salim Jhagra.
PM asks doctors, paramedics to be ready for pressure
Prime Minister Imran Khan said the whole government machinery was out to support and protect the medical community in the war against coronavirus and people from hunger.
While talking to media after visiting Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC), he appreciated efforts of doctors, paramedics as frontline force in the war against infectious corona disease and assured provision of adequate safety gadgets from the government on priority basis.
The PM prophesied an increasing trend in future COVID-19 cases, saying, great responsibility rested on doctors and paramedics to be ready for the impact. He said NDMA team was currently procuring safety equipments, ventilators from China and other countries, from wherever available, for the medical community.
Expressing concern about shortage in the markets, he said the government was making efforts to ensure availability of safety gadgets and other necessary medical equipments. The entire government machinery and nation stand with medical community and would provide them all kinds of supports, he stressed.
The Premier said the government was committed to protecting the poor people from starvation and effective measures were being taken in this regard.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister was briefed about the latest situation of the corona cases in the province and the steps taken by the provincial government in the wake of pandemic. Later, the Prime Minister distributed cash among destitute at Ehsaas payment point where Special Assistant to the PM Sania Nishtar briefed him about the arrangements.
KP Governor Shah Farman, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Federal Minister Asad Omar, and Advisor to KP Chief Minister Ajmal Wazir were present on the occasion.
Imran Khan visits Ehsaas cash point, reviews arrangements
Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday afternoon visited an Ehsaas ration and cash point and reviewed arrangements. He was briefed by Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar about the measures taken by the government for provision of financial assistance to the poor and vulnerable segments of the society in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
She said the distribution of Rs 12,000 each to the deserving families under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme had started across the country, including the KP on April 9, under a transparent online mechanism.
Under the unprecedented relief programme in the social sector, the government would disburse some Rs 144 billion among the poor and deserving families across the country. Some 2.2 million poor families have been identified in the KP, who would be facilitated directly from the programme. Around 3,500 cash distribution points have been set up in all the 35 districts of KP. Govt raising funds to fight coronavirus, says PM
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said that in addition to using its own resources, the government is raising funds because the economic impact of the coronavirus crisis will further aggravate.
Speaking during a telethon held on a private television channel to collect donations for the Prime Minister’s Corona Relief Fund, the premier said that nobody can predict whether this corona will go on for six months or eight months or even next year, adding that countries need to prepare their systems to deal with the pandemic.
He said continuous lockdown adversely impacted the global economy, and Pakistan is not spared from this pandemic.
Prime Minister assured the nation that provision of financial assistance to poor deserving families under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme would be purely transparent, merit-based and non-political.
Prime Minister said that the United States had announced a relief package of $2,200 billion, Germany with a population size half of that of Pakistan, € 1,000 billion and Japan $1,000 billion, while Pakistan could manage a package of $8 billion only.
He said Pakistan did not have enough resources to cope with any worsened situation but it was lucky for being rich with charitable people and a huge young population.
He said the government had already launched an Rs 144 billion programme to distribute Rs 12,000 each among around 12 million families, while the public donations were meant to meet the future needs because no one knew when the crisis would be over and what would be the future scenario.
The Prime Minister expressed fear that Coronavirus cases would further increase and hospitals might face immense pressure in the days to come.
The Prime Minister warned the people that the corona cases would increase in the coming days and only those maintaining social distancing would remain safe. Taking precautions was the only the solution to defeat the virus because Pakistan’s health system did not have enough ventilators or other required equipment to deal with the crisis.
He assured that all the public donations would be used to support the poor as their numbers would be growing continuously owing to the closure of industries and businesses.
He said the government had set up a transparent funds distribution system based on the database of National Database Registration Authority (NADRA).
In order to avert the mismanagement experienced during the relief operations after 2005 earthquake and 2010 floods, a web portal would be launched soon to guide the charity organizations as to where they should deliver the relief goods considering the people’s needs.
He said after April 14, the government would open up the construction sector to revive the employment opportunities for the poor people.
The Prime Minister said from the very first day, he had been opposing the blanket lockdown owing to its adverse impact on the poor.
“There is a difference between the lockdown in DHA or E-7 sector and Machhar Colony and Orangi Town. It would be a joke with the people living in population clusters and slums to maintain social distance and observe cleanliness when they even lack clean drinking water,” he commented amid the continuous phone calls from Pakistan and abroad with the people pledging varying amounts to the relief fund.
He said the negative impacts of the lockdown were already emerging in those countries which had made the hasty decisions following the Chinese or Western models.
He said the Western countries had a registered labour making easy for the governments to extend assistance while almost 80 per cent of Pakistan’s labourers were unregistered.
To a question, the Prime Minister said all of the health workers, particularly those deputed at the ICU (Intensive Care Units) and emergency departments would receive their protective kits within a couple of days and assured them of the government’s full support.
He said in spite of limited resources, Pakistan announced historic 800 billion rupees package to provide relief to Corona-hit population.
Imran Khan expressed the confidence that Pakistan would emerge victorious in the fight against Coronavirus through coordination efforts of all stakeholders concerned.
The Prime Minister assured that the government would provide every possible facility to frontline paramedical staff, engaged in treating patients in various hospitals.
He said no single province or government could handle the situation alone rather it required coordinated efforts and the National Command and Control Committee had the representation of all provinces as well as medical experts to make the coordinated decisions.
Imran Khan urged the citizens to demonstrate utmost care and reduce social distancing to protect themselves from Covid-19.
Imran Khan said services of doctors and paramedical staff, who have registered with Prime Minister’s Corona Relief Tiger Force, would be hired to mitigate adverse impacts of Coronavirus.
He said that the government would launch a website within next few days, where philanthropists would be able to provide financial assistance to the poor class.