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Imran Khan asks Pakistan Army to enforce strict SOPs amid COVID surge

Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that he has asked Pakistan Army to assist the local police force in ensuring that strict SOPs are followed by the public. The announcement comes amid fears of rising cases within Pakistan.

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In a recent press conference, Imran Khan announced that he would enlist the help of the Pakistan Army to assist the police in enforcing strict SOPs as COVID cases surge in Pakistan.

As per official figures, the death toll surpassed 144 and with a reported 5870 new cases. Since 1st April 2411 people have died and Pakistan’s oxygen capacity is 90% overwhelmed.

These alarming statistics raised great concern in the PM of Pakistan as he expressed his disappointment in people not following SOPs and wearing masks.

Read more: Why are COVID-19 cases increasing in Pakistan?

“If people wear masks, then half of the problem will be solved,” Imran Khan stated and requested people to continue wearing masks till Eid otherwise strict measures will be taken.

He further clarified that there will be no lockdown as the economy, especially the daily-earners, cannot afford it. However, he has stressed that if SOPs are not followed, then Pakistan too will face an alarming situation like India, and a complete lockdown of cities will be inevitable.

Read more: Chaos in India: World’s biggest one-day rise in Covid-19 cases recorded

“We will face great dangers if we are not careful,” the PM warned.

To ensure the strict enforcement of SOPs, PM Khan asked Pakistan’s Army to monitor the public on the streets and help the local police and law enforcement as it has been widely noted that people have no fears disobeying the law.

New measures

In the same conference, the Head of NCOC Asad Umer was also present and he gave a brief overview of the current COVID situation. He also announced new measures to facilitate the public.

As per Asad Umer, due to the imminent fears of a complete lockdown, the NCOC has been advised to monitor the situation comprehensively over the next few days and meet with the heads of provinces to decide how to implement the new restrictions in such a way that it does not create any problems for the public, especially during Eid.

Read more: Pakistan’s NCOC: Birth of a powerful democratic institution

Asad Umer announced that schools, including grades 9th-12th, in areas that have more than 5% positivity rate will be closed till Eid. Shops will be opened till 6 pm, however, only utility and essentials stores will be allowed to remain open after 6 pm. Both indoor and outdoor dining will be prohibited during Ramazan, but takeaways and deliveries will be allowed.

To further provide ease to the population, Asad Umer also announced the decision that offices will be closed by 2 pm so that the public may have enough time to conduct their eid shopping and would be hindered by the 6 pm closures.

Read more: Asad Umar warns of strict lockdown if COVID-19 SOPs are not followed

PM Khan concluded the conference by addressing the criticism regarding vaccination in Pakistan by stating that the government is putting in all efforts to provide vaccines to the people, however, there is a global shortage as both India and China are facing increased demand.