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Pakistan army’s help sought to ensure compliance to COVID-19 SOPs: PM

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ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the help of the Pakistan army has also been sought which will support the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in ensuring compliance to the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to contain the curve of COVID-19.

In a televised address after a meeting of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) in Islamabad on Friday, the prime minister appealed the people to strictly follow SOPs, regretting that the people are currently not observing caution.

The prime minister warned that if the people do not comply with health guidelines and the situation further deteriorates, we will have to impose lockdowns in the cities.

However, he added that at present we are not resorting to that option as it will affect the economy, the industries, and especially the underprivileged segments of the society including daily wagers and labourers.

In his remarks, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar announced a series of measures and restrictions to avoid the spread of the disease.

The minister said that the meeting has directed the NCOC to prepare a plan in consultations with provinces in the next few days to deal with the situation if the option of locking down in cities is exercised.

Asad Umar said that it has been decided that the schools will be closed in the districts including for grades 9 to 12 where the positivity ratio is above 5 percent. He said that markets will remain open till 6 pm and only businesses of essential items will be allowed to remain open after this time.

Emphasizing the need for implementing a 50 percent work from home policy, Asad Umar said that the office timing is also being limited to 2.00 pm.

Asad Umar said that given the spread of different variants of the Coronavirus, a system will be put in place for the testing and quarantine of the people coming from abroad.

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