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Pakistan calls on Army to assist police in enforcing COVID SOPs as third-wave sweeps the country

  • Government will take help from Pakistan Army to implement coronavirus SOPs: PM
  • Asad Umar says indoor and outdoor dining has been banned for the month of Ramazan while indoor gyms will also remain closed
  • 5,870 people tested positive and 144 died in the last 24 hours as third-wave accelerates
Updated 25 Apr 2021

(Karachi) Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that despite the drastic rise in coronavirus cases, the government is not implementing a complete lockdown across the country as it will affect the working class and business community. He urged people to follow coronavirus SOPs to avoid imposing full restrictions.

Addressing the nation after chairing a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) in Islamabad on Friday, he said that I appeal to the public to follow SOPs so that we don't have to take steps that India is taking. "Half the problem will be solved when you wear face masks," he stated.

He added that if a lockdown is imposed, the working class will suffer the most. He said, “If precautions are not taken, the situation will worsen.”

The premier said the help will be taken from the Pakistan Army to implement coronavirus SOPs.

"Barely anyone is following SOPs anymore," he said, adding that if we are not careful, the situation in Pakistan will be similar to that of India in the next one or two weeks.

Imran said that Pakistan was the only country that had kept mosques open last year during Ramazan.

Speaking on the occasion, National Command Operation Center (NCOC) chief Asad Umar said that schools will be closed in all districts with positivity rates higher than 5 percent.

He stated that markets will close at 6 pm, and only shops selling essential goods will be allowed to remain open afterward.

The NCOC head maintained that indoor and outdoor dining has been banned for the month of Ramazan while indoor gyms will also remain closed.

"Offices will close at 2 pm while only 50 percent staff will be allowed to attend physically. He highlighted that the government will devise a detailed policy on testing and quarantine of people coming from abroad.

"If the situation deteriorates, the government will be forced to impose a lockdown in different cities," he warned.

Meanwhile, Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said that the government has sought the help of the Pakistan Army in wake of the worsening coronavirus situation in order for the complete implementation of SOPs.

He added, "We have reached 90 percent capability of using oxygen and Lahore is the most affected." He stated that take precautions as there is no alternative.