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Pakistan

Govt using system to test, trace suspected coronavirus cases given by ISI: PM

PM says the the government is devising a programme to provide interest-free loan to Small and Medium Eterprises (SM
Updated 23 Apr, 2020
  • PM says the the government is devising a programme to provide interest-free loan to Small and Medium Eterprises (SMEs).
  • No government can face the challenge of coronavirus alone and without the support of its people: Imran.
  • Imran says it is time to reinforce smart lockdown to support economy of the country.

(Karachi) Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the government is using a system which has been provided by  the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to test, trace and quarantine suspected coronavirus cases. He added the system  was designed for terrorists but it is being used by the government to counter coronavirus.

He said this while speaking during Ehsaas Telethon on a private TV channel which was held to raise funds to tackle the pandemic on Thursday.

Imran said that tracking and testing is the only way to reopen businesses. He said consequences of coronavirus lockdown are yet to come. He said the economic impact of coronavirus will worsen further and the government is raising funds to cope with the arising situation.

The PM said the government is utilizing donated funds in a transparent manner to help poor people. "No government can face the challenge of coronavirus alone and without the support of its people," the PM stated.

He remarked, "Everyone has to put in their share to defeat the deadly pandemic." He said no country can reinforce a lockdown for an indefinite period.

He pointed out that overseas Pakistanis contribute generously whenever the country faces a bigger challenge. "What differentiates the coronavirus from other viruses is that its rate of spread is "unprecedented". He urged citizens to practise social distancing.

The prime minister mentioned that it is the responsibility of the government to spend funds for the right purpose and for the right cause.

He highlighted, "We have to go for smart lockdown to support economy of the country. There is need to open small shops and other businesses for economic growth." Imran said, "We will have to live with it. Every country will have to adjust according to its conditions."

The PM said that the number of deserving people is increasing with each passing day due to lockdown and coronavirus situation in the country.

He said that there is no political interference in Ehsaas cash disbursement programme and the entire process is computerised. The premier said that he did not start fundraising to help those affected by coronavirus until he fixed the financial controls.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that police and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials are involved in ensuring transparency in the government's Ehsaas cash disbursement programme.

"This will be the most transparent programme in the country's history and it had taken 10 months to constitute the database for the programme and beneficiaries."

To a question regarding allowing conregations in mosques during Ramazan, the prime minister said that a 20-point plan has been agreed with Ulema on the matter on public demand. "However, the responsibility for ensuring that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government for congregational prayers are followed would be on the Ulema," he stated.

He said that the government is devising a programme to provide interest-free loan to Small and Medium Eterprises (SMEs) and it will be announced soon.

Khan said that the government will use deficit funding if required to save the economy.

Responding to a question over effects of the situation on upcoming budget, he said tax collection and revenue are likely to decrease.

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