RAWALPINDI/ISLAMABAD                  -                 While addressing a ceremony after inaugurating the upgraded 500-bed Cantonment General Hospital in Saddar, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that the government will provide doctors, paramedics and nurses fighting against coronavirus with the necessary personal protective equipments (PPEs) for their safety.

He said that the Command and Control Centre for coronavirus had prioritized providing safety material to the frontline medical staff, especially in emergency and Intensive Care Units (ICU).

“Pakistan will receive medical equipment and expertise from China to meet the challenges of novel coronavirus in the country.” At present the government has received all its equipment from China.

Defence Secretary Lt Gen (R) Ikram Ul Haq, Director General Military Land and Cantonment Boards Maj Gen Amir Hassnat Gillani, Director Military Land Faheem Zafar Khan, Station Commander Rawalpindi Brig Ijaz Qamar Kiani, Administrator CGH Brig (R) Imran Ul Haq and Col Shohai Iqbal, CEO RCB Umer Farooq Ali Malik, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Senior Vice President (Central) PTI Syed Zahid Hussain Kazmi, and MNA Amir Mehmood Kiani were also present on the occasion.

Addressing the ceremony, PM Imran Khan said that the demand for healthcare has equipment increased across the globe after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic. “We had already dispatched the equipment in the hospitals and where it had not reached yet, it will be sent in a day or two.”

 He said that the nation stood by their health professionals as they had to fight further with the coronavirus. “We will be thinking how to facilitate them and give incentives apart from their safety.”

To help the government support healthcare professionals and combat the economic fallout of the extended lockdown the Prime Minister also asked the nation to donate generously to the PM’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund-2020. “This fund will be used to take care of all those who have been made destitute by the lockdown”, Prime said in a tweet.

He said the people should send their tax-deductible donation to account no 4162786786, National Bank of Pakistan Main Branch Karachi. The Prime Minister had announced the fund on Monday to raise money for people who will directly bear the brunt of the financial impact of coronavirus.

Later, speaking in a telethon programme of a private TV Channel in connection with PM Corona Relief Fund in the evening, Prime Minister reiterated the government’s resolve to win the war against the pandemic with unity

“Nothing is impossible. Every difficulty is considered as a test for us. Allah Almighty has repeatedly said in the Holy Quran that He continues to test our faith. And I hope this Pakistani nation will emerge as a great and stronger nation from this test,” he asserted.

 The Prime Minister said the incumbent government had announced a historic financial stimulus package to deal with the adverse impact of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Although 12 million poor families across Pakistan are registered with Ehsaas Programme, yet data of 80 percent laborers in Pakistan is still missing.

Imran Khan said the government would maintain record of all the funds collected under Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund-2020, and they would be spent on merit under a transparent mechanism.

He said members of Corona Relief Tigers Force would visit door-to-door to identify the deserving families on a district and village level. He further assured that the Corona Relief Tigers Force would be established purely on merit and transparency without any political influence.

The Prime Minister said a Facebook page of the Ehsaas Programme would link the charity givers with the receivers in order to ensure proper distribution of the charity, ration and other things. He requested people to start registering on the Facebook page of the Ehsaas Programme.

Imran Khan also urged artists and celebrities to support government in collecting funds to support the poor families.  The Prime Minister warned that strict action would be taken against hoarders and profiteers, who would be found involved in exploiting the prevailing situation.