KARACHI                    -                Sindh Minister for Information, Local Government, Housing &Town Planning, Religious Affairs, Forest and Wildlife Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has said that if the federal government had adopted all the necessary preventive measures on time, then the situation could have been different in the country regarding the number of affected people from coronavirus.

While addressing the press conference, the provincial Minister for Information said that since the Federal Government did not take any imperative decision on time, therefore, people were facing a very difficult situation today with regard to the spreading of coronavirus.

Provincial Minister for Education Saeed Ghani and Provincial Minister for Energy Imtiaz Ahmed Sheikh were also present during the press conference. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that all the focus of the Federal Government was on the Taftan Border first, and now they were just keeping an eye on the people belonged to Tablighi Jamaat. The Minister said that no body in meantime checked the millions of people arrived in Pakistan from foreign countries, including the US and other countries infected with the coronavirus. He said that these people were neither properly checked at the airport nor later on. He further said these same people who came from abroad later became the big source of spreading the coronavirus in the country.

Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that the Prime Minister did not devise a joint strategy by taking on board all the four provinces, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir to control the spread of the virus in the beginning. The provincial Minister for Information said that it was only the Sindh Government that took timely steps to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. He said that Sindh Government was the first to contact the civil aviation and provided its team of doctors at the airport which could screen people coming from foreign countries. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah said that initially the Federal Government did not take any appropriate steps at the airports in terms of screening people. Provincial Information Minister said that it was the responsibility of the Federal Government to arrange for proper screening of the people at the airports. He said that after that, when Sindh Chief Minister took the first step with regard to the lockdown and also contacted the Prime Minister in this regard, even then the response was not in affirmative.

Shah said that apart from these things, the Federal Ministers baselessly kept on blaming the Sindh Government frequently, although it was not the appropriate time for the blame game. The Provincial Minister for Information said that it was the time to cooperate with each other and not for point scoring, but we lost that time. He said the Federal Government did not show seriousness in curbing the spread of the coronavirus. Nasir said federal Ministers could not bear the success of the Sindh Government with regard to taking timely decisiions. The provincial Minister for Information further said that “our actions were being mis-reported and an impression was being given that people were committing suicide, but he said that there was nothing like this at all.”

He said, the fact of the matter was that the Sindh Government was reaching out to all the needy people with the help of the welfare organizations and helping them. Syed Nasir Hussain Shah also thanked the people as they followed the directives of the provincial government and offered their prayers in their homes on the occasion of Shab e Barat. The Minister said that the provincial government did not plan the lockdown, but like other countries the coronavirus pandemic forced the government to take this undesireable decision.

Meanwhile, Sindh Education Minister Saeed Ghani while addressing the press conference said that all educational associations had agreed with the government to provide 20% relief in the fee. “We have also issued notification in this regard,” said the provincial Education Minister. Talking about ration and cash distribution, Saeed Ghani said that the Federal Government did not cooperate with Sindh Government regarding data verification. He said that Sindh government with the help of Pakistan Army and welfare organizations was providing ration to every needy person in the province. Saeed Ghani said that four lakh families had been provided with ration so far, while another five lakh families would be provided with all the essential food items soon. Ghani said, “we were screaming for proper lockdown right from day one but the logic of the Prime Minister was different. He said that this lockdown did not help us and if the decision of lockdown was to be taken back then there would be some reasons.