ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday emphasized on implementation of SOPs regarding control and preventive measures against coronavirus to protect lives of people.

He expressed these views while chairing a high-level meeting in Islamabad today on COVID-19 situation.

The Prime Minister said our population faces dual threats of lockdown as well as hunger and poverty. He said we have to create a balance between hunger and measures to control the pandemic.

Imran Khan said lockdown is an interim step and it is not a panacea for coronavirus. He said we have to make our decisions based on ground reality and situation of the people.

Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza gave a detailed briefing to the meeting on statistics of coronavirus patients in the country, confirmed cases, geographical spread, number of tests and proportional increase in cases. The demands of automobile sector especially motorcycle manufacturers and shopping malls association were also presented to the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister reiterated that policy of the government regarding lockdown is very clear. He said all those sectors will be facilitated without putting the lives of people into danger that are associated with people from poor and white collar class.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that his government would neither show any laxity nor make any compromise in its ongoing operation against smuggling owing to its two-pronged adverse economic impacts.

The prime minister while chairing a meeting to discuss the anti-smuggling measures and prices of daily use items said the smuggling was bane to the national economy for causing food insecurity and inflicting irreparable loss to the local industry, a PM Office statement said.

Industries Minister Hammad Azhar, National Food Security Minister Fakhar Imam, Finance Advisor Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Commerce Advisor Abdul Razzak Dawood, federal secretaries of interior, finance and food security, FBR Chairman, provincial chief secretaries, home secretaries and IG police attended the meeting.

The meeting was told that an ordinance had been promulgated to further strengthen the existing anti-smuggling law and strictly handle the elements involved in smuggling of currency and essential items.

 

Moreover, the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) have been empowered to act against smugglers at the airports as well as within five kilometers of the borders. The LEAs have also been given the powers to take such people into custody. Moreover, the ordinance would ensure a better coordination among the district administration, custom officials, secret agencies and LEAs.

 

The chairman FBR and provincial chief secretaries apprised the meeting on the measures taken so far for enforcement of anti-smuggling ordinance. The prime minister directed all the departments concerned to submit fortnightly report on the actions against smuggling and the people involved in the offense.

 

The provincial chief secretaries briefed the prime minister about the wheat crop and harvesting, prices of the essential commodities and the steps taken to reduce their rates. The provincial governments also presented a report to prime minister on action against the hoarders and profiteers. The prime minister directed the provincial administrations to pass on the impact of the reduced oil prices to the masses for providing them relief.