KARACHI - The Sindh government has directed the deputy commissioners of the districts where coronavirus cases have been reported to randomly test province-wide recipients of the federal government’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah fears that programme’s applicants might contract and spread the coronavirus because each applicant is given money after their fingerprints are verified via a biometric scanner. In a notification issued on Friday, the Sindh Government called for random sampling, especially at seven money distribution centres in Tando Muhammad Khan where 31 COVID-19 cases have been reported so far. Social distancing is not being practiced among people who are lining up at the money distribution centres and the way money is being distributed is likely to result in the further spread of COVID-19, CM Shah said.

Speaking to private Tv chanbnel, PTI leader Haleem Adil Sheikh expressed annoyance with the decision. He began with PML-N leader Khawaja Asif’s famous words that he said in the National Assembly when the PML-N was in power: “Koi sharam hoti hai, koi haya hoti hai“

 

Sheikh said it is a matter of disgrace. “There are around 1.8 million people who have been given Rs12,000 each. They are our mothers and sisters.”

 

Sheikh added that the provincial government is responsible for ensuring preventive measures for the public. The Centre was responsible for the money and they fulfilled it by giving it, he said.

 

“If they can go and stick their party’s posters [at Ehsaas programme’s centres], then why can they not ensure social distancing there?” he asked.