ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz said yesterday that those who targeted the COVID-19 policy of Prime Minister Imran Khan should at least praise him after it has succeeded in balancing between the health concerns and economic activities.  

“Even at that time the elite in the country tried to do politics over the issue and called for complete lockdown without keeping in view the situation faced by the poor segments of the society,” he said while taking a jibe at the opposition parties.

He said that the government has been pursuing a balanced and effective strategy to cope with the challenge of coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus and Focal Person to the PM on COVID-19 Dr. Faisal Sultan here, the minister said that coronavirus has engulfed the entire world and Pakistan introduced the smart lockdown policy in this situation to save precious lives and the economy simultaneously.

The minister said that Imran Khan was not deterred despite criticism and reiterated his calls to balance between the pandemic measures and economic activity.

Prime Minister needs to be praised for his effective leadership

Following this smart lockdown strategy to cope COVID-19, majority of countries are replicating this strategy in many other countries in the world.

The minister said that Pakistan cannot afford complete lockdown policy.

He underlined that some countries in first step against Covid-19 had adopted strict lockdown to control the spread of this global pandemic but they are facing disturbing economic hardships and rising death toll.

Shibli Faraz said the  National Command and Operation Center has played a vital role and managed the situation scientifically.

Senator Shibli Faraz said that the government, in this satiation, also disbursed cash assistance among over 13 million deserving families at their door steps.

He said that the government will also handle economic hurdle and the nation will witness improving economy due to the economy-friendly policies of the government.

Speaking on this occasion, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus said the federal and provincial governments and Armed Forces took unanimous decisions and introduced a targeted trace, testing and quarantine strategy.

She said that one thirds of the COVID-19 tests are being conducted under this strategy.

She said that the objective of smart lockdown policy was to control the epidemic maintaining the economy.

She further said that the complete lockdown strategy could have a detrimental effect on the public and the economy as well.

Tania said, now the number of cases on daily basis is declining.

Focal person to PM on COVID-19 Dr. Faisal Sultan, on this occasion, said that all provinces and other federating units are on the same page to meet this global epidemic and played a commendable role in this regard.

He said that the nation should continue following the Standard Operating Procedures strictly and seriously to stop further spread of the corona during Eid and Muharram.

He urged the people to avoid going to gatherings without wearing masks.

He said that all indicators are showing decline in the pandemic spread and this success was made possible due to team work.