KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah on Monday criticized the federal government for not providing data to the provincial government despite its request for it for disbursement of cash assistance to the deprived people in the province.
“Before launching of the emergency cash relief assistance by the federal government, we had requested for data from the NADRA and other organizations. We had decided for cash aid in a bid to avoid public gathering,” CM Murad said while addressing a press conference in Karachi.
He said the virus would not stop and the nation would have to face the situation until its vaccine was invented. However, he said, we could jointly work at national level against it. “I want all the provinces to work together diligently and sincerely.”
He said in the course of action against the pandemic within his jurisdiction he definitely made mistakes, but nobody could blame him for inaction at least.
“Nobody in the country had any experience of dealing with a pandemic including our health experts team,” he said.
“We cannot take decision all alone in this situation. We began working after surfacing of first coronavirus case on Feb 26. We had constituted the task force by Feb 27. We included private and public officials in our task force,” he said.
The chief minister said the Sindh government was alleged of placing lockdown without proper deliberating on it, which was wrong. He said they imposed lockdown after consultation with political parties and proper planning.
“My suggestion (for lockdown) could have been completely wrong, but it is so far, so good. Rest of the provinces have also followed our model of lockdown, which we definitely copied from developed countries,” he said.
He said firs decision for partial lockdown was taken on Mar 13. Then, on Mar 21 they decided to make it more effective and began stricter lockdown from Mar 22 night, he maintained.
“We did not impose lockdown over the night. First of all schools, then shopping malls and markets were closed,” he said adding that lockdown did not mean that nobody could leave his home.
Murad Ali Shah said today more than 1.8 million people around the globe were infected. To fight the disease, we have to frequently wash hands and stay at homes, he said.
He said ration was sent to 0.25 million houses across the province in cooperation with welfare organizations. “We will not allow distribution of ration in big gathering,” he said.
The Sindh chief minister said they had been trying to stop the virus from spreading into rural areas.