ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said the government would welcome any input from the opposition to face the challenge of Coronavirus.
Addressing a meeting of the parliamentary leaders in the National Assembly and Senate in Islamabad via video link, he urged political parties to come forward and join forces with the government to reassess the situation.
The prime minister said at the moment, he believed that we should not go for a complete lockdown and complete shutdown of the transport as it would affect food and other supplies.
He said complete lockdown would also have a disastrous impact on the construction industry leaving the labour class jobless, and we should take care of this.
Imran Khan said any decision taken out of fear and panic would have its repercussions, which should be kept in view before taking any extreme step.
The prime minister said he would keep his views over the negative impact of lockdown in National Coordination Committee meeting being held on Thursday (tomorrow).
He said the government was working on raising a volunteer force to enhance response to fight the disease and provide relief to the poor people.
Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza said, “there are one thousand confirmed cases of Coronavirus so far in the country.”
He said 78 per cent cases of COVID-19 have come from Iran and only five per cent of cases were locally transmitted.
Chairman National Disaster Management Authority Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal said the government had released 26 billion rupees for acquiring necessary equipment and other things to fight COVID-19.
He said 500 ventilators, injections, masks, and other things would be acquired to meet the needs in wake of the pandemic.
He said about half million masks, including 50,000 N-95 masks had reached Karachi.