Implementation of SOPs related to collective worship is the responsibility of Ulema, Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday the government is mulling the option of imposing a “smart lockdown” to curb further spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

Speaking during Ehsaas programme Live Telethon which was telecast by a number of TV channels he said the government aims to provide relief to the labour class, daily wage earners and the weak segment of society.

Prime Minister Khan stressed the need for “national unity and coordinated efforts” to ride out the coronavirus crisis.

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He said the government announced a historic relief package for the poor to mitigate their suffering during the lockdown, billing the Ehsaas Cash Emergency Programme a transparent and merit-based scheme.

He said the government earmarked Rs144 billion for underprivileged segments of society under the Ehsaas Cash Emergency Programme.

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The prime minister revealed the government is using a system to trace suspected coronavirus cases provided by the country’s premier intelligence agency, explaining the system was originally put in place to track down terrorists.

Emphasising the need for tracking and testing to allow businesses to resume operations, he said an indefinite lockdown is not an option to arrest the spread of the deadly infection.

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The premier said a 20-point action plan was agreed with Ulema on congregational prayers in mosques during Ramazan. It is up to the religious scholars to ensure the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are followed to keep the virus at bay, he added.

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