ISLAMABAD : Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that the country cannot endure any more total lockdowns. He said that we can’t stop coronavirus from spreading, it can only be prevented by following SOPs. Addressing the corona Tiger Force, PM Imran Khan said that we have decided to recruit volunteers to fight the coronavirus. So far, one million Corona Tigers have registered to raise awareness about the pandemic. He said 175,000 volunteers provided assistance in various relief activities during lockdown. The Prime Minister said that Coronavirus is not going to stop completely, it will continue to spread. He said that if people do not follow SOPs, there is a danger of an even greater loss. He hinted that coronavirus hotspots in the country may have to be sealed in the coming days. He said that the country can still come out relatively unscathed from this crisis If people follow SOPs and decide to be responsible. PM said that lockdowns imposed in poor countries due to coronavirus have caused havoc in the lower strata of their population while on the other hand businesses in even the richest of countries are being destroyed due to Corona. He said that even in the richest country like USA there are shortages of food and people are having to queue up to be fed. There was a severe lockdown in India which adversely affected the poor with people dying on the roads due to closure of transport. Imran Khan said that we knew that any sort of extended lockdown would increase poverty. This ban on movement is difficult for the public and places a heavy burden on them. Now, the world is moving towards ‘smart lockdown’, he added. He said that mosques were kept open under SOPs during Ramadan and by the grace of Allah, the coronavirus did not spread from mosques. PM Imran said that 1,750 deaths have taken place in 3 months today. Talking about the economic situation of the country, the Prime Minister said that our revenue has been reduced by Rs 800 billion and half of the tax collected in the first year was paid on loan interests. He said that if the relief package had not been announced, the situation in the country would have been much worse.He said that the government has paid Rs 5,000 billion in interest on the loans taken by previous governments, adding that more challenges lay ahead in the next budget.
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