— PM says recent spike a result of ‘carelessness’ shown on Eidul Fitr but cases now declining
— SOPs devised to carry out animal sacrifices on Eidul Azha
ISLAMABAD: While urging the nation to mark the upcoming Eidul Azha with simplicity and to adopt precautions, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday warned that carelessness can ruin the hard work done to curtail the coronavirus spread and result in another spike with the emergence of fresh cases.
Speaking to the media after inaugurating the Isolation Hospital & Infectious Treatment Centre in Islamabad, the premier regretted that the recent wave of the pandemic was the result of “carelessness” shown on the occasion of Eidul Fitr in May.
“The peak led to pressure on our hospitals, our frontline workers also faced immense pressure, [and] we, unfortunately, lost lives,” he said.
“After Eid, we took steps to contain the virus, including smart lockdowns […] today, infections are decreasing. By the grace of the Almighty, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), provinces’ cooperation in implementing the instructions — due to the joint efforts of everyone, Pakistan is now among those countries where infections are declining.”
“Today, I want to make a special appeal to you all. If we are careless on Eidul Azha, the virus could spread again and there could be a fresh spike in the number of infections. Again, the hospitals will come under pressure. So I’m appealing to you all to mark this Eid with simplicity.”
Imran said the government has devised standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the upcoming Eid as to how to carry out animal sacrifices. “I appeal to the entire nation to observe this Eid with simplicity — for the sake of your country, its economy and especially the elderly and at-risk members of the society.
“If we take care now, then we can manage, God willing, to come out of this pandemic better than other countries.”
Earlier in the day, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Mohammad Afzal briefed the prime minister on the isolation centre.
The 250-bed state-of-the-art medical facility has been constructed in record 40 days at a cost of about Rs980 million.
Planning Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing and other senior officials were also present at the inauguration.