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Govt to gradually lift lockdown to mitigate economic impact: PM Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan, addressing volunteers of the Corona Relief Tigers Forces on Monday, said the government will gradually ease lockdown enforced to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

He said the lockdown restrictions took a serious toll on daily-wage earners and weak segments of society, adding there is a need to lift the lockdown to mitigate its economic impact on the masses.

“We need to ease the lockdown so the people can get back their jobs,” the prime minister said, cautioning that if the people didn’t adhere to standard operating procedures (SOPs) and gather at public places, coronavirus cases may spike, compelling the government to enforce the lockdown again.

Outlining the role of the volunteer force, he said the Corona Relief Tiger Force will help needy people in these difficult times, educate them on the government’s guidelines on precautions, and assist the local administration as it can’t alone do everything.

He added the volunteer force is aimed to help the government meet the challenges posed by the pandemic.

The premier said the volunteer force will also help save people from contracting the virus and going hungry.

They will register the people who lost their jobs due to the lockdown in their union councils and monitor the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme and give the government feedback, he explained.

Prime Minister Khan said two days back, the government launched a web portal for people who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus to register themselves for cash assistance under the Ehsaas programme. He added the Tiger force will identify such people and help them get registered for the cash grant.

He asked the volunteers to also keep an eye on hoarders and inform the administration so that it could take action against them.

Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar said 20,000 members of Tiger Force have been given responsibilities in Sialkot to help the district administration in face of the coronavirus challenges.

He said the government has operationalised 203-bed hospital in Sialkot where 403 paramedics are performing their services voluntarily.  Similarly, he said 9,000 volunteers of the tiger force are helping in enforcing standard operating procedures (SOPs) in 3,000 mosques in Sialkot.

Usman Dar further said that they are also helping in distributing ration among needy families.

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