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Interior ministry notifies deployment of army for implementation of Covid-19 SOPs – Pakistan

The interior ministry has issued a notification allowing the provinces and federal territories to seek the help of the army to enforce SOPs for curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

In a video message on Sunday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said as per the notification Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir and Islamabad will avail the services of the Pakistan Army for implementation of Covid-19 SOPs “as per their need”. He said Sindh had not opted to be part of the measure for now.

He said this was a “big decision” taken because neighbouring India was reporting 350,000 or more Covid cases on a daily basis.

On Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said he had asked the Pakistan Army to assist the police and law enforcement agencies in enforcing Covid-19 SOPs, warning that Pakistan may soon be facing a situation similar to India if the current trend continued.

Addressing the nation after a meeting of the National Coordination Committee, he said: “I am appealing to you to follow SOPs so that we don’t have to take steps that India is taking which means imposing lockdowns. Half the problem is solved when you wear face masks.”

More to follow.

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