APP36-101220 ISLAMABAD: December 10 - Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs the meeting of National Coordination Committee on COVID-19. APP

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday urged the opposition parties to rethink their protest strategy and postpone public gathering for two to three months for the sake of people’s lives as COVID-19 patients have already occupied 40 percent of the country’s hospital capacity.

“In Multan, 64 percent of hospital beds are full, 40 percent in Peshawar, 50 percent in Islamabad. At an average, 40 percent of the country’s hospitals are under occupancy,” the Prime Minister said in a media briefing after he had chaired meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on COVID-19.

He said the opposition parties could hold gatherings after two or three months for the sake of people’s lives. To this end the government had already closed down educational institutions, indoor wedding ceremonies and dining at restaurants.

The Prime Minister said amid the opposition’s public gatherings, it was difficult for the government to justify the enforcement of standard operating procedures (SOPs) like social distancing on other sectors like businesses and mosques.

The enforcement of SOPs during the second wave, he added, was already a challenge across the world as the people were resisting their governments’ decisions.

“Public gathering do not change governments. I have had the largest public gatherings,” Prime Minister said. He said the public gatherings will enhance the chances of spreading virus when the pressure at healthcare system including doctors and nurses was already on rise.

He said during the first wave, Pakistan had successfully navigated because the people had taken the precautions as a nation and observed discipline.


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