Pakistani military will do everything to save people's lives amid COVID-19 pandemic: DG ISPR

06:19 PM | 26 Apr, 2021
Pakistani military will do everything to save people's lives amid COVID-19 pandemic: DG ISPR
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RAWALPINDI – Pakistan's military spokesman says the armed forces will do everything in their power to protect people's lives as the South Asian country has been hit hard by the third wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar, the Director-General of Pakistan's military media wing, said that the Army has been called in under Article 245 of the Constitution to assist civil administration and law enforcement agencies to prevent spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A brigadier level officer will head the army troops at divisional level, while an officer with the rank of Lt Colonel will serve at district level.

"Pakistan Army will not claim any kind of internal security allowance for its services in containing the contagion," the DG ISPR said, adding that the Pakistan Army had brought about "enhanced deployment" of its troops in Islamabad, Peshawar, Mardan, Nowshera, Charsadda, Swabi, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Bahawalpur, Gujrat, Karachi, Hyderabad, Quetta and Muzaffarabad.

He informed that the positivity ratio had shot up to over 5% in 91 cities of Pakistan, while the healthcare infrastructure was under "immense pressure" as critical care patients were increasing daily. 

Iftikhar further said 75 percent of oxygen has been reserved for the health sector and if situation aggravates the oxygen meant for industrial sector will also be diverted to hospitals to save lives.  

There are around 90,000 active Covid cases in Pakistan, he continued, while positivity ratio of these cases is higher than five percent in 51 cities. This ratio is higher in 16 cities, which include Islamabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Hyderabad, Quetta, and Muzaffarabad. Ventilator occupancy has reached to 90 percent in some of the cities.

So far 17,187 people have died of Covid-19.

He went on to say that nation's trust is asset of the armed forces of Pakistan and "we will not disappoint the people of Pakistan in this hour of need and will take every possible step to secure lives of the masses."

The DG ISPR called for collective responsibilities of observing Standard Operating Procedure like wearing face mask and maintaining social distance to avoid spread of the virus. "By strict compliance of SOPs at homes and mosques, during Ramadan, we can help one another in this critical time," he concluded.

The ISPR presser comes a day after the Sindh government wrote a letter to the Interior ministry seeking the services of the troops to ensure implementation of COVID-19 protocols.

In a video message on Sunday, Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed said a notification has been issued under which Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Islamabad Capital Territory, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir can sought services of military troops as per their needs for implementation of SOPs in the wake of increasing virus cases in the country.

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