ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz has said that he is very thankful to people of Multan who rejected Opposition’s rally.

He said that Multan is a city of 2.5 million people but hardly 10,000 to 15,000 people attended the Opposition’s rally.

Addressing a Press conference alongwith Dr Faisal Sultan Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health here on Tuesday, he said that in the wake of coronavirus pandemic when cases are rising all over the country, Opposition is playing havoc with public health. He said Monday’s PDM procession in Multan was a sheer failure as public rejected Opposition’s rally.

The Information Minister said that there was nothing for public in the speeches of Opposition in PDM rally.

PTI has done much bigger rallies but in wake of rising cases of Covid-19 in the country, when curfew is being imposed in various countries. SOPs are being violated in the rallies of Opposition, he added.

The day is not far off when people of Pakistan will hold accountable these corrupt politicians, said Shibli Faraz.

For last several days, they turned Multan into an arena to accomplish their goals, which will not strengthen democracy in the country, he said.

He said that processions and public gatherings have been banned on account of coronavirus rising cases but being part of govt,we will not stop them and action will be taken against their respective leadership.

The Minister said that with positive steps of the government, national economy is moving on right track.

Pakistan defeated coronavirus earlier as strict steps were taken against coronavirus pandemic, he said.

Commenting on rhetoric of Maryam Nawaz, Senator Shibli Faraz stated that she cannot speak the truth and trying to befool public with falsehood and lies.

The Minister said that Prime Minister Imran Khan does not get frustrated from difficulties. 

The Minister underlined rallies on account of rising cases of Covid-19 have been declared illegal and FIRs will be registered against leadership and administrators of these processions.

He said that complete lockdown cannot be imposed in the country.

He further said that Ravi Development project will prove a milestone in construction sector as thousands of new job opportunities will be created from this project.

He said this project will be a mega plan for survival of Lahore. He also added that enormous progress has been developed in Bundal Eyeland project.

He also added that this project has been designed with 60 billion dollars investment and it will provide jobs to millions of people in the country.

He said that complete lockdown cannot be imposed in the country.

Responding to a question about Ishaq Dar, Shibli Faraz said that PML-N leadership despite efforts can’t speak the truth. Their politics starts from lies and apparatus of their entire politics depends on falsehood and lies, he added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health said that Federal Cabinet was briefed on progress on corona vaccine.

He said that Federal Cabinet has allocated 150 million dollars for preparation of corona vaccine.

He added that seven companies have been short listed for preparation of vaccine. 

He said that provision of medicine to frontline health workers will be top priority of the government.

He added that in second phase, elderly people will be priority of the government, and in third phase, public will be provided with vaccine against coronavirus.

The SAPM said that prices of medicines and injections used against coronavirus are being reduced.

He said the entire world appreciated efforts of Pakistan for successfully keeping control against Coronavirus in first wave in earlier part of the year. 

He said same initiative will be taken in second wave to keep check on coronavirus.

He said that it would be too early to state when vaccine against coronavirus will come in the market.

He hoped that in first quarter of 2021, coronavirus vaccine will be available.

 

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tuesday reported 67 Covid-related deaths as it crossed 400,000 mark of overall Coronavirus infection across the country.

The country is continuously witnessing a surge in fatalities in recent weeks as the second Coronavirus wave has hit the country. It reported 2458 more cases during the last 24 hours, taking the nationwide death toll to 8,091 and with 2,458 new cases reported in the country, the tally of positive cases to 400,482 on Tuesday.

According to the latest figures displayed on the National Coronavirus Dashboard of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), the NCOC confirmed the death of 67 more people during the last 24 hours besides reporting that 2,458 more persons tested positive for Covid-19. The figure issued by NCOC stated that Sindh remains the worst-hit province by the pandemic as the cases surged to 174,350, followed by Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Punjab has overtaken Sindh in most number of casualties. Till now 174,350 Coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 119,578 in Punjab, 47,370 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 17,187 in Balochistan, 30,406 in Islamabad, 6,933 in Azad Kashmir and 4,658 in Gilgit-Baltistan. The country-wide death toll has surged to 8,091 and province wise figures show that 3,036 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Punjab, 2,935 in Sindh, 1,369 in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 167 in Balochistan, 318 in Islamabad, 169 in Azad Kashmir and 97 in Gilgit-Baltistan. At present, there are 119 critical cases across the country.

Earlier, during the meeting, the NCOC was informed that despite an increase in the Covid-19 cases across the country, the Covid-19 positivity rate has decreased from 7.2 per cent to 6pc.

Among the provinces and federation units, AJK’s positivity ratio is the highest at 14.5 percent. AJK is followed by Sindh, where the positivity rate is recorded at 10.1 percent. Last week, the NCOC was told that Sindh had the highest positivity rate of 13.25 percent while Gilgit-Baltistan has the lowest positivity ratio of 2.6 percent in the country.

According to the positivity rate recorded in the provinces and federation units, Sindh has 10.1 percent, Punjab 3.5 percent, Balochistan 9.4 percent, KP 3.8 percent, Islamabad 4.3 percent, GB 2.6 percent, and AJK 14.5 percent.

According to the officials, Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s Mirpur city has crossed 20 percent and is recorded to be the highest in the country, followed by Peshawar and Hyderabad. Mirpur’s positivity rate jumped to 20.62pc from 14.97pc, which was recorded last week. The positivity ratio in Peshawar is 19.58 percent, while Hyderabad’s rate is 19.03 percent. Karachi, which has the fourth highest positivity ratio, witnessed a drop from 17.73 percent to 13.86 percent.

The Forum was also briefed on the policy pertaining to Rapid Antigen Testing (RAT). The experts said that a national policy has been prepared to initiate RAT testing method which was in sync with the guidelines of World Health Organisation. The executive director of the National Institute of Health said that the authorities of all the provinces and regions had been taken on board to devise a unified strategy to hold Antigen Testing as per the international standards. Representatives of provincial governments, who attended the meeting, told NCOC that all necessary arrangements were being made to hold Antigen testing in all major hospitals.