Imran Khan chides Pak's top health advisor for not taking SC hearing on COVID-19 seriously
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has chided his advisor on health for his "irresponsible attitude" and failing to brief the Supreme Court on the efforts of his government to contain the disease, as the number of coronavirus cases in the country crossed 6,400 on Thursday.
Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has chided his advisor on health for his "irresponsible attitude" and failing to brief the Supreme Court on the efforts of his government to contain the disease, as the number of coronavirus cases in the country crossed 6,400 on Thursday.
The apex court on Tuesday expressed displeasure on the handling of pandemic by the government and directed the removal of Dr Zafar Mirza as the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health for failing to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak in the country.
Prime Minister Khan in the Cabinet meeting on Wednesday reprimanded Mirza for his "irresponsible attitude" during his recent appearance before the court.
Sources privy to the Cabinet proceeding said that Khan said that his advisor "failed to brief the top court about so many efforts going on in the country to defeat the disease".
Mirza enjoys the status of a state minister. He was appointed Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health last year after the then Health Minister Amir Kayani was removed from his post for failing to check spiralling drug prices.
Mirza's removal would be a major setback to the Imran Khan government as he is one who is leading the campaign against COVID-19 in Pakistan and addressing media daily about the steps being taken to control its outbreak.
Pakistan has recorded 6,424 coronavirus cases, according to various officials and media reports.
So far Punjab has registered 3,143, Sindh 1,668, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa 912, Balochistan 281, Gilgit-Baltistan 234, Islamabad 140 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 46 patients. So far 1,446 people had recovered but 111 died.
The apex court at point also criticised the entire Cabinet for the failure to address the problems by the country, resulting in debate on social media, with some users lashing at the court.
Prime Minister Khan ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to probe against the people responsible for running a social media campaign against the country's top judge and other members of the superior judiciary.
According to a notification by Khan's Office, the prime minister has taken a very serious view of the recent campaign on social media in which uncalled, immoderate and intemperate language was used against the superior judiciary of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Pakistan railways ministry has finalised a strategy for partially resuming train operations across all four provinces upon the end of a lockdown or any relaxation, the Express Tribune reported.
The services were suspended last month as part of the lockdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Train operations will partially resume in all four provinces and 24 trains will start functioning for up and down operations after approval from the prime minister," the report quoted sources as saying.
The train staff and passengers must adhere to safety guidelines during the special train operation while strict action would be taken as per railway rules in case of any violations.
The booking for a train would only be done online and it would be stopped after the reservation of 60 per cent of seats as part of policy to maintain social distancing.
No irrelevant person will be allowed to enter the railway station and those coming to see off must remain at least 200 metres away from the station, the report said The passengers are advised to carry their own masks, sanitisers and soaps.