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Coronavirus: Pakistan begins assistance under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme from Thursday

Prime Minister Imran Khan says provision of cash assistance to poor deserving families under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme will begin from tomorrow (Thursday), the Radio Pakistan reported. 
Talking to media about prevailing coronavirus situation in Islamabad on Wednesday evening, he assured that distribution of funds to the deserving families will be totally merit-based, transparent and non-political what may come.
He said the process of awarding cash worth 144 billion rupees to 12 million deserving families will be completed within next two and half weeks.
Imran Khan informed that Coronavirus Relief Tigers Force will continue to identify deserving poor people at district and union council level, and these will be added in the list of deserving people. 
The prime minister cautioned that every single person out of 100 persons in Pakistan might be infected due to Covid-19. 
He urged the citizens to understand gravity of the Coronavirus situation and demonstrate responsibility by adopting all necessary precautionary measures to contain the virus.
The prime minister urged the opposition leaders, parliamentarians and civil society to support government in its endeavours to steer Pakistan out of Covid-19.
Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar said the government has received over 30.5 million SMS on 8171 for financial assistance under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme.
She said over 12 million deserving families will be awarded 12,000 rupees each after biometric verification.   Dr Sania Nishtar said Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme is countrywide umbrella, and all provinces, including Federation, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, are part of this platform.
The Special Assistant asked people to contact toll-free helpline number 0800-26477 for any query.
In his remarks, NDMA Chairman Lt General Muhammad Afzal said Personal Protective Equipment will be sent to all provincial hospitals during the next three days. 
He said at present, 22 laboratories are functional across the country, while equipment for establishing further 12 laboratories has been dispatched to the provinces.
The NDMA Chairman said 100,000 testing kits will arrive in Pakistan tonight out of which 35000 kits will be given to Sindh, 15000 to Balochistan, while 25000 each will be given to Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.   
Lt General Muhammad Afzal informed that 2,35,000 more testing kits will be imported on Friday.

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