New Delhi: Around 90,000 youths have registered for Pakistan’s volunteer programme, the Corona Relief Tiger Force, set up by Prime Minister Imran Khan in the fight against Covid-19, reported Geo News.
According to the report, the statement was made by Usman Dar, Adviser to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs, who also said the registration website saw 400,000 visitors within the first 50 minutes of its launch.
The force is supposed to consist of young people above 18 years who, in coordination with the army and administration, will distribute food to the poor and create awareness about Covid-19 in areas under lockdown. It will also be in charge of managing affairs at the quarantine centres in urban and rural areas.
1) Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI announced the establishment of Corona Relief Tiger Force, constituting of youth. This force will join hands with the government and the army to aid the people of our country amid this pandemic pic.twitter.com/JpfJaQIDOv
— Prime Minister's Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) March 30, 2020
According to the Ministry of Youth Affairs, the programme is an opportunity for young people to join the frontline in the fight against Covid-19 along with nurses, paramedical staff and doctors.
Registration for the force started on 31 March and will continue till 10 April. A Corona Relief Tiger Force is meant to be established in every union council.
Pakistan has recorded 1,865 coronavirus cases, 25 deaths and 59 recoveries until Tuesday, with Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan as the main hotbeds.
Only some areas under lockdown
In an address to the nation Monday night, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan ruled out a nationwide lockdown, saying that would create “unrest” like the one being witnessed in a neighbouring country. “When 25 per cent [people] are below poverty and 20 per cent just above it, we are talking about more than 80 million people in Pakistan [who will suffer due to poverty],” he added.
However, he did suggest that regions with a greater concentration of the disease could be locked down.
During this address, Khan announced setting up a Prime Minister’s Relief Fund for Covid-19 and the formation of the Corona Relief Tiger Force as part of measures he is taking to combat the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood had also weighed in Monday on the debate about a nationwide lockdown, saying it was not possible in a country where 50 per cent of the population is deprived of basic food items.