In a shocking development, sources have reported on Sunday that Karachi-based NGO Saylani Welfare Trust, has allegedly refused to offer food packets to Christians and Hindus amid the Coronavirus lockdown imposed in parts of Pakistan. Sources state that while several NGOs have been entrusted to distribute food to stranded daily wage workers in parts of Pakistan, the Saylani Welfare trust had allegedly refused to give food to minority workers. They were then allegedly provided food by Edhi people. Pakistan currently has reported 1526 cases with 16 deaths.
On March 21, Saylani Welfare Trust chairman Maulana Bashir Farooqi had announced that they would provide ration to 1.2 million poor persons in Pakistan, as per reports. Farooqi added that the Trust is arranging the 'Dastarkhan' on a daily basis which would reportedly function as roti banks to provide take away food packets to poor families. Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, who reportedly reviewed the distribution process on Thursday, lauded the initiatives of the Saylani Welfare Trust to aid the needy.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan Prime Minister's Adviser on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza claimed that the situation was under control as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country was still limited to 1,526 with 121 testing positive in past 24 hours. He said that 1,106 suspected cases were added during the last 24 hours, taking the total number of such cases to 13,324. Mirza said that 857 out of 1,526 COVID-19 patients were the pilgrims who came from virus-hit Iran, while 191 patients came back from other countries and the rest were local transmissions.
Pakistan PM Imran Khan said that Pakistan cannot afford to implement the type of large-scale urban lockdowns the West is undertaking as it tries to slow the spread of coronavirus. Khan had said locking down megacities such as Karachi with millions of people living in close proximity would devastate the country's fragile economy. Pakistan has suspended all international flights, curtailed train services for two weeks and banned public gatherings, shut schools, shops (apart from groceries and pharmacies) in several parts of Pakistan - including its capital Islamabad. Provinces like Balochistan and Sindh are already under lockdown due to the high number of cases.