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ISLAMABAD, Jun 14 (APP):Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has said that the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading at an exponential rate and its peak period can be curtailed through a collective resolve for following the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

He said the enforcement of SOPs was a failed strategy in a heavy populated country like Pakistan where most of the people were poor and daily wagers.

However, through collective resolve the people could be persuaded to observe the guidelines to avoid being infected from the deadly virus, he said while talking to a private news channel.

The minister said the coronavirus took two to three months to reach its peak point and its would as much time to come back to its initial stage.

He said the smart lockdown was the only option in Pakistan to combat the COVID-19 as the total lockdown had proved to be an unsuccessful strategy in Beijing and Indian cities. “We also have to ensure unhindered economic activities in the country to save the financial interests of the poor segments of society.”

To a question, Fawad said the people would have to remain careful on their own against COVID-19. He feared that the virus might spread to the rural areas after Eid ul Azha.

The minister said the recovery rate of COVID-19 patients in Pakistan was higher in the world.

He said they had set an export target of indigeneously manufactured kits at $100 billion.

The Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), he said, had approved the kits produced in Pakistan with test accuracy of 99 percent, which would reduce the testing cost to one third of the present cost, he added.

To another question about granting relief to corona infected Shahbaz Sharif and Yusaf Raza Gilani, the minister said all the citizens were equal before the law and all the cases were registered against them in their respective tenures.