Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said coronavirus pandemic has hit the labourer community the most worldwide and stressed the need for a joint global strategy to address the challenges pertaining to the highly vulnerable populace. Speaking at a virtual global summit on ‘Covid-19 and the World of Work’, organized by International Labour Organization, Imran Khan said lockdown in countries has left a big population jobless, most of them labourers, daily wagers and self-employed. “We need a joint strategy on how to soften the impact on labourers world over,” he told the gathering of world leaders and heads of top world organizations, via video-link here from his office. The five-day ILO Global Summit became the largest-ever online gathering of workers, employers and governments that discussed on how to address the economic and social impacts of the pandemic. Imran Khan said as businesses are getting bankrupt amid coronavirus pandemic, the small and medium industries are to be affected the most in long run. “The future is very uncertain and we don’t know how long the economy will take to recover from this lockdown,” he said, adding that labourers remain the most vulnerable section of the society in the wake of pandemic. He mentioned that this ‘informal and unregistered sector of economy’ is a big challenge for his government along with their families who are dependent on their income. He feared slowdown in agricultural sector leading to food crisis, however mentioned that the construction sector in the country was opened fairly quickly. He said his government through its social welfare programme – Ehsaas – approached the registered deserving families and disbursed among them assistance money for livelihood, making the largest ever transaction in country’s history in a short span of time. Contrarily, India’s strict ‘curfew-like’ lockdown pushed millions below poverty line, he said. The prime minister said Pakistan and several other countries greatly rely on the remittances received from its expatriates and stressed a strategy to convince the host countries for a ‘sympathetic approach’ before laying off the workers. He lauded the initiative of ILO Global Summit Conference for being held at a critical juncture and offering a platform for countries to learn from each other’s experiences of dealing with the pandemic. He termed the conference a beginning towards finding of solutions and expressed hope that constant exchange of ideas would help mitigate the sufferings of the labourers world over. Separately, Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday directed for holding of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meetings in all the provincial capitals, so as to further effectively improve administrative measures in coordination and cooperation of the provincial governments and the concerned administrations with regard to containing coronavirus. The prime minister was chairing a meeting to review Covid-19 situation in the country. During the meeting, the prime minister expressed his satisfaction over the positive outcome of steps to control coronavirus and observed that that they would have to make the administrative measures more effective while learning from their experiences to further reduce the cases. The prime minister was given a detailed briefing on recent situation, regional scenario, positive outcome of the smart lockdown strategy, available facilities and beds in hospitals for the Covid-19 infected patients, and especially the strategy during Eid ul Azha and Muharram ul Haram to control its spread. It was told that smart lockdown was enforced at 227 areas of 30 different cities which had brought about encouraging results. The meeting was further briefed that from the experiences of other countries, it had surfaced that complete lockdown did not yield the desired results and after lifting of these lockdowns due to economic hardships, the situation exacerbated besides, increase in death rates. Contrary to it, the smart lockdown policy in Pakistan remained most effective, it was said. The prime minister was apprised that due to decreasing number of coronavirus cases, the burden on hospitals was also reduced to a great extent. Beds with specific treatment facilities for the coronavirus patients had been increased to 1,500 and it would be further taken to a total of 2,500 in the next few days. The prime minister also directed for ensuring strict implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and all the precautionary measures on the occasion of Eid ul Azha.