ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Friday urged the government to convene a multi-party conference (MPC) to evolve consensus on the fight against coronavirus.
Talking to reporters, PPP Senator Rehman Malik said that all provincial chief ministers should also be invited to the conference.
Voicing concern over the growing number of Covid-19 patients in the country, he noted that a smart lockdown would work only if strictly implemented with the force of law. He proposed imposition of a curfew to achieve the goal of containing the virus.
Senator Malik expressed his apprehension that the graph of coronavirus would continue to rise all over the world in the days to come. He referred to the statement of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) director general, who had expressed his fear that the number of coronavirus patients might cross the 200,000 mark during next two months in Pakistan. He stated that according to WHO formula if one patient was infected, he might affect 28 people around him and if the present figure of 70,000 patients was not quarantined properly the figure of the infected persons could reach up to two million by the end of June.
He appreciated the efforts being undertaken by the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) in the battle against coronavirus pandemic in the country. However, he expressed dissatisfaction over the implementation of the SOPs issued by WHO and NCOC for social distancing in offices and at public places.
Mr Malik, who heads the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, said most of the 37 recommendations of the panel had been implemented by the Ministry of Interior and other stakeholders while the remaining were under process.
He proposed that a special cell be created for patients from rural areas and called for making arrangements of their treatment within their areas. He said the rural population was contracting coronavirus rapidly and a lot of reports were suggesting that suspected patients were going unchecked.
He proposed that a special data management team should be formed with the collaboration of Nadra and the Statistics Division to maintain the data of coronavirus patients for proper management and for medical research in the future.
He said that the Ministry of National Education should make a special online education system which should not be expensive. A free-of-cost app should be developed by the IT Department and the online system should be from primary to post-graduation, he added.
“This App should be available for all schools, colleges, universities, institutions and professional and technical institutions as we do not know how long we are going to suffer,” he said.
Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2020