MCI, NDMA join hands to fight coronavirus outbreak in capital

Updated Jun 03 2020

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People sit beside aboard displaying preventive meausres against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, outside a mall in Islamabad on March 16, 2020. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) — AFP or licensors
People sit beside aboard displaying preventive meausres against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, outside a mall in Islamabad on March 16, 2020. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) — AFP or licensors

ISLAMABAD: The Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) have decided to join hands to fight the cronavirus pandemic in Islamabad.

The MCI said it would attach its Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team with the NDMA for disinfection jobs.

“In response to a letter from the NDMA, I informed them that we are ready to attach our USAR team with them to help fight cronoavirus pandemic. Our team will work with NDMA mainly for disinfection jobs in Islamabad,” Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz told Dawn.

He said the USAR team was already playing its role in the fight against cronavirus. “Since NDMA is a bigger organisation, which has sufficient resources, it is good to attach USAR with them for better results,” he said.

We will attach Urban Search and Rescue team with NDMA for disinfection jobs, says mayor

The mayor in its letter said: “The MCI is devoted to extend all possible assistance and support through its designated directorate of emergency and disaster management (E&DM) for the purpose of required disinfection jobs. Nevertheless, the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team was trained by the Swedish instructors on the international delineate of International Search and Rescue Advisory Group guidelines to eventually respond to natural and manmade disasters primarily in the event of collapsed structures, carrying out underneath search for victims and their subsequent recovery etc.”

The letter said a requisite memorandum of understanding (MoU) was the need of the hour. Therefore, he said: “The modalities (at your end) may kindly be finalised and shared as a final draft, enabling both the offices to subsequently proceed with its immediate actualisation by own standard terms and conditions duly acceptable to the landing and borrowing authorities.”

It said USAR along with its commanders, deputy commanders and 15 USAR field staff shall be subsequently put at the disposal of the NDMA for its utilisation on most desired places.

The USAR team is an assets force with the mandate for local as well as international deployment as per the certificate of commissioning issued by the then chairman NDMA in the year 2009, it added.

Earlier, NDMA trough a letter dated May 29 had asked the mayor for the disinfection jobs by the USAR team in Islamabad.

“An MOU in this regard can be signed between NDMA and CDA [MCI] next week, which will cover all details to summarise NDMA is willing to provide disinfection equipment, chemicals and transport for team with no financial impact on CDA. The operational control of this disinfection team would lie with NDMA,” stated the NDMA letter.

Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2020