ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan visited the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on the 100th day of its establishment, lauded its role in containing the spread of the novel coronavirus and directed it to take steps to prevent resurgence of the disease during Eidul Azha.
Besides federal ministers and Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, high-ranking officers were present during the visit on Saturday, while representatives of the provinces were available via video link.
Over the past 24 hours, the country reported 3,475 new cases of coronavirus and 88 deaths, taking the national tally of Covid-19 to 227,254 and number of fatalities to 4,680.
Noting that the government had managed to slow down the spread of the virus, PM Khan directed the officials concerned to ensure strict implementation of the standard operating procedures, undertake all required administrative actions for smart lockdowns and the awareness campaign to prevent any resurgence of disease during the upcoming Eid.
Imran visits facility on its 100th day, lauds its role in slowing down the spread of Covid-19
Earlier, the PM was briefed about the current situation and the pattern analysis of Covid-19 spread. He was apprised on how the strategy of smart lockdown yielded results in balancing life and livelihood. It was highlighted that as per the IMF World Economic Outlook, Pakistan is among a group of 30 countries that reversed the projected downturn from -0.4 to 1.1.
Mr Khan lauded the efforts of NCOC team in putting up a robust response to the pandemic and ensuring coordinated actions across the country. From daily monitoring of the situation to the capacity enhancement of health system and from establishing a credible database to better resource management and formulation of appropriate SOPs, the NCOC led from the front in the fight against pandemic, the prime minister said.
He also appreciated the resilience and adaptability of the nation to adjust to the new normal by following SOPs and face the challenge as one nation. Mr Khan also paid tribute to doctors, paramedical staff and emergency responders working as frontline workers in the battle against Covid-19. He acknowledged the role and services of health care workers and others from the provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Earlier, Minster for Information Senator Shibli Faraz at an event at Islamabad’s Polyclinic Hospital said PM Khan’s policy of smart lockdown had attracted world recognition. “Though the health SOPs are partially implemented in Pakistan, the number of cases has been reduced. However, I want to warn that the threat prevails and there is a need to take precautionary measures,” he added.
The minister said as the government had established the NCOC having representation of Pakistan’s armed forces, politicians and other stakeholders, it was their collective efforts that the spread of the disease had slowed down.
“Our government has distributed around Rs150 billion among around 15 million people. We have arranged personal protective equipment. Just a few months ago, we had two labs but now we have 129 labs. We have started manufacturing ventilators and we have capacity to accommodate more patients. However, I wish that our capacity would never exhaust and our hospitals would become deserted,” he said.
Senator Faraz said that a package had been announced for the healthcare workers so that they would combat Covid-19 with full dedication.
Meanwhile, work has been completed on a 250-bed hospital for Covid-19 in Islamabad.
Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2020