ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday urged the Centre and provinces to have better coordination among them to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and directed that meetings of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) be held in all the provincial capitals.
“It will further improve administrative measures in coordination and cooperation of the provincial governments and the administrations concerned with regard to containing coronavirus,” the prime minister said while presiding over a meeting held to review the coronavirus situation in the country.
Meanwhile, 3,307 more people contracted coronavirus and 66 lost their lives during the past 24 hours, taking the national tally of Covid-19 case to 239,729 and deaths to 4,954. A total of 140,965 patients have so far recovered.
The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to ensure strict implementation of the standard operating procedures and all precautionary measures on the occasion of Eidul Azha and during Muharram.
3,307 people contract coronavirus, 66 lose their lives in 24 hours
The meeting was attended by Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusru Bakhtiar, Minister for Interior retired Brig Ijaz Ahmed Shah, Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, PM’s special assistants retired Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa and Dr Shahbaz Gill, Focal Person on Covid-19 Dr Faisal Sultan, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal and senior officials of the PM Office.
Speaking on the occasion, the prime minister expressed satisfaction over the positive outcome of steps to control coronavirus and observed 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 briefed on the recent situation, regional scenario, positive outcome of the smart lockdown strategy, available facilities and beds in hospitals for Covid-19 patients and the strategy to control the spread of the deadly disease during Eidul Azha and Muharram.
The meeting was apprised that smart lockdown had been enforced in 227 areas of 30 cities which produced encouraging results. The prime minister was informed that the experiences of other countries suggested that complete lockdown did not yield the desired results and after lifting of such lockdown due to economic hardships, the situation turned worse with increase in death rates.
The meeting expressed satisfaction that contrary to the worldwide practice of strict lockdown, the smart lockdown policy in Pakistan proved to be most effective and was yielding better results.
The prime minister was apprised that due to the decreasing number of coronavirus cases, the burden on hospitals had also reduced to a great extent. He was informed that the number of beds with specific treatment facilities for the coronavirus patients had increased to 1,500 and it would reach 2,500 over the next few days.
Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2020