President asks provinces to ensure strict compliance with SOPs

Updated 23 Jul 2020

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President Arif Alvi gives directive during visit to NCOC. — Vice News screengrab/File
President Arif Alvi gives directive during visit to NCOC. — Vice News screengrab/File

ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday directed the provinces to ensure strict compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) on Eidul Azha and in Muharram-ul-Haram besides encouraging public adherence to safety guidelines about the Covid-19 pandemic.

The directive was given during the president’s visit to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) for Covid-19.

According to a statement, the president lauded efforts of the NCOC team for putting up a robust response to the pandemic and ensuring coordinated action across the country.

From a daily monitoring of the situation to the capacity enhancement of the health system and from establishing a credible database to better resource management and formulation of appropriate SOPs, health safety protocols/guidelines, the NCOC led from the front in the fight against pandemic, the president said.

Dr Alvi conveyed his appreciation to the nation for adhering to health guidelines. He said that while the disease was on the downward trajectory, the sense of complacency needed to be avoided both by the people and the administration.

Earlier, on arrival at the NCOC, the president was received by NCOC National Coordinator Lt Gen Hamood Uz Zaman Khan.

Apart from federal ministers including Federal Minister for National Food Security Fakhr Imam, Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Noor Ul Haq Qadri, NDMA chairman Lt Gen Muhammad Afzal and Surgeon General Lt Gen Nigar Johar in presence, SAPM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, who has been infected with the virus, and provincial chief secretaries attended the meeting via video link.

The president was briefed by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and Major General Asif Mehmood Goraya, DG Operations and Planning of NCOC, in detail on the Covid-19-related multi-sectoral situation, implementation of National Coordination Committee (NCC) decisions, patterns of Covid-19 spread and coordination mechanism established with federating units.

The president was also briefed about the measures being taken for improvement in the healthcare system of the country to cope with the challenge, capacity building of the healthcare professionals, and increased availability of beds for patients, uninterrupted availability of crucial medicines, use of digital technology for contact tracing and disease projection.

Meanwhile, the parliamentary committee will be briefed about the role of the army in combating the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a notice, members of the Senate Standing Committee on Defence would visit the NCOC on July 28 at 11am, but in case of the Senate session the visit would take place at 2pm.

“The agenda of the committee would be a briefing by the Director General of NCOC (Major General Asif Mehmood Goraya) about the role of Pakistan Army in combating Covid-19 under the National Strategy,” a notice issued by the Secretary of Committee, retired Maj Syed Hasnain Haider, said.

According to data released by NCOC on Wednesday, as many as 2,394 Covid-19 patients are admitted to various hospitals across the country. According to the data, the number of critical patients is also decreasing as only 255 ventilators are occupied across the country of the 1830 vents allocated for Covid-19 patients.

Published in Dawn, July 23rd, 2020