ISLAMABAD: With the number of Covid-19 cases reducing, the National Coordination Committee (NCC) will meet on Thursday (today) to decide the line of action to be adopted to return the country to its normal routine.
Talking to Dawn, federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said: “We have decided, in principle, to lift the restrictions and ensure strict implementation of the standard operating procedures to stop the spread of Covid-19.
“The NCC meeting will be chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by representatives from all provinces as we want to take a collective and consensus-based decision.”
The minister said an environment would be created to ensure that Pakistan did not experience another spike of the virus, adding that tracing, testing and quarantine (TTQ) policy had been devised to isolate the infected people and their contacts.
“Though it is not appropriate at the moment to mention which industry will be opened, I can say that we are going to announce a timetable for reopening industries and moving towards normalisation,” he added.
According to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) data shared on Wednesday, there are 20,836 active cases in the country. The number of patients on ventilators had also decreased as over 91pc vents were lying unutilised.
As many as 1,694 ventilators out of 1,859 were lying vacant across the country, the centre said.
It further stated that there were 735 hospitals with Covid-19 facilities in the country, but only 1,381 patients were being treated there.
A senior official of the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), who wished not to be quoted, said since the situation was gradually improving, the government might consider reopening industries and educational institutions to kick-start the economy.
“The final decision, however, will be taken by the federal and provincial governments during the meeting of the NCC to be presided over by Prime Minister Khan,” the official said, adding that people were being encouraged to restart their routine life but with strict precautionary measures.
About the hospitals’ out-patient departments (OPDs), the senior health ministry official said biometric attendance was suspended in the capital’s hospitals and their OPDs closed in March.
Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2020