NCOC puts stress on testing after restrictions lifted

Updated 11 Aug 2020

Email

ISLAMABAD: People wait for food at a restaurant on Margalla Hills on Monday after the government 
announced it would be lifting most of the coronavirus restrictions after seeing new cases drop for several weeks.—AFP
ISLAMABAD: People wait for food at a restaurant on Margalla Hills on Monday after the government announced it would be lifting most of the coronavirus restrictions after seeing new cases drop for several weeks.—AFP

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Monday said that after the opening of various sectors, particularly tourism, there was a need to track, trace and test people associated with them.

Presiding over a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the minister said the only way to ensure public safety and health was by testing those who would come in contact with people during various activities.

As majority of businesses resumed on Monday, the NCOC deliberated on various measures to ensure public health and safety during Muharram and avoid a surge in Covid-19 cases.

According to a NCOC statement, Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri told the forum that assistance was being sought from ulema to formulate comprehensive protocols and health guidelines for Muharram processions.

Minister says ulema will be taken on board to prepare guidelines for Muharram

Meanwhile, the provinces apprised the NCOC of their plan of action to meet the challenges arising after the opening of various businesses.

Educational institutions and marriage halls are set to open from Sept 15.

Data released on Monday said 149 ventilators, out of 1,859 allocated for the Covid-19 patients, were occupied throughout the country, with no patient on vent in Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Balochistan.

Punjab minister meets PM

Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid on Monday briefed Prime Minister Imran Khan on the distribution of Sehat Insaf cards.

She said people had appreciated the programme as many deserving families were receiving treatment free of cost.

Prime Minister Khan directed the provincial minister to take steps for provision of health facilities to the public and hold a meeting on health cards next month.

Sehat Insaf cards are being provided to families identified in a survey for the Benazir Income Support Programme and they earn up to $2 per day.

Under the programme, treatment is provided for a number of diseases free of cost, including maternity cases, cancer, accidents, burn injuries, diabetic complications, heart surgery and infections.

Published in Dawn, August 11th, 2020