Meeting discusses latest situation, phased easing of industrial lockdown

By: News Desk      Published: 10:28 PM, 12 Apr, 2020
Meeting discusses latest situation, phased easing of industrial lockdown
Asad Umer, federal minister for planning, development, reforms and special initiatives, speaks at a meeting.–File photo

A Special Situation update meeting was at the National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC) in Islamabad on Sunday.

Asad Umer, federal minister for planning, development, reforms and special initiatives, chaired the session on the situation arising out of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The meeting reviewed measures taken thus far with detailed analysis of progress in various fields. The session focused mainly on recommendations for NCC meeting being chaired by Prime Minister on Monday, April 13, to take policy decisions for containment measures post April 14. Various options came under consideration.

The forum carried out in-depth analysis of pros and cons of each option and finalised recommendations to be taken up by NCC on Monday for final decision on the subject.

The forum discussed the 77-day progress, starting from detection of the first coronavirus case in Pakistan on February 26, projection of cases till April 30 and the medical supply line management with a focus on procurement and distribution of critical equipment and supplies.

Asad Umer emphasised the need for effect-based measures to overcome the pandemic. The local transmission is increasing, particularly in populated areas, and this needs immediate measures for containment, he said. To ensure optimal utilisation of present testing capacity and labs load management, a point of care facility should be put in place, he said.

To assess efficacy of measures taken so far, the forum reviewed the global and regional data and noted that from detection of the first case in Pakistan on February 28 till April 12, government’s containment measures, social distancing awareness campaign and timely intervention put Pakistan on the right track. The forum appreciated all provinces, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad Capital Territory for enforcement of containment measures in letter and spirit.

The industries minister gave a detailed plan of action on domestic transport (land and rail) and industries.

Possibility of a phased easing of industries was the main point on the agenda of the meeting.

The plan will be presented to the NCC on Monday for a final decision.

Interior Minister Ijaz Ahmed Shah, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for National Food and Security Fakhar Imam, Special Assistant to PM on National Security Moeed Yousaf, Special Assistant to PM on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and Dr Faisal Sultan attended the briefing.