Pakistan’s coronavirus cases in decline for four days, PM told

By: News Desk
Published: 12:22 AM, 19 Jun, 2020
Pakistan’s coronavirus cases in decline for four days, PM told
Caption: Prime Minister Imran Khan chairs a meeting of NCOC in Islamabad on Thursday.
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Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Thursday that Pakistan needed to give a unified and coordinated national response to the coronavirus pandemic over the next couple of months.

“Our actions will determine the extent of the crisis and success of our response,” the prime minister said during his visit to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) for a meeting on COVID-19 in Islamabad. He told the authorities to remain focused on controlling the disease spread; ensure availability of medicines, oxygen and beds at hospitals; forge complete unity at the national level to fight the unusual and ominous challenge and protect the elderly and sick, especially those suffering from heart-related diseases and diabetes, from the virus.

Lauding role of the NCOC, Prime Minister Khan said that Pakistan had navigated COVID-19 in a balanced manner. However, he cautioned everyone to take the utmost care. Paying tribute to healthcare workers who died from coronavirus, the prime minister said they made the nation proud at this critical juncture and the nation recognises their contribution. He said the media has responded to the situation responsibly so far and media organisations should self-check the tendency to sensationalise the situation.

Army Chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa was also present on the occasion. Apart from federal ministers, prime minister of AJ &K and chief ministers of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan attended the meeting via video link.

The prime minister was briefed by Federal Minister Asad Umar and Major General Asif Mehmood Goraya, director general of operations and planning at the NCOC, about the analysis of patterns of COVID-19 spread, pressure on hospitals, fatalities and the future projections. The prime minister was also briefed about the steps taken so far to curb the spread of COVID-19 across the country, enforcement of SOPs, strategy regarding management of the disease and implementation of decisions in coordination with stakeholders. He was informed that the number of coronavirus cases had been in decline in Pakistan over the last four days.

The participants were especially apprised of the gaps identified and measures being taken for improvement in the healthcare system of the country to cope with the challenge, capacity building of the healthcare professionals, increased availability of beds for patients, uninterrupted availability of crucial medicines and sufficient supplies of oxygen.

The participants resolved to continue the strategy of balance between life and livelihood being pursued. It was reiterated that while businesses must remain open, strict implementation of SOPs should be ensured through awareness and administrative actions. Smart lock downs should be imposed in hotspots identified through use of technology developed and deployed by the NCOC.

The forum was also briefed about the use of digital technology for contact tracing and disease projection. The chief ministers of all the provinces and the prime minister of AJ&K briefed the forum about the steps being taken in their areas and acknowledged the support provided by the federal government in all respects.