Govt sees ‘decline’ in coronavirus cases after smart lockdown strategy

PM Imran Khan following NCOC visit noted that Pakistan navigated Coronavirus cases in a balanced manner

Govt sees ‘decline’ in coronavirus cases after smart lockdown strategy

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has observed a “decline in the number of coronavirus-positive cases” over the past four days as the smart lockdown strategy being implemented across the country to stem the spread of coronavirus.

According to a statement issued Thursday, following a visit by Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, the meeting was apprised of the use of digital technology for contact-tracing and disease projection.

“Smart lockdowns in hot spots identified through [the] use of technology tools recently deployed and developed by NCOC will be ensured,” it added. “It was informed that during the last four days, there is a decline in the number of cases tested positive.”

Apart from federal ministers, Azad Jammu and Kashmir Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan and the chief ministers of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Gilgit-Baltistan attended the meeting via video link.

Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar, who heads the NCOC, and Maj Gen Asif Mehmood Goraya, the director-general of its operations and planning, briefed PM Imran “on the analysis of patterns of COVID-19 spread, pressure on hospitals, fatalities, and future projections”, the statement added.

“PM was also briefed on the steps taken so far regarding curtailing the spread of COVID-19 across the country, enforcement of SOPs, and strategy regarding the management of disease and implementation of decisions in coordination with all the stakeholders.

Participants of the meeting were also apprised of the gaps identified and measures being taken for the improvement of the country’s healthcare system to cope with the challenge, capacity building of the healthcare professionals, uninterrupted availability of crucial medicines, increased availability of beds for the patients, and sufficient supplies of oxygen.

“The participants through a consensus resolved to continue the strategy of balance between life and livelihood being pursued,” the statement noted. “It was reiterated that while businesses must remain open, strict implementation of SOPs will be ensured through awareness and administrative actions.

The provincial chief ministers and AJK PM briefed the NCOC about the steps being taken in their respective areas and acknowledged the federal government’s support.

During the meeting, PM Imran advised that all-out efforts must remain focused on controlling the spread of the deadly coronavirus and availability of medicines, oxygen, and beds in hospitals be ensured.

The premier urged for unity and directed “Pakistanis to protect the elderly and sick, especially those suffering from heart-related diseases and diabetes”.

Pakistan has navigated the coronavirus crisis in a balanced manner, he added but cautioned everyone to take utmost care. “We need a unified and well-coordinated joint national response to fight the disease during the next couple of months.

“Our actions will determine the extent of the crisis and success of our response through consensus,” the prime minister stated.

PM Imran paid tributes to the healthcare workers’ sacrifices, saying they were doing the nation proud at this critical juncture and the entire nation recognised their contribution.

The prime minister also lauded the media for responsible performance so far and underscored that any tendency to sensationalise must be self-checked by them.

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