Pakistan conducts maximum tests per day in last 24 hours, NCOC told

04:26 PM | 16 May, 2020
Pakistan conducts maximum tests per day in last 24 hours, NCOC told
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ISLAMABAD - Pakistan conducted over 14,878 in the past 24 hours which is the highest number of tests made to diagnose COVID-19 patients since the first positive corona affected was reported in the country.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting headed by Minister for Planning Development Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar expressed its satisfaction over the building testing capacity of the country that has witnessed 30 times increase with a rise from 2 labs in mid-March to 70 labs till date.

The provincial chief secretaries including that of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir gave input on the implementation of health protocols and standard operating procedures (SOPs) post 9 May decisions, Eid prayer congregation along with the implementation of SOPs devised for industries and markets.

Speaking on the occasion, Asad Umar said the implementation of SOPs and social distancing was only possible through public education and awareness.

The forum was of the view that markets associations/traders organisations must ensure compliance of SOPs issued by health Ministry. In the case of Non-compliance, the particular market as a whole is closed for failing to ensure collective responsibility.

Mr Asad Umer said: “The testing capacity of the country has favourably increased and over 14,000 tests have been carried in the country which is encouraging and should be increased further.”

He noted that Pakistan has been quick in enhancing its capacity & capability in every policy strand whether health management system, Emergency health care equipment, raising structure like NCC/ NCOC, channelising resources and tapping efficient human resource and most importantly formulating SOPs and their implementation

Where there is a will there is away. The people of Pakistan can’t be left on the mercy of pandemic. We have & will move every single resource available to mitigate the challenges of common people. We will take all steps necessary for public safety and well being of people of Pakistan and there is no other option other than all-out effort possible a Govt can do. there was no shortage of equipment in the country rather it was necessary to focus on managing trained human resource for handling the pandemic.

The epidemiologist and other health experts briefed the Forum on future virus behaviour for May & June and risk & crisis management plans and matching response of healthcare system’s capacity number of ICU beds, ventilators and personal protective equipment.

Minister for Industries Punjab Mian Aslam Iqbal informed the Forum that around 336 warning notices were issued to different markets and industries on the violation of SOPs whereas on repeated violation it would be sealed as per the decided mechanism.

Minister for Interior Brig (R) Ejaz Ahmed Shah suggested that the district administration should engage with the trader associations and local stakeholders for the implementation of SOPs.

The Forum mentioned that the Ehsaas Emergency Cash relief was going to recommence on Monday where the SOPs devised for public safety should be ensured to contain the pandemic.

It may be mentioned here that around Rs104 billion were distributed among 8 million beneficiaries through Ehsaas Emergency Cash Relief whereas Rs 50 billion assistance package was prepared to aid 3.5 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Moreover, Rs 50 billion worth Agricultural relief package for farmers was also launched and consequently, Rs 50 billion was allocated for the health sector.