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Public Must Ensure Own Safety from COVID-19: Asad Umar

by Newsweek Pakistan
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Courtesy PID

NCOC meeting reviews fallout of federal government easing lockdown restrictions and allowing markets to reopen

A meeting of the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) on Wednesday reviewed the situation resulting from the federal government easing lockdown restrictions in a bid to help Pakistan’s stuttering economy recover.

Chairing the meeting, Planning Minister Asad Umar said that while the government had eased lockdown restrictions, the risk of contagion remained and people needed to realize this and adopt precautionary measures when traveling outside their homes.

He said that the provincial governments needed to ensure the health and safety of the masses by enforcing the implementation of preventative standard operating procedures. He directed the chief secretaries of all four provinces, as well as the district administrators of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir, to expedite arrangements for implementation of the SOPs within three to four days, as preparations for Eidul Fitr would then be in full swing across the country.

“It is the responsibility of the public to ensure the safety of themselves, their loved ones, and the community and society in general by complying with the SOPs,” he said, adding that individual responsibility, and not government mandates, was the only way to prevent the virus from spreading rapidly.

The provincial officers informed the meeting’s participants that a public awareness campaign had been launched on multiple platforms—radio, TV, social media—to educate the masses on the preventative measures needed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The NCOC applauded the provinces for ensuring strict compliance with the SOPs.

Last week, the NCOC decided to ease lockdown restrictions nationwide, with Prime Minister Imran Khan announcing that the “coronavirus situation in Pakistan was now under control.” As of today (May 13), there are 34,336 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Pakistan, 8,499 more than there were on May 7, when the premier announced the ease in relaxations.

Nationwide, 737 deaths and 8,812 recoveries have been reported, leaving 24,787 active cases of COVID-19.

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