ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday emphasized the need to render untiring efforts for effective enforcement of the decisions through National Command and Operation Centre to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 across the country.

He expressed these views during a visit to National Command and Operation Centre for COVID-19 in Islamabad on Friday. The Prime Minister appreciated the establishment of the National Command and Operation Centre and progress made by it so far.

He reiterated that there must be no compromise on availability of essential food items and sustainability of supply lines throughout the country. Imran Khan stressed to prioritize the efforts and enforce the decisions of the NCOC through regular and timely meetings under the leadership of Federal M inister Asad Umer. He warned that hoarders and smugglers will be made an example.

Earlier, the Prime Minister was briefed by Federal Minister Asad Umer and DG Operations and Planning NCOC Major General Asif Mehmood Goraya about the latest situation of the killer disease, measures taken thus far and future course of action for containment efforts.

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa was also present during the visit. National Command and Operation Centre is nerve centre to synergize and articulate the unified national effort against COVID-19, and to implement the decisions of National Coordination Committee on it.

Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said the prime minister decided to create balance between lockdown and hunger. She said that the Prime Minister also instructed the officials to take stern action against profiteers and hoarders. 

She said that the ISPR and the information ministry will work as a team to inform the media and people about coronavirus situation. “It was decided in today’s meeting that ISPR and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting will serve as the main source of information for media regarding coronavirus,” she said. 

She said on the instructions of the prime minister, the information ministry and DG ISPR will brief the media on the coronavirus situation. She said that a strategy will be developed to coordinate with the media. 

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan also said that federal and provincial governments are working together to protect the nation against the pandemic of COVID-19. She said National Command and Control Centre for COVID-19 will act as a nerve centre against the pandemic.