ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz Saturday said the smart lockdown strategy of Prime Minister Imran Khan against coronavirus succeeded as it created a balance and saved people from hunger as well as the virus.

Speaking at an event at Polyclinic Hospital here to acknowledge the frontline role of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff in the fight against coronavirus in the last 100 days, he said the world also followed the smart lockdown strategy of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The strategy of smart lockdown was succeeding in Pakistan and its results could be seen in Islamabad and other areas of the country, he said adding in Islamabad 771 cases of coronavirus were reported on June 1 and now the number of cases had dropped to 113 due to the smart lockdown strategy.

He said people could save themselves from coronavirus by followings precautionary measures and SOPs.  He appreciated that people adopted the

SOPs and helped in controlling the disease. “The efforts against coronavirus remained successful because of the balanced campaign. However, danger of coronavirus still exists and it is our national obligation to follow the SOPs,” he added.

He said National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) in which federal ministers, chief ministers, officers of armed forces and medical experts  regularly attended meetings, had successfully and effectively handled the disease, adding NCOC deserved our appreciation for its 100 days of effort.

The minister said the government through its Ehsaas cash transfer programme delivered financial assistance at the doorsteps of poor people with transparency and on merit, adding so far Rs 193 billion were distributed among 12 million deserving families.

He said when coronavirus struck the governments around the world were not prepared for it, adding as the previous governments did not focus on health facilities, there were only two laboratories for testing of coronavirus but now 129 laboratories exist to conduct tests and the government had  increased the testing capacity.

Shibli said in the past all the medical equipment was being imported but now the Ministry of Science and Technology had even started to manufacture ventilators in the country.

He said the hospitals still had bed capacity to accommodate new coronavirus patients.

He expressed satisfaction at the recovery rate of patients suffering from the infectious disease and stressed that if everybody continued their efforts, time will come when number of patients will be considerably reduced and hospitals will be empty.

The minister urged the nation to unite against the coronavirus disease and not pay attention to rumours or false information.

He said the government had also announced a special package for the  medical staff to acknowledge their effort against coronavirus.

On this occasion, he also distributed masks and sanitizers among doctors and the medical staff of the hospital.\867