ISLAMABAD - The test, trace and quarantine (TTQ) strategy developed by the government helped to achieve the coronavirus testing capacity of 30,000 cases per day in the country.

The data provided by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) revealed that the core objective of the TTQ strategy was to identify coronavirus spreading hotspots and cluster areas, imposing smart lockdown in the affected places, quarantining of positive and suspected patients, contact tracing of the COVID-19 patients, optimization of healthcare facilities at all levels, augmentation of testing capacity, boosting healthcare capacity to avoid it getting overrun with the increasing number of patients and meticulous monitoring through technology and trained workforce.

The strategy was developed with the assistance of Pakistan Army which was one of the best and productive solutions to be adopted to contain the increasing risk of pandemic outbreak through smart lockdowns. The strategy managed to build up a strong and grass roots level network of trained community activists and leaders to mobilize the masses to fully comply with safety guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the risk of the contagion.

As many as 66 districts administrations among 1500 Union Councils were engaged in collaboration with the rural support programmes (RSPs). The available data showed that Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK)’s 8 districts had 127 local support organizations (LSOs) functional at the basic tier of rural union councils under the ambit of National Rural Support Programme (NRSP). Similarly, Balochistan provinces’ 11 districts had 223 LSOs under NRSP and BRSP, Gilgit Balstistan (GB)’s 9 districts had 58 LSOs under Agha Khan RSP, Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) had 5 LSOs under NRSP working, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s 7 districts had 141 LSOs under various RSPs operational and Punjab’s 14 districts had 406 LSOs.

“Under these RSPs collaboration around 20 million people would get benefit from community awareness and education programmes and relief activities to control the coronavirus epidemic.”

Since the strategy was launched across the country after completing its pilot phase, around 2,117 community awareness raising sessions were carried out in the shortest span of time across the country. However, 13,700 mosque announcements were made, about 17,813 information providing pamphlets, brochures and leaflets were distributed, few suspected cases were also identified with the help of this strategy and were referred to the respective health departments, 4,918 face-masks were also distributed alongwith safety gloves whereas 3,430 families were provided soaps for hand-washing.

It merits mention here that under the NRSP collaboration in ICT around 80 women and 20 men were trained as community activists that signifies the commitment of the masses especially women to spearhead social efforts to contain the risk of outbreak through education and awareness.  

Moreover, RSPN has established a monitoring system for this initiative and its format was shared with the NCOC where the information would be provided to NCOC weekly and fortnightly on this format.