ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed to strictly implement the precautionary measures and standard operating procedures (SOPs) on the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country. Chairing a meeting to review the COVID-19 situation in the country here on Wednesday, the Prime Minister also directed to hold sessions of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) at provincial capitals to make the administrative measures more effective through cooperation and coordination with the provincial governments.

The prime minister was given a detailed briefing on the recent situation, regional scenario, positive outcome of the smart lockdown strategy, available facilities and beds in hospitals for the COVID infected patients, and especially the strategy during the Eid ul Azha and Muharram ul Haram to control its spread.

It was told that smart lockdown was enforced at 227 areas of 30 different cities which had brought about encouraging results.

The meeting was further briefed that from the experiences of other countries, it was surfaced that complete lockdown did not yield the desired results and after lifting of these lockdowns due to the economic hardships, the situation exacerbated besides, increase in death rates.

Contrary to it, the smart lockdown policy in Pakistan remained most effective, it was added.

The prime minister was apprised that due to the decreasing number of coronavirus cases, the burden on hospitals was also reduced to a great extent.

Beds with specific treatment facilities for the coronavirus patients had been increased to 1,500 and it would be further taken to a total of 2,500 in the next few days.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Industries and Production Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusru Bakhtiar, Minister for Interior Brig. (retd) Ijaz Ahmed Shah, Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Minister for Planning Asad Umar, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, PM’s special assistants Lt. Gen. (Retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa, Dr Shahbaz Gill, Focal person on Covid Dr Faisal Sultan, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal and other senior officials.