ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan has appealed to the nation to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha with simplicity, strictly observing standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country.

“I appeal to my people not to do again what they did on previous Eid (Eidul Fitr). Any public gathering causes the spread of virus and puts pressure on hospitals, doctors and nurses besides causing deaths,” the prime minister remarked talking to media after inaugurating the first-ever Isolation Hospital and Infections Treatment Centre here yesterday.

Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Planning Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.

The Prime Minister said that any carelessness on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha will lead to a fresh spike in the coronavirus cases.

He expressed satisfaction that with the cooperation of all the departments concerned the curve of coronavirus cases in the country is on the decline. He said that smart lockdown has yielded positive results.

The prime minister said the effective measures collectively taken by the provinces as advised by the NCOC, had amazingly led to the flattening of coronavirus curve even before the projected time-frame.

Commending the completion of a modern Isolation Hospital in a record short period, the Prime Minister said that important tasks can be completed with political will.

He lauded the tremendous work by the NDMA for completion of the facility in record 100 days period despite the lockdown impeding the movement of the people and transportation of material.

Earlier, NDMA Chairman Lt. General Muhammad Afzal briefed the Prime Minister about the isolation hospital.

The 250-bed state-of-the-art medical facility has been constructed in a record 40 days at a cost of about 980 million rupees.

The Chinese government had provided $4 million for construction of the facility.

The COVID-combat facility has been opened at a time when the tally of recovered patients stood at 145,311 with 90,554 active cases and 4,983 deaths so far. Out of 24, 333 tests conducted during last 24 hours, 3,359 tested positive while 61 succumbed to the pathogen.

During the briefing, the prime minister was informed that the hospital would be operated through public private philanthropic partnership for interim period of up to December 2020 when it would cost around Rs 300 million.

The hospital is equipped with five ICUs, isolation wards, 95 oxygenated beds besides being equipped with CCTV cameras, lab information and nurse calling systems.