President Dr Arif Alvi Sunday said that with the support from the people and religious scholars, the positive outcome of the lockdown was visible in the country in form of the coronavirus cases far lower than the estimates.

Addressing a meeting to discuss the COVID-19 situation in Gilgit during his day long visit, the president congratulated the GB government for their efforts contain the virus, a President House press release said.

He said consequent to the efforts by the GB government and the administration, the number of coronavirus patients had reduced from 216 to 67 as rest of all had recovered from the disease.

Earlier, the president arrived in Gilgit accompanied by GB Governor Raja Jalal Maqpoon, Special Assistant to PM Dr Zafar Mirza and Special Advisor Usman Dar and National Disaster Management Authority Chairman Lt. General Muhammad Afzal. Chief Minister of GB Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman, chief secretary and force commander received the president at Gilgit Airport.

The president told the meeting that NDMA had provided 15,000 testing kits and modern medical equipment was being supplied to GB.

The president said he would personally monitor the supply of the commodities at the Utility Stores in GB and the sufficient supply of the stock would be ensured there.

He advised the people to observe social distancing even during the upcoming holy month of Ramzan.

SAPM Dr Zafar Mirza said the speedy recovery of the COVID-19 patients in GB was a success story. He also appreciated the screening of all 2,000 pilgrims arrived there.

He told the meeting that around 42,000 coronavirus tests had been conducted so far and the testing capacity of the laboratories would be enhanced to 25,000 by April 30.

Usman Dar said around 900,000 volunteers had registered themselves with the Corona Relief Tiger Force and 5,000 in GB which would increase once the issues related to the internet and power supply were resolved.

He said 12 million deserving families were being given cash assistance of Rs 12,000 each under Ehsaas Program. The government had data of 4.5 million while more people would be enlisted with the consultation of provincial governments and administrations.

Usman Dar said the government had specified Rs 35 billion for Utility Stores to ensure availability of the food commodities’ stock there.

The NDMA chairman apprised the committee that another 15,000 testings kits had been provided to the laboratories working in GB with 10,000 for Gilgit and rest 5,000 for Skardu.

The GB governor and chief ministers also addressed the meeting and the GB Chief Secretary Khurram Agha briefed in detail about the arrangements for the COVID-19 patients.