GILGIT - President Dr. Arif Alvi has appealed the people to observe precautionary measures to prevent spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Addressing a function in Gilgit on Sunday, he said the lockdown is yielding positive results in facing the challenge of COVID-19. He said National Disaster Management Authority has provided 15000 testing kits and other protective equipment to Gilgit-Baltistan like other parts of the country.

The President assured that additional protective equipment will be provided to the region if need arises. He said joint efforts are needed to cope with the pandemic.

Dr Arif Alvi said that he will personally monitor supply of essential goods to Utility Stores in Gilgit-Baltistan and concerned departments will ensure timely supply of these commodities. Speaking on the occasion Prime Minister's Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza said that speedy recovery of Corona patients in Gilgit-Baltistan is a success story.

He said over two thousand pilgrims had arrived in GB region and making arrangements for their screening is commendable. He said so far corona tests of over 42,000 people have been conducted in the country. He said testing capability of existing laboratories in Pakistan will be enhanced to 25,000 tests per day by the end of this month.

Prime Minister's Special Assistant on Youth Affairs Usman Dar said so far nine hundred thousand volunteers have registered in Corona Relief Tiger Force, including five hundred people from Gilgit-Baltistan.

He said that 12 million deserving families will be provided financial assistance of 12,000 rupees under Ehsas Emergency Cash Program. He said 35 billion rupees have been allocated for Utility Stores to provide essential items to the people on subsidized rates across Pakistan.

Chairman NDMA Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal said that testing laboratories are functioning in Gilgit and Skardu, while 10,000 and 5,000 testing kits respectively have been provided to them.

Earlier, President Dr. Arif Alvi has reached Gilgit on a brief visit.  Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman, Force Commander Northern Area Major General Ehsan Mehmood Khan and Chief Secretary Muhammad Khurram Aga along with other official received him at the airport.