ISLAMABAD - Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services Zafar Mirza on Sunday said that some very important decisions regarding the next strategy about the nationwide lockdown will be announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan after the meeting of National Coordination Committee on Monday (today).

While giving briefing to media in Islamabad on Sunday, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a high-level meeting in Islamabad on Sunday to discuss the overall Coronavirus situation in the country.

He said there were reports of misuse of protective clothing and N-95 masks and urged that only frontline health workers are eligible to use these masks. He expressed his disappointment at the ‘misuse’ of N-95 masks, saying that those who don’t have the slightest use of N-95 masks are also wearing them.

He said National Command and Operation Centre will issue a video aimed at public awareness regarding the precautionary measures. He said fourteen deaths were reported in the country during last 24 hours, however the figure might increase in the coming days, if social distancing and other measures are not followed by the people.

He said 254 cases were reported during the last 24 hours with overall confirmed cases now exceeding five thousand. He said almost half of these cases are due to local transmission. He said 1026 people have recovered completely in the country, while 1414 are hospitalized, with 37 in critical condition.

14 more deaths reported in country as 254 new cases emerge in a single day

SAPM on Health said the fatality rate of the coronavirus has increased to 1.7 percent and added the global fatality rate of the virus is 6.1pc. He added that 17,332 people have registered in quarantine centres in Pakistan out of which 18pc have tested positive. “What happens over the course of the next few days depends on how we fulfill our responsibilities and whether we follow preventive measures or not,” he maintained. He revealed that about half of the cases in Pakistan are of local transmission. He asked people to take precautions and practice social distancing.

 

Earlier in the day, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that Pakistan’s strategy regarding COVID-19 is on right track, after learning from best practices as well as grey areas across the world. He said this while chairing a high-level meeting held at National Command & Operation Centre (NCOC).

 

The meeting reviewed measures taken thus far with detailed analysis of progress in various fields. The minister emphasised the need for effect-based measures to overcome the pandemic. “The local transmission is increasing particularly in populated areas which needed immediate measures for containment,” he warned. The session focused mainly on recommendations for NCC meeting being chaired by Prime Minister on Monday (today) to take policy decisions for containment measures post 14th. Various options came under consideration. The forum carried out in-depth analysis of pros and cons of each option and finalised recommendations to be taken up by the NCC for final decision on the subject.

 

The forum dilated upon 47 days progress starting from detection of first case on February 26, health projections till 30th April and medical supply line management with focus on procurement and distribution plan of critical requirements.

 

Asad Umar stressed the need for effect based measures to overcome the pandemic. To assess efficacy of measures taken, the forum reviewed global and regional data and noted that from first case of detection till today, the containment measures, social distancing awareness and timely intervention, Pakistan’s strategy is on right track. The forum appreciated all provinces, AJ& K GB & ICT for enforcement and containment measures in letter & spirit.

 

Minister Industries gave a detailed plan of action on domestic transport (Land & Rail) and industries. Possibility of Phased easing of industries was the central theme. The plan will be presented in NCC today for final decision.