ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Sunday said that mass societal mobilization is essential to effectively contain COVID-19 or coronavirus.

Addressing the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting, he said that public awareness and education on COVID-19 safety guidelines and acting upon the preventive measures is the only best possible tool to cope with the menace of coronavirus challenge. He also highlighted the need to gather feedback on locally manufactured samples of N-95 masks.

He said that there was a need to analyse the capacity of indigenous production of N-95 masks and mull over the capacity for scaling up that production. He suggested constituting an inter-ministerial group of relevant ministries with Ministry of Industries as its member.

The minister also mentioned that there was also need to find existing gaps in the guidelines and improve policy after thorough discussion and guidance would be sought from the Ministry of Health in this regard. He also asked for a briefing from Chairman NDMA on the total number of imported medical equipment and the strategy adopted for its disbursement.

 

The minister also directed the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Health and Inter Services Public Relations to coordinate and devise a guideline for reshaping the existing public perception towards the quarantine facilities. It needs to be developed before Ramazan, he stressed.

 

Minister for Interior Brig (retired) Ijaz Shah; Minister for Energy Omar Ayub; Minister for Industries Hammad Azhar; Minister for Food Security Fakhar Imam and Minister for Economic Affairs Khusroo Bakhtiar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Dr Moeed Yusuf, Prime Ministers focal person for COVID-19 Dr Faisal Sultan and NCOC chief coordinator Lieutenant General Hamood Uz Zaman also deliberated their views during the meeting, according to the official media.