ISLAMABAD               -              President Dr. Arif Alvi said on Monday

that an integrated health system against coronavirus was impetrative and allout steps will be taken in complete

harmony between the Federation

and the provinces.He said this during his visit to the National Institute of Health (NIH) here. He also visited the emergency centre at NIH.Speaking during his visit to National Institute of Health, the President said “We are ensuring cooperation in data exchange.”He expressed the hope that the nation

will succeed in its fight against the Corona pandemic.The President said the reported cases

of coronavirus across the country necessitated a framework of data exchange

with provinces for a more coordinated strategy to contain the spread of disease.President Alvi said he would be visiting

Quetta this Wednesday accompanied

by PM’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, to personally oversee the measures taken against coronavirus and provision of health facilities for the affected people.The President lauded the initiatives taken by NIH including testing of COVID-

19 and running a related Integrated

Disease Management System based on data collected from provinces.He suggested NIH to formulate a set of guidelines for hospitals across the country so as to define a particular course of action for medical facilities.Executive Director NIH Maj. Gen. Aamer Ikram briefed the President on activation of Public Health Emergency

Operations Center on January 21 as COVID-19 response and also engaging the partners across the country.He said that due to coordinated efforts

among concerned departments, Pakistan was amongst the last countries

of Asia which was infected by COVID-19 in late February.He said that under the Ministry of National Health Services and Regulations,

the NIH provided full support in developing National Action Plan for COVID-19 and was continuously engaged

in response and risk communication

activities since January 27.The President was apprised that the NIH initiated the nationwide testing

facility for COVID-19 on February

1 and also extended the diagnostic

and capacity building support to Balochistan, Northern Punjab, Khyber

Pukhtunkhwa, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.Maj. Gen Aamer Ikram informed the President that NIH also launched a COVID-19 surveillance system and made 1.7 million follow-up calls for passengers’ surveillance and response

in the country.He said that NIH extended technical

support by providing five Rapid Response Teams in the field 24/7 for investigation and sample of high-risk population group besides developing a real-time situation report on daily basis in coordination with all provincial

and regional stakeholders to depict

countrywide picture of COVID-19 epidemic.The President also took a round of various departments of NIH including Public Health Emergency Operation Center and the new unit of Biological Production Division-SERA Processing Laboratory with enhanced capacity