ISLAMABAD                  -            Senator Rehman Malik, Senate Standing Committee on Interior chairman, on Friday urged implementation on the SOPs in order to prevent spread of the coronavirus. Senator Malik reviewed the implementation status in the light of the 37-point recommendations of the committee with reference to Anti-Corona National Action Plan drawn up to control spread of the virus in Pakistan. He appreciated the report received from the Ministry of Interior on May 8th, 2020 on the implementation status of Anti-Coronavirus National Action Plan. Senator Rehman Malik also appreciated the efforts being undertaken by the National Command and Control Centre to battle against Coronavirus pandemic in the country. However, Senator Rehman shown his dissatisfaction over the status of implementation on the SOPs, as issued by WHO and NCOC, for social distancing at offices and public at large. He reiterated that the committee on Anti-Coronavirus National Action Plan had already issued 37-point recommendations to be implemented by all the stakeholders with full collaboration. Senator A. Rehman Malik stated that most of the recommendations of the committee had been implemented by the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of National Health Services and other stakeholders as per their report dated 08th May, 2020.  However, a few recommendations are under process for implementation by the other concerned department. He appreciated the Secretary, M/O Interior for his prompt action and pursuing the matter for implementation on the Anti-Coronavirus National Action Plan, envisaged by the Senate Standing Committee on Interior in its meetings held on 27th February, 2020 and 06th March, 2020, in the larger interest of the nation. Senator Malik, keeping in view the new emerging alarming situation, also expressed his apprehensions that the graph of coronavirus patients will continue to rise all over the world in the days to come and unfortunately there was no vaccine or medicine available to cure the pandemic so far. Senator A Rehman Malik referred to the statement of Director General (DG) World Health Organisation (WHO), who had shown his apprehension that the number of coronavirus patients might go above 200,000 during the next two months in Pakistan. The WHO DG has confirmed the apprehensions of Senator Rehman Malik who has been constantly informing about the increase in the number of patients of the coronavirus.

He appealed to the nation not to listen to the propaganda on coronavirus, since it was ‘disinformation’. “Hence do not listen to this propaganda as coronavirus is a hard fact,” the senator asserted. He also stated that the government should dispel this propaganda.

He stated that according to the WHO formula, if one patient was infected he might affect 28 other people around him, and if the present figures of coronavirus patients in Pakistan i.e. 70,000 were not quarantined properly, the figures of the infected persons could reach up to two million (God Forbid) by the end of June, 2020, according to the formula of WHO.

Senator A. Rehman Malik proposed to the Ministry of National Health Services & Regulations that it should ensure temporary (makeshift) hospitals in the urban areas keeping in view the increasing number of coronavirus patients in every city, as the space and capacity in the hospitals was running out day by day.

He said a Special Cell should be created for the patients emerging from the rural areas and that all arrangements be made for their treatment within the respective rural areas.

Rural population is contracting coronavirus rapidly and lots of reports are coming that there are number of patients in the villages which are going unchecked and without treatment. Hence the government should make arrangements to handle such a big number of patients. It is therefore imperative for the government, M/O Heath, NCCA to ensure setting up temporary hospitals in the rural areas. The senator suggested that civil hospitals for coronavirus patients may be handed over to the Army Medical Corps in order to manage the increasing load of coronavirus patients in near future.

Malik said that smart lockdown could not be enforced unless it was enforced by the force of law. “Hence Army curfew may be imposed for the purpose of enforcing social distancing and other SOPs as per WHO and NCOC by public at large,” he proposed.

“A special data management team should be formed with the collaboration of NADRA and Statists Division to maintain the data of coronavirus patients for proper management and for future medical research,” he said.

He said the Ministry of National Education to evolve a special on-line education system which should not be expensive and an App may be developed by the I.T.

He said department should be available on the internet free of cost and the online system should be from primary to post-graduation. “This App should be available for all schools, colleges, Universities, Institutions and Professional and Technical Institutions as we do not know how long we are going to suffer,” he added.

Senator Malik has stated that it is his heartfelt appeal to the government, opposition, NGOs, intellectuals that “let us move forward with the prayer that Allah may save us from this deadly virus and he further appealed that let us rise above politics and work together at all levels to safe our present and next generations from COVID-19. He expressed his concern that as a nation we are not taking Coronavirus seriously otherwise we will have to repent on our non-seriousness.”

Senator Malik urged the Prime Minister of Pakistan to call a meeting of all parties’ conference (APC) along with the provincial Chief Ministers to build a national consensus on one point agenda: ‘anti-coronavirus steps and way forward to fight it out.’

Senator Malik warned that the growing number of patients will become in a gigantic bulk and the government with the present limited resources and fragile medical policy will not be able to handle it. He stated that coronavirus pandemic is our national problem and hence let’s fight it with collective wisdom and national consensus.