NCOC ‘fully activated’ amid rising Covid cases

News Desk
Thursday, Jun 30, 2022


ISLAMABAD: The federal government decided on Wednesday to “fully activate” the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in the wake of rising coronavirus cases across the country.

A statement from PM Office said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired an NCOC meeting, where he expressed concerns over the rising Covid-19 cases and issued directives to revive the country’s coronavirus response forum.

The Prime Minister ordered the district and provincial authorities to strictly implement protective measures and take other steps to keep the deadly virus at bay.

The NCOC stopped functioning at the end of March after running operations for two years and leading the country’s response to Covid-19, while all its roles were handed over to the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Chairing the meeting, Prime Minister Sharif also appealed the nation to follow the anti-Covid SOPs and directed the chief secretaries of the provinces to ensure implementation of the SOPs at crowded places, besides enforcing full vaccination, booster doses, use of masks and sanitisers.

He said the front line health workers and doctors had rendered numerous sacrifices to keep the countrymen safe from the disease and also paid tribute to them. He urged the people not to squander the success achieved against the coronavirus. He also called for using masks and sanitisers at the cattle markets set up ahead of Eidul Azha as well as at weddings and other private gatherings.

The Prime Minister said the adherence to the SOPs was inevitable for the safety of one’s own as well as the dear ones.

The meeting was briefed in detail about the Covid-19 situation at local as well as the global level.

The meeting was attended by Health Minister Abdul Qadir Patel, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman, National Disaster Management Authority chairman, federal secretaries of Information and National Health Services, and other senior officers.

Later, addressing a press conference after the decision, Health Minister Patel said the public will have to follow the SOPs till the threat of coronavirus was prevalent.

“We are mulling over strategies for religious gatherings as the threat of coronavirus cases still persists,” he said. The health minister added the government had also decided increasing Covid testing as till now only those who had symptoms were being tested.

Patel further said the government will soon begin vaccinating children under 12 years of age while the campaign for booster shots will be initiated again. “We will also have to ensure the SOPs’ implementation at cattle markets,” he added.

The decision to revive NCOC comes as Pakistan’s daily Covid-19 case count crossed the 500-mark for the first time in three months amid a constant rise in the recent countrywide spread of the disease, the NIH’s data showed on Wednesday morning.

The country reported 541 new Covid-19 infections overnight, pushing the country’s positivity ratio above 3 per cent again. The new infections were detected after countrywide diagnostic testing on 15,462 samples, as per the data.

The Covid-19 positivity dropped to 2.4 per cent as per the statistics issued on Tuesday. However, after the recent rise in cases, the country’s Covid-19 positivity rate swelled to 3.5 per cent in a single day.

Meanwhile, the number of patients being treated in critical care units also surged to 100, while one person infected with Covid-19 died in the last 24 hours.

With the new additions, the total number of deaths rose to 30,392 and the number of active cases climbed to 5,269.