Prime Minister Imran Khan was to apprise the nation in a live televised address on the decisions made, regarding the lockdown in Pakistan to contain the novel coronavirus, at the National Co-ordination Committee (NCC) meeting held yesterday.
In its meeting, the NCC decided to maintain a complete lockdown on weekends to curb the coronavirus and to not change shop timings.
It also eased the restrictions for Fridays, sources told local media.
Chaired by the prime minister, the meeting discussed whether the countrywide lockdown should be extended or relaxed, as coronavirus cases continue to surge across Pakistan.
The meeting commenced at 4.30pm and included the chief ministers of all the four provinces, federal ministers, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) chairperson, and the provincial health ministers.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza gave a briefing on the spread of the coronavirus and the death rate across the country, whereas the focal person on the coronavirus, Dr Faisal Sultan, provided a brief on the overall situation.
The meeting discussed and formulated effective coronavirus prevention strategies and reviewed treatment provided to coronavirus affectees along with the availability of hospital beds, ventilators, and other resources required by medical centres.
In this regard, NDMA officials was also to provide a report on available masks and other medical equipment including personal protection equipment (PPE) in Pakistan.
The NCC, in its last meeting on May 7, had decided to extend the lockdown till May 31.
However, markets and shopping malls were opened for the public, with standard operating procedures (SOPs), on the directives of the Supreme Court.
A meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday under Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar mulled over the country’s new “Living with the Pandemic” strategy to cope with coronavirus.
“The NCOC recommended that the educational institutions be closed till August as the summer season and pandemic would be at peak in July,” a statement from the government had read.
The meeting sought the provincial governments’ feedback on a “negative list”, aiming to finalise the recommendations of opening some more sectors of the economy halted due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“The forum insisted that the marriage halls should only be allowed with [a] limited number of guests, one dish and strict compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs),” read the statement.
Moreover, Umar had directed the concerned authorities to calculate the economic impact of the virus in the first quarter of the current calendar year.
The meeting was also apprised about the critical care resources that needed to be increased owing to the surging risk of the pandemic.
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