PM Imran Khan asks NCOC to come up with future coronavirus plan; no orders for lockdown

An APP file photo of PM Imran Khan reading a document. 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday asked the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) to draft a future plan to curb the second coronavirus wave, however, he did not order any further restrictions on economic and social activity in the country.

The prime minister issued the directives while chairing a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC).

PM Imran Khan directed all stakeholders to strike a balance “between disease control measures and livelihood of people”. He also stressed ramping up hospital care to cater to any rise in coronavirus.

The NCOC had apprised the prime minister about the current coronavirus situation, the current pattern of the disease spread and the increasing positivity ratio of the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the NCC endorsed all recently announced safety measures by the NCOC, including implementation of orders to wear face masks in public and reduce timings of markets, restaurants, marriage halls, and enforcement of smart lockdowns.

Pakistan records over 1,000 cases

Federal ministers had attended the meeting in person, while chief ministers joined the meeting via video link.

Pakistan registered 1,167 coronavirus cases on November 2 — nearly 1,000 cases more than the country had registered a month ago on October 2.

The country has registered a total of 336,260 coronavirus cases, 6,849 deaths, and 315,446 recoveries so far, according to the official figures.

The prime minister had said earlier in the day that Pakistan “cannot afford” another lockdown.

Strict measures

The federal and provincial governments have issued multiple warnings over the past few days, urging public to follow COVID-19 SOPs. Last week, the NCOC tightened restrictions on high risk public activities and made face masks mandatory in public spaces.

The authorities also reduced timings for restaurants and weddings to 10:00pm.

In a bid to discourage violation of social distancing and other SOPs, the NCOC sought people’s help to avoid a second wave of infections.

“With the arrival of second wave and continued wide scale violation of the SOPs, the NCOC has decided to seek citizens help for SOP compliance,” tweeted Umar.

He asked people to take pictures of SOPs violations such as not wearing masks or not maintaining social distancing in crowded places and send those images to a government-issued number along with the location.

The number is +92 335 3336262.

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