ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani nation has responded to the unprecedented risk of coronavirus pandemic as a united force from the platform of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) where the Pakistan Army and federal ministries have set up a unique example of galvanized cooperation and joint working relationship to cope with the global threat amicably through national consensus and informed decision making.
The NCOC has issued its 100 days report encompassing the national efforts, decisions and actions taken to contain the contagion of coronavirus. The nation is determined in its fight against coronavirus amid federal and provincial harmony along with strong civil and military cooperation. The NCOC is the manifestation of public confidence that in 100 days since its inception on March 27 made tireless efforts while serving over 1,700 hours day and night and has become the centre of national efforts and backbone of decision-making.
From the detection of the first COVID-19 case in Pakistan on February 26 to the present day, the Government of Pakistan has not only taken important steps for the welfare of the people but also increased capacity in every field.
The NCOC has played a key role in enhancing national efforts to contain the pandemic spread, improving the health sector and providing timely information to the masses.
The NCOC prepares daily agenda and recommendations to be sent to the National Coordination Committee (NCC) for accurate and prompt decision making. It is actively working on community mobilization in 66 districts along with the National Rural Support Programme. In this regard, the Pakistan Army also dedicated all its most of the resources including most of its assets, troops, hospitals and laboratories for full support of the civil administration to cope with the pandemic.
The government launched the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme on March 26 to protect more than 12.3 million people, including workers and daily wagers, from hunger and distress during the lockdown.
Under the Ehsaas Cash programme more than Rs 148 billion has been disbursed so far whereas Rs1200 billion financial relief was given in lieu off electricity bills. More than 100,000 Pakistanis stranded in 65 countries were repatriated on 478 Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and foreign flights.
At the national level, the NCOC has formulated effective standard operating procedures (SOPs) and safety guidelines against COVID-19 pandemic.
It has also increased capabilities in daily statistics, analysis and information to deal with crisis situation. Testing capacity increased from 472 tests to more than 50,000 tests daily, number of laboratories increased from 2 to 132.
In Islamabad the Isolation Hospital and Infections Treatment Center (IHITC) was completed in 35 days which is a 250-bed healthcare facility and will be operational by mid-July.
At present there are 1562 ventilators available for COVID-19 patients in the country whereas 1895 additional ventilators are also being provided soon.
Under the ramp-up plan of healthcare facilities for coronavirus patients, 41 ventilators have been provided to various hospitals in Islamabad. The provision of medical resources to all of the provinces including Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) has been ensured on priority basis.