PM Imran summons NCC to review rising Covid-19 cases


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned an emergent meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) for Covid-19 on Friday as key decisions are expected from the meeting in the wake of rising coronavirus cases and deaths across the country.

Sources told Pakistan Today that the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran will be attended by federal ministers, chief ministers and chief secretaries of the four provinces. The meeting will review the pandemic situation across the country.

In this regard, Pakistan Today learned that the meeting chaired by the PM would evaluate its options to counter the recent spike in infections of Covid-19.

Over the past week or so, the average positivity ratio across the country stand at 11 per cent and the numbers are not dropping down from five thousand new infections on a daily basis.

The source said that the meeting led by the prime minister would discuss the possibility of imposition of lockdown in major cities of the country with a rate of more than ten per cent, while business activities in major cities and areas could be suspended and offices closed.

It is said that the decision of lockdown is likely in the cities of coronavirus with a rate of more than ten per cent. Businesses are likely to be suspended and offices closed in the lockdown cities and areas.

The NCC will give final approval to the lockdown decision in the most affected cities. On the other hand, according to the data released by the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC), 57,591 Coronavirus tests were conducted during the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of code 19 tests to 1,137,742. A further 5,857 positive cases have been reported.

The number of coronavirus patients in Pakistan has reached 778,238. So far, 275,081 in Sindh, 279,437 in Punjab, 19,704 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 71,533 in Islamabad, 21,242 in Balochistan, 16,026 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and 16,026 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

It is pertinent here to mention that a special plane of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) carrying 0.5 million doses of the SinoVac vaccine arrived at NurKhan Airbase, Islamabad, from China on Thursday. The consignment is procured on payment from China. The consignment arrives as Pakistan gears up to provide vaccine jabs to all its people across the country after Eidul Fitr.

Moreover, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood said on Thursday that Pakistan and China have set a new model of cooperation in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic and all countries should uphold multilateralism to fight the disease.

Representing Pakistan at the six-country Vice Foreign Ministers’ Video Conference from Islamabad, the foreign secretary underscored the global community needed solidarity and cooperation to fight the pandemic.

Hosted by Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Wu Jianghao, the video conference was attended b Vice-Foreign Ministers and Foreign Secretaries from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Foreign Secretary Sohail appreciated China’s initiative to set up this forum and said today’s conference was taking place at a time when the region was battling against the pandemic.

Despite challenges posed by Covid-19, he said, Pakistan and China carried forward the momentum of development and construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He lauded China’s remarkable achievement in eradicating extreme poverty.

The foreign secretary stressed the need to ensure an equitable and affordable supply of vaccine for the developing countries. He emphasised that notions of stigmatization and insinuations on the origin of the virus must be dispelled.

He reiterated that Pakistan would continue to deepen cooperation through this platform with the regional countries, in pursuance of common developmental goals.

He also briefed the participants about the third wave of Covid-19 in Pakistan and highlighted the measures taken by the government of Pakistan to save lives, secure livelihoods and stimulate the economy.