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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Cabinet meeting: PM to impose smart lockdowns across the country?

The nationwide tally of Covid-19 patients surpassed 142,000 as there has been an exponential increase in cases since the lockdown was eased. PM Khan has called a meeting on the corona situation as experts have been asking the PTI government to take strict measures.

Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan has summoned federal cabinet meeting today (Tuesday) and a five points agenda has also been issued on this count.

Sources said the cabinet meeting to be held under the PM Imran Khan would review prevailing political and economic and parliamentary situation. Briefing on coronavirus situation will also be given to the cabinet.

The PM will take the cabinet on board on all important national decisions including smart lockdown. An effective strategy will also be devised in the meeting in connection with parliament session.

The cabinet will endorse National Coordination Committee decisions. The matter of construction of multi-storyed buildings near Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar and Multan airports will also come under consideration in the meeting.

The cabinet will accord approval to establish COVID-19 funds under the supervision of State Bank of Pakistan.

Read more: Pakistan warns coronavirus will peak at more than a million cases

The cabinet will approve amendment in Children Employment Act -1991. Approval for appointment of presiding officer in Gilgit-Baltistan court to curb rigging in polls will also be given in the meeting.

The NCOC meeting

In National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) meeting, chaired by Planning Minister Asad Umar, it was informed that over 13,116 violations of health guidelines were observed across the country in the last 24 hours and punitive actions were taken against 1,541 markets and shops, 33 industrial units and 1,429 vehicles.

Many health experts, civil society activists and anchors have criticized the government over easing the lockdown as COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Dr. Moeed Pirazada has also questioned central government’s strategy to contain the outbreak.

PTI’s Asad Umar has warned that if the SOP’s are violated, Pakistani is likely to have more than 1.2 million COVID-19 cases by the end of July. Analysts believe the government has failed to get an effective communication mechanism in place to contain the deadly pandemic.

“Studies suggest that the pace of the virus’ spread could decrease by 50% by covering the mouth alone,” Chairman NCOC Umar stated, adding that social distancing is equally valuable for combating the disease.

However, many localities were sealed to curb the coronavirus spread on the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The NCOC was informed on Saturday that smart lockdowns had been enforced in 1,292 localities across the country during the last 24 hours to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.

The NCOC, which serves as the nerve centre of the country’s unified efforts to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, heard that a total of 308,600 people now remain under the restrictions in various parts of the country.

Read more: Pakistan’s NCOC: Birth of a powerful democratic institution

A total of 10 localities in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT), having a population of 60,000, were put under smart lockdown, the forum was told. The smart lockdowns had been enforced in 844 localities of Punjab, confining 15,200 people.

Similarly, the lockdown had been imposed in 414 localities of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, with a population of 11,000, seven localities in Sindh with a population of 7,000, 12 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and five areas in Gilgit-Baltistan.

It was also informed that the federal and provincial authorities were ensuring compliance with the health guidelines and instructions, particularly regarding workplaces, industrial sector, transport, markets and shops, besides pursuing the track, trace and quarantine (TTQ) strategy.

Read more: NCOC proposes recommendations to ease countrywide lockdown

Online Int’l News with additional input by GVS News Desk