DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar, in an exclusive interview with Global Village Space, has greatly appreciated media’s role in educating the masses about Covid-19 pandemic.
He said, “The media has contributed to different kind of campaigns on the pandemic free of cost, which otherwise would’ve cost billions of rupees.”
While lauding media’s role during the first wave of the pandemic, he called for the public to exercise caution as the second wave was already here in Pakistan and currently the cases have been rising rapidly.
“We need to be extremely careful in this second wave, and we need to help each other. And we need to be more careful than we were before and only then we will be able to come out of it intact, insha’Allah,” the military’s spokesperson said.
While an appeal to the public to be responsible citizens and adhere to all the SOPs was made, DG ISPR also highlighted the successes of the government assisted by the military in successfully fighting the first wave of the virus. “Right from day one, Pakistan Army has been part of every effort that has been undertaken by the government and the people of Pakistan to control this,” he said.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), which has been the nerve centre of Covid-19 response in Pakistan “is being manned by the military and their civil counterparts.”
“When we came up with this setup, the idea was to articulate the resources better that the nation has to use. So, it worked really well, we started with the deployment of Pakistan Army soldiers, across Pakistan when we were trying to exercise some smart lockdowns,” he added.
Major General Babar Iftikhar made a special mention of all the “front-line healthcare workers who have fought through this, and who are again on the front lines.”
Currently, Pakistan is faced with the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic and the infection rate is soaring partly due to winters and partly because of pandemic fatigue. It has been observed that most youngsters which contract the virus are asymptomatic and most of the times recover swiftly – however their parents, aged relatives and friends are more susceptible to the disease. They mostly catch the virus from them and suffer severely as their body’s internal response is weak. This segment composes most of the death toll and which is precisely why the death rate is currently on the rise across Pakistan.
Gen Babar said: “As far as the second wave is concerned, I believe, ever since we started fighting this pandemic, there has been a lot of capacity building, and we have been able to enhance our ability to fight this in a better way. So, the second wave as it is coming, we should be tackling it well.”
The military spokesperson also stressed upon the cohesion currently existing between the different government departments and military institutions. He especially mentioned the achievements in the information field made possible by the optimum utilisation of resources at their disposal.
“The information technology part has been supplemented by the capability that the Army has. So, at every level, may it be information, may it be information technology or may it be implementation and execution of different instructions being given by the government, Pakistan Army has been in the thick and thin of all these things,” he said.