Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has ordered the immediate restoration of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC). The decision came after Pakistan recently reported its first case of the Omicron sub-variant, BA.2.12.1.
Furthermore, the Prime Minister sought a report from the Ministry of National Health on the current situation of the virus in the country.
Pakistan on Monday reported its first case of highly infectious Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1, according to the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Taking to Twitter, the NIH said it detected a case of Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1 through genome sequencing. Furthermore, it said that the new sub-variant is causing an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in different countries.
As a result, the NIH advised people to take the best preventive measure to avoid contracting the virus, which is vaccination against it.
“We strongly recommend getting vaccinated and all those due for boosters must get the shots immediately,” the tweet read.
The best preventive measure (besides mask-wearing at crowded places) is COVID-19 vaccination. We strongly recommended getting vaccinated and all those due for boosters must get the shots immediately.
— NIH Pakistan (@NIH_Pakistan) May 9, 2022
Who will head NCOC?
Important to note that owing to Pakistan’s excellent handling of Covid, the country saw a reduced number of cases. As a result, the NCOC – headed by former Federal Ministers Asad Umar and Dr. Faisal Sultan – was disbanded.
Under Asad Umar and Dr. Faisal Sultan’s leadership, NCOC made remarkable efforts to fight back Covid. In fact, Pakistan’s Covid management even gained international praise.
However, with this latest news of NCOC’s restoration, Twitteratis are speculating over who will take charge of the body. Interestingly, Twitteratis are raising concern over the possibility of Federal Health Minister Qadir Patel heading NCOC.
Pertinent to mention, Qadir Patel’s appointment as Pakistan’s new Health Minister came under sharp criticism. Opposition party members highlighted the criminal cases against him as well as his qualification to head the crucial ministry. To clarify, unlike Dr. Faisal Sultan, Qadir Patel does not have any medical background.
Read more: PTI mocks Pakistan’s new federal cabinet
He didn't restore NCOC. NCOC was Dr Faisal and Asad Umar. He just gave Qadir Patel more options to loot.
— Rizwan (@Rizwow) May 10, 2022