NCOC finalizes various recommendations in wake of COVID-19 pandemic


Islamabad: April 14, 2020 (TNS): National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) has recommended that guidelines for Ramzan regarding taraweeh and mass congregations should be formulated in consultation of Ulema.

A meeting of the NCOC was held in Islamabad on Tuesday with Planning Minister Asad Umar in the chair, which finalized various recommendations for National Coordination Committee’s approval in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting suggested that Ministry of Interior in consultation with Ulema will formulate guidelines for Ramzan covering aspects like taraweeh, namaz, roza congregations, Iftar and sehri, arrangements of Juma Bazar, Ramzan Bazar, distribution of food items, and collection of fitrana.

Regarding indigenous manufacturing capacity of the country, the meeting recommended that Ministry of Science and Technology, DRAP and NUST should finalize decision of domestic development of testing kits within 36 hours. It was mentioned in the meeting that Pakistan Engineering Council is developing five types of ventilators and eight designs have been submitted for approval. It was said clinical trials of these ventilators have started.

Coming to Railways, the meeting was informed that seven trains have been converted into hospitals and isolation wards, while 26 trains are available for plying across the country. Besides, 48 Railways hospitals are available, including 12 major hospitals and 36 small dispensaries.

The meeting also discussed plight of stranded Pakistani citizens in various countries. It was said that 1950 passengers will be brought back and three months are required to bring back all stranded Pakistanis. It recommended that all passengers will be quarantined as per health guidelines at locations of arrival. Seven international airports, except Sialkot, will be operating to bring back stranded Pakistani nationals.

The NCOC asked the Ministry of Interior to issue notifications for closure of borders for another two weeks with effect from date of expiry of previous notifications. It recommended that Wagah Border will remain closed from 16th to 29th of this month, western border with Afghanistan and Iran from 13th to 26th of this month, and Kartarpur Corridor from 11th to 24th of this month.

Interior Minister Brig. retired Ijaz Ahmed Shah Minister for Industries and Production Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Minister for Energy Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for National Food and Security Fakhar Imam, Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Mr Moeed Yousaf and Dr Zafar Mirza and Finance Advisor Abdul Razak Dawood were present at the briefing. However, Prime Minister Azad Kashmir Chief Ministers of Sindh, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participated in the meeting through video link.