NCC decides lockdown extension, finalises strategy to contain COVID-19

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided for extending its lockdown till April 14 to curb the spread of COVID-19 besides finalizing a solid strategy to cope with the impact of the pandemic, ARY News reported on Wednesday.

The decisions were taken in a session of the National Coordination Committee held under the chair of Prime Minister Imran Khan to review the current situation of coronavirus pandemic in Pakistan.

It is decided to extend lockdown till April 14 besides finalizing to hold consultations on April 5 to relax the restrictions in phases across the country.

The session was attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, chief ministers, federal minister, special assistants, and other high-level officers via video link.

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The committee has also held consultations over the resumption of flight operations and the situation after the imposition of lockdowns in different parts of the country.

During the session, the representatives of the federal and provincial governments have briefed the rising number of coronavirus cases, relief steps, supplies of medical equipment and essential commodities to the nationals.

Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza and Moeed Yusuf apprised media during a joint press conference regarding the key decisions taken in the session.

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Asad Umar said that lockdown will continue till April 14 across Pakistan, however, all shops of food items and medical stores will remain opened during the period. The committee has also decided to resume goods transport in all parts of the country, he added.

The federal minister asked all provincial government to ensure implementation of the NCC decisions.

Special Assistant on National Security Division and Strategic Policy Planning, Moeed Yusuf, told media that special measures are being taken to bring back Pakistanis stranded in foreign countries.

“The nationals will be brought back to Pakistan through 17 special flights to be operated for United Kingdom (UK), Canada, Turkey, Kuala Lumpur, Baku. The special flights will be operated from April 3 to April 11 from Pakistan,” said Yusuf.

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SAPM on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza briefed that the country witnessed an increase in coronavirus patients during the last 24 hours. He said 8,893 people were present in isolation centers and COVID-19 tests were conducted for 5,190 patients.

He added that 974 patients were admitted to different hospitals and 10 among them was put on ventilators. Dr. Mirza said some important announcements related to healthcare measures will be made on Thursday (tomorrow).

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