NCOC Gives Suggestions in the Wake of Rising Coronavirus Cases

The NCOC, being the nerve center for coronavirus response in Pakistan, made some important suggestions on Wednesday to curb the rise of the number of cases. Their suggestions included restricting large public gatherings in the country, and enhancing the measures being taken in areas deemed as highly risky. 

Just days earlier, the government had ordered that half of the staff employed in both private and public sector offices in the country, will now work from home. They had also announced that smart lockdowns will now be relatively broader as they are imposed on various urban centers of the country. These measures were announced as part of the second phase of controlling the emerging coronavirus cases. 

Following the suggestions made by the government, the NCOC came up with its own list. 

In the last 24 hours alone, Pakistan has recorded nearly 1,700 cases, which is the highest number recorded in over three months. In the same time period, at least 21 people have lost their lives to the virus as over 55 patients were declared to be in a critical condition. 

The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) had a meeting just today. It was chaired by Asad Umar, the Federal Minister for Planning. He went over the epidemic curve data and reviewed the prevalence of the disease in Pakistan. 

Umar took to Twitter to inform that in mid-October, the NCC had taken into consideration the suggestion made by NCOC to limit large public gatherings. According to him, the daily cases have almost tripled since then. 

The Minister urged the political leadership across the nation to demonstrate their responsibilities as leaders. He stated that everyone should strictly adhere to SOPs and take preventive steps to ensure that the infection rate is under control. 

The forum was told that ever since NCOC gave its first recommendation on the 12th of October, the cases in the country had nearly tripled. On the 3rd of November, the National Coordination Committee (NCC) had been advised to place a ban on outdoor activities and large public gatherings. However, the stakeholders had failed to reach a consensus and had thus, delayed their decision. 

Where the positivity ratio of the coronavirus in educational institutions is concerned, the forum was informed that there is a dire need to keep an eye on the trend and compare it with previous data. On November 16th, the federal education minister is set to chair a meeting, which will consist of all provincial education ministers, to review this very trend. 

Once the ministers present at the meeting engage in consultative discussions, suggestions will be shared with the provinces. Consequently, the provincial education ministers will be expected to adhere to the decision and enforce it accordingly. 

This will include the suggestion of the NCOC to give an early and extended winter break to students, in order to reduce the impact of the positivity ratio of the coronavirus. The center has stressed on the health and safety of the students from time to time.