ISLAMABAD : Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz Saturday said effective planning by Prime Minister Imran Khan helped in reducing the COVID-19 outbreak in Pakistan. Addressing a ceremony at Federal Government Services Hospital (Polyclinic Hospital) in Islamabad on Saturday, the Information and Broadcasting Minister thanked and appreciated the general public for joining hands with the government following the Standard Operating Procedures to meet the global pandemic. He acknowledged the frontline role of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff in the fight against coronavirus in the last 100 days. He said that the strategy of smart lockdown was succeeding in Pakistan and its results could be seen in Islamabad and other areas of the country. He added in Islamabad 771 cases of coronavirus were reported on June 1 and now the number of cases had dropped to 113 due to the smart lockdown strategy. The Minister said people could save themselves from coronavirus by followings precautionary measures and SOPs. He appreciated that people adopted the SOPs and helped in controlling the disease. “The efforts against coronavirus remained successful because of the balanced campaign. However, danger of coronavirus still exists and it is our national obligation to follow the SOPs,” he added. Shibli Faraz said National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) in which federal ministers, chief ministers, officers of armed forces and medical experts regularly attended meetings, had successfully and effectively handled the disease, adding NCOC deserved our appreciation for its 100 days of effort. The minister said the government through its Ehsaas cash transfer programme delivered financial assistance at the doorsteps of poor people with transparency and on merit, adding so far Rs 193 billion were distributed among 12 million deserving families. He said when coronavirus struck the governments around the world were not prepared for it, adding as the previous governments did not focus on health facilities, there were only two laboratories for testing of coronavirus but now 129 laboratories exist to conduct tests and the government had increased the testing capacity. Shibli said in the past all the medical equipment was being imported but now the Ministry of Science and Technology had even started to manufacture ventilators in the country. He said the hospitals still had bed capacity to accommodate new coronavirus patients. He expressed satisfaction at the recovery rate of patients suffering from the infectious disease and stressed that if everybody continued their efforts, time will come when number of patients will be considerably reduced and hospitals will be empty. The minister urged the nation to unite against the coronavirus disease and not pay attention to rumours or false information. He said the government had also announced a special package for the medical staff to acknowledge their effort against coronavirus. On this occasion, he also distributed masks and sanitizers among doctors and the medical staff of the hospital. On the other hand, Pakistan has confirmed 68 deaths in a single day by novel coronavirus as the number of positive cases has surged to 225,283. The nationwide tally of fatalities has jumped to 4,619. According to the latest figures by the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC), 3,387 persons have been tested positive for COVID-19 in 24 hours. Till now 90,721 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Sindh, 80,297 in Punjab, 27,506 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 10,717 in Balochistan, 13,292 in Islamabad, 1,536 in Gilgit-Baltistan and 1,214 in Azad Kashmir. Furthermore, 1,844 individuals have lost their lives to the epidemic in Punjab, 1,459 in Sindh, 1,002 in KP, 122 in Balochistan, 130 in Islamabad, 28 in GB and 34 in Azad Kashmir. Pakistan has so far conducted 1,372,825 coronavirus tests and 22,050 in last 24 hours. 125,094 coronavirus patients have recovered in the country whereas 2,460 patients are in critical condition.
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