Planning Minister Asad Umer makes important statement over easing coronvirus lockdown across country

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Planning Minister Asad Umer makes important statement over easing coronvirus lockdown across country

ISLAMABAD - Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has expressed the confidence that the decision to ease lockdown in phased manner will be implemented with the national spirit of unity.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad on Sunday, he said the decision was taken in consultation with all the federating units. He said big policy level decisions have been taken and now it is time for their implementation.

The Minister for Planning expressed satisfaction that the people have acted with responsibility but they now need to more strictly follow the precautionary measures after the easing of restrictions to avoid the spread of the virus. He said the decision of easing restrictions was taken to provide livelihoods to the people.

Asad Umar said the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) has been working since 31st of March without any break to take the timely decisions and actions to address the situation arising out of Coronavirus.

Asad Umar said the testing capacity is considerably being enhanced and 13500 tests were carried out on Saturday (May 9, 2020). He said there are now seventy labs fully equipped to carry out Corona Virus tests. Currently there are eighty-five people on the ventilators and 165 on oxygen.

The Minister for Planning said a system is being developed in order to ensure efficient response in case the Coronavirus cases spike in the coming days. He expressed satisfaction that the trajectory of Corona Virus cases is not as serious as has been witnessed in some other countries. He however said that we are preparing for the worst situation. A portal will soon be made operational to update record of hospitals and patients.

The Minister said that smart lockdown is being enforced only in hotspot areas. Currently, the smart lockdown is in place in 359 areas of Punjab and 177 areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Asad Umar said we are also engaging with the rural support programs not only to create awareness amongst the rural population about the contagion but also to provide relief to the deserving families.