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pakistan
Saturday May 30 2020
By
Web Desk

'Living with the Pandemic': Pakistan mulls over new COVID-19 strategy

By
Web Desk
Meeting held at NCOC in Islamabad on May 30, 2020. — Twitter(@PakPMO)

ISLAMABAD: A meeting held at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday mulled over the country's new “Living with the Pandemic” strategy to cope with coronavirus.

"The NCOC recommended that the educational institutions be closed till August as the summer season and pandemic would be at peak in July," a statement from the government read.

The meeting, with Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar in the chair, sought provinces' feedback on "negative list" aiming to finalise the recommendations of opening some more sectors of the economy halted due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Read more: Wearing facial masks in public places is mandatory now

The meeting was attended by Interior Minister Brig (retd) Syed Ejaz Ahmad Shah, Minister for National Food Security and Research Fakhar Imam and Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar. Special assistants Lt Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa, Moeed Yusuf, Dr Zafar Mirza and Tania Aidrus were also present.

"The forum insisted that the marriage halls should only be allowed with [a] limited number of guests, one dish and strict compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs)," read the statement.

Meanwhile, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said that the restaurants under the negative list would have to completely close their services or partially initiate its functions with only take away services.

Read more: Latest updates on coronavirus

Umar directed the concerned authorities to calculate the economic impacts of COVID-19 in the first quarter of the current calendar year.

The forum was also apprised that the critical care resources would be increased owing to the surging risk of the pandemic.

The meeting was told the testing capacity of COVID-19 was being increased to 672,000.

Read more: Record 38 deaths take Sindh's coronavirus mortality rate to 1.7%

In addition, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said that although wearing of masks was mandatory, no punitive action was being taken against the violators.

The meeting "emphasised" the need to revise its communication strategy for better messaging and public outreach on the COVID-19 issue.