Lockdown can be imposed if situation does not improve, warns NCOC

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - The National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) has warned that if new coronavirus cases continue to rise and the situation across the country does not improve, lockdowns could be imposed in cities with high positivity rates.

A meeting of the NCOC was held under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar on Saturday. It said the decision regarding lockdowns would be taken after consultation with all parties. The purpose of the lockdown is to control the spread of the virus through strict implementation of SOPs.

In the meeting, it was briefed that there are suggestions regarding lockdown, closing educational institutions, inter-city transport, malls and markets. The meeting decided to extend the ban on inter-provincial transport till May 17.

The NCOC approved walk-in vaccination for citizens over 60 years of age. It was briefed during the meeting that 500,000 Sinopharm vaccines would reach Pakistan via special PAF aircraft today. Moreover, the services of Rangers, Pakistan Army and FC would be provided at the request of the provincial governments.

The meeting was briefed on healthcare facilities and the availability of oxygen. In view of the deteriorating situation, 6901 more beds have been provided while strict monitoring is being carried out to ensure oxygen supply.

The Forum appreciated the efforts of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in providing healthcare facilities. According to the NCOC, NDMA has so far provided 2811 oxygen beds, 431 ventilators, 1196 oxygen cylinders, 500 BiPAP machines and 1504 finger pulse oximeters.