Pakistan is among top 30 countries in the world as per number of vaccine doses administered

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) spearheaded the country’s unified fight against the unprecedented risk of deadly contagious disease of Covid-19 with its three-pronged strategy to overcome disease spread.

Pakistan’s national anti-COVID-19 strategy began as interplay between buildup of critical health care capacity and calibrated Non Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs), said the ‘Three Years Performance Report of the NCOC’ launched by the prime minister here on Thursday.

“It has now evolved into a three-pronged approach encompassing synergistic trinity of NPIs, Social Behavior Change and Vaccination. Pakistan Army’s all out support in the national cause remains a rider clause in the national efforts against the pandemic which has so far witnessed three distinct waves,” it said.

Pakistan after concerted efforts has been among best five countries with respect to cases per million (country’s over 100 million population) including China (1439 Million / 63 cases per Million), Nigeria (210 / 790), Ethiopia (117 /2312), Egypt (104 / 2532), Pakistan (224 / 4105), it added.

“Pakistan is among top 30 countries in the world as per number of vaccine doses administered,” it said.

The NCOC has supported the provinces in augmenting daily testing capacity increased from merely 472 tests in February to 80,000 plus tests; number of labs increased from only 4 labs in February to 172.

The dedicated team of NCOC through strong efforts made Pakistan’s current contact tracing average of 7.1 surpassing that of US, India, UK and Germany.

The NCOC through its informed decision making and data based strategies ensured efficient healthcare ramp up including 7,043 oxygenated beds added in healthcare system along with 18,200 oxygen cylinders.

The Oxygen production capacity was also increased to 803 metric tonnes from 487 metric tonnes per day and four additional oxygen plants added (increased from 10 to 14) in system since June 2020.

The Forum assisted in protection of livelihoods of masses, management of food security and supply chain issues during lockdowns; ensuring essential provisions through utility stores.

The Forum also ensured continuous management of external trade under COVID environment, safe opening of economy- post lockdown, relief package to worst hit sectors including industries and education sector being pushed.

Around 451,373 stranded Pakistanis were repatriated from 86 counties in a phased manner through the efforts triggered through the Forum.

Since 5th May 2021, over 1,000 inbound flights carrying over 300,000 passengers tested at 9 international airports. “Pakistan is also first country in the world to employ COVID detection dogs at two major airports of the country,” it added.

The Forum also ensured implementation of calibrated NPIs including Smart and Micro-smart Lockdowns; and application of broader country wide restrictions.

The NCOC also made elaborate efforts for management of various religious events such as Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Muharram, Arbaeen, Eid Milad-un-Nabi, Tableeghi gatherings (Raiwind ijtimah), Birth Anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak etcetera.

The Forum also led an elaborate effective media and awareness campaign involving over 20,000 hours in electronic media, more than 30,000 posts on social media networking sites, 400 plus Op-eds in national print media, PSMs by leadership and celebrities.

The NCOC collaborated with Rural Support Programme active in 66 districts and 1,500 union councils across country for community mobilization. Multi-tiered engagement with religious leaders and Ulema was held at the Forum.

The Forum introduced best practices for a unified national response despite challenges owing to 18th constitutional amendment amid health being devolved subject. “Countries like USA and India faltered in this area and consequently witnessed massive disease spikes,” it added.

The Forum also introduced institutionalized and evidence-based decision making to keep number of cases and deaths per million in a check. Moreover, disease projections for informed policy decisions – centralized planning and decentralized execution was the hallmark of NCOC’s efforts.

The Forum ensured continuous disease surveillance, technology based track, trace and quarantine (TTQ), contact tracing (over 9 million), seroprevalence and genome testing for detection of new virus variants.

The resource optimization and apt management demonstrating synergy of efforts by all state organs had been a key feature of Pakistan’s efforts which also included intelligent use of IT support, digital data flow and management.

The current focus of the NCOC was on mass vaccination drive to vaccinate 75 million population by end of 2021. So far 31,929,581 vaccines have been administered with a maximum of 1.07 million doses in a day on 2nd August 21. Whole of the Nation – proactive, dynamic and consistent approach led by federal and provincial governments and coordinated by NCOC adopted for the monumental task.

The NCOC worked as an apolitical organization steering national response against COVID-19 in a participative, non-intrusive and all-encompassing manner hitherto fore unknown in our over 70 years history.