PM says personally overseeing anti-virus efforts as tally rises to 33
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday made his first public statement on the coronavirus pandemic, telling the nation that he is "personally overseeing measures" to deal with the disease.
Taking to Twitter, the premier advised the public to follow safety instructions issued by the government regarding COVID-19.
The prime minister's tweets came as Pakistan's tally of coronavirus cases rose to 33 on Saturday evening. The increase of five cases came as Sindh and Balochistan reported two new cases each while the first case in Islamabad was confirmed in a woman who arrived from the United States.
"While there is a need for caution there is no need for panic," he wrote, announcing that he will address the nation on the issue "soon".
The prime minister said the government remains alert to the dangers posed by the virus and has "put in place sufficient protocols for the safety and health of our people".
"The WHO (World Health Organisation) has commended our efforts as being amongst the best in the world," he noted.
Five new cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Pakistan, including Islamabad’s first and second locally transmitted case in Karachi, on Saturday, pushing the country’s tally to 33.
NCC on Coronavirus holds first meeting
The first meeting of National Coordination Committee on Coronavirus was held here on Saturday to discuss plans to effectively curb the spread of disease by evaluating the situation on day to day basis.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Dr Zafar Mirza chaired the meeting of the National Coordination Committee which was constituted on the direction of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The meeting was also attended by the provincial chief ministers through video link.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Special on National Security Division Dr Moaeed Yousaf also attended the meeting besides other members including Secretary Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Akbar Durrani, Secretary National Health Services Dr Tanveer Qureshi, Secretary Finance Naveed Kamran Baloch, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Surgeon General of Pakistan and Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The meeting reviewed the implementation status of decisions of National Security Committee (NSC) and was informed that provinces had started implementing the decisions of the NSC.
It was informed that all educational institutions including public and private schools, universities, vocational institutions and Madaris had been closed in the country with immediate effect and till April 5.
The meeting decided to make and implement coordinated and effective strategy to fight coronavirus.