Pakistan cannot afford ‘indefinite lockdown’, says military spokesman
ISPR DG says NCOC will serve as nerve centre ‘to collate and analyse information received from provinces’
Firdous says Information Ministry, ISPR to deal with media over info regarding COVID-19
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan cannot afford an indefinite lockdown as per the information provided to the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC), said Inter-Sevices Public Relations (ISPR) chief Major General Babar Iftikhar on Friday.
Addressing a press conference alongside Prime Minister’s aide on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan, he said: “We cannot afford an indefinite lockdown, we will have to keep our essential services functioning.”
Gen Iftikhar thanked the media for reporting objectively on the coronavirus pandemic, saying that he had no hesitation in admitting that the state will require cooperation from the media to battle the virus.
Speaking about the NCOC, he said the centre was headed by Federal Minister for Planning Asad Umar and catered to information concerning coronavirus cases coming from across the country.
He said that the NCOC serves as a nerve centre “to collate and analyse information received from provinces, after which recommendations are made to National Command Centre” so that the country’s top political leadership can take timely decisions.
The ISPR head said that the NCOC was a ‘one-window operation’ where under one roof, important ministries and provinces had representation. “Here, all sorts of information is received and is forwarded,” he said.
The military’s media spokesperson said that it was of the utmost importance that the masses cooperated with the state by staying inside their homes.
“As a good Muslim, it is one of our most important responsibilities to keep others safe as well,” he said. “You can do this by staying inside your houses.”
The military’s media spokesperson paid tribute to the doctors, health workers and medical staff that was at the forefront in the battle against the coronavirus.
Firdous told reporters that the prime minister has decided that the information ministry, along with the DG ISPR, will coordinate and brief the media on the coronavirus situation.
She said that a strategy will be developed to coordinate with the media.