The National Command and Operation Centre held its first ever meeting in Sindh on Saturday, which was co-chaired by the body’s chairman Asad Umar and NCOC National Coordinator Lt-Gen Hamood-uz-Zaman.
The meeting, which was held at the Chief Minister House, was attended by Asad Umar, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah, Health Minister Sindh Dr Azra Pechuho and Education Minister Sindh Saeed Ghani as well as others.
The chief minister apprised the National Command and Operation Centre that Sindh could conduct 12,000 Covid-19 tests in a single day, though the number had dropped in the past few days. Chief Minister Murad said that the National Command and Operation Centre had fared well, adding that the Sindh government had imposed selected lockdowns in coronavirus hotspot areas throughout the province.
The chief minister revealed that the provincial government had set up two hospitals in Karachi for Covid-19 patients. Discussing the safety precautions for cattle markets in the city, he said that sacrificial animals can only be bought at places designated by the government.
“Buying and selling of animals in streets have been prohibited,” he told the National Command and Operation Centre.
Umar said that the main purpose of bringing the National Command and Operation Centre meetings to provinces was to ensure the fight against the pandemic improved. The minister highlighted how joint efforts from provinces are needed to control the coronavirus, while at the same time recognising that the work done by provincial governments had helped control the pandemic.
Umar said that the federal government was working together with provincial governments in the battle against Covid-19.
The National Command and Operation Centre had formulated the Standard Operating Procedures on Monday regarding cattle markets and imposition of smart lockdown in several places of the country ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
In a meeting presided by the National Command and Operation Centre chairman, the session was briefed that the plan for congregational prayers will be the same as of Eid-ul-Fitr.
The forum was told that around 700 cattle markets will be functioning across Pakistan on the eve of Eid-ul-Azha, for which necessary guidelines have been forwarded.
The National Command and Operation Centre chair had said the local administrations should ensure that the cattle markets operate from 6am to 7pm. Among other guidelines, it was decided that the screening of those entering the markets was mandatory. People would be asked to ensure they are wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. Officials would make sure that only a designated number of people be allowed inside at one time to avoid overcrowding.