MINISTER for Planning and Development, Asad Umar, is amongst the few cabinet members who really take their job seriously and who have shown the commitment and devotion to their work.
His leadership role in the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the body which prepared policies with consensus to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic – is hidden to nobody and needs to be commended.
The entire team of NCOC, especially Asad Umar, deserves recognition for figuring out a way of handling the Covid-19 through a more prosaic combination of science, data, decision-making and then their execution.
In fact had the body not taken decision in a timely manner and implemented them in letter and spirit, the situation today would have been far serious.
The NCOC is essentially the nerve centre through which real time data about the pandemic flows.
Every day, the federal government and the four provinces come together to examine the data and the insights and trend that it reflects, to identify what measures need to be taken.
This approach really helped tackle the first two waves of Covid-19 very successfully but the challenge is not over as the third wave is proving to be more fatal and dangerous.
Addressing a news conference on Tuesday, Asad Umar very rightly pointed out that the people are no longer taking the health guidelines seriously.
Indeed the people will have to act with maturity and responsibly to avoid the situation getting out of control as our health infrastructure is still not in a position to deal with the rising number of cases.
Especially, during the holy month of Ramadan, they will have to observe utmost care whilst visiting markets or going to the mosques for prayers.
Asad Umar also shared the good news that the vaccination for the whole population will be opened after Eid-ul- Fitr.
We are confident that no effort will be spared to procure the vaccines as per the requirements of our population.
No resource constraint should be allowed coming in the way of procurement of the vaccine as nothing is more precious than the life of the people and that the impact of lockdowns are far more serious on the economy.
We also expect the Planning Minister to focus his energies on building state-of-the-art health infrastructure in the country which is strong enough to deal with such kind of challenges.