Perceptive strategy of NCOC

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THE National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), which is the nerve centre of the national Covid-19 containment activities, has prepared a 48-day strategy, which has pre-Ramazan, Ramazan, and post-Ramazan components, aimed at educating and informing the public about the potential risks, advocating adherence to social distancing practices and other containment measures, preparing the people for observance during the holy month under the special circumstances and ultimately preventing the spread of the disease. The NCOC’s campaign, which has already gone into the execution phase over the past couple of days, is titled “Zindagi Rawan, Zara Fasla Mehrban”.
As was feared, the number of infection is rapidly increasing with the passage of every day and the country reported another spike in Covid-19 fatalities on Monday as death toll hit 192 with 24 deaths and confirmed cases crossing nine thousand mark amid reports of increased testing by the Centre and the provinces. The situation is assuming alarming dimensions even before the holy month and could worsen further as a result of permission granted for resumption of activities by different sectors and businesses as well as congregational prayers if there were no precautionary measures by citizens. In this backdrop, the NCOC has come out with much-needed awareness campaign that has the potential to pay back. The plan assumes importance as apart from Juma and Taraweeh prayers, people gather in large numbers for Eid prayers and there is practice of exchanging Eid greetings and inviting near and dear ones for meals. There are also traditions linked to weddings and harvesting of wheat besides Urs and Melas held in different parts of the country. As self-imposed social distancing is the only effective response to the menace of Covid-19, awareness about such measures run through all the three phases of the NCOC campaign, especially the core Ramazan part that promotes the idea of “every house being a mosque” and the concept of “live Taraweeh” from mosques, which people could follow at home. The communication strategy emphasizes taking measures to protect others in the context of Haqooqul Ibad (duties towards mankind) and avoiding Iftar parties and Ramazan bazaars. The other pillars of the campaign relate to adoption of healthy behaviour and countering misinformation. All communication channels are being used to reach out to all segments of the society and hopefully the campaign would bear fruit as voluntary adherence to the concept of social distancing has become a question of safety and survivability.