Strict SOPs enforcement begins countrywide

By Staff Reporter
Friday – June 5, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The provincial chief secretaries, including of Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Thursday informed the national command and operation centre (NCOC) that strict administrative action has been initiated against the violators of standard operating procedures (SOPs) and social distancing in public places and at high risk areas of markets, public transport and industrial sectors.

According to official statements, planning, development and special initiatives (PDSI) minister Asad Umar chaired the NCOC session and exchanged views on SOPs’ compliance, strict administrative actions being implemented and enforcement of various strands of track, trace and quarantine (TTQ) strategy, to avoid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) countrywide.

Speaking on the occasion, PDSI minister Umar said the heart of the strategy to contain the risk of the contagion was to ensure SOPs compliance and enforcement of quarantine measures.

He added that all measures should be implemented swiftly to make the strategy a success in overcoming the risk of the outbreak spread.

Punjab chief secretary told the forum that strict SOPs and social distancing will be ensured whereas on violation the entire market, business centre and plaza will be sealed.

He added that around Rs 6.5 lakh fines were also imposed on the transport sector for violating the SOPs whereas a fine will also be imposed on not wearing face masks at public places and high risk areas.

Sindh chief secretary informed the forum that business centres, bazaars and markets violating the SOPs and safety guidelines were issued strict warning notices.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) chief secretary mentioned that public compliance of SOPs and safety measures was not satisfactory, rather careless attitude was witnessed.

He added that the decisions made in the national coordination committee (NCC) meeting on June the first, 2020, and NCOC sessions on June the second and third, 2020, were sent for implementation to provincial administration.

In this context, two complete markets in various districts including Peshawar were sealed on violating safety protocols.

Around 25,000, No Masks No Service informative banners and slings have been displayed across the province to make awareness among the masses to comply wearing masks.

Balochistan chief secretary informed the forum that keeping in view the increasing number of positive cases after opening of the shops, the provincial administration has prepared a comprehensive plan to initiate stringent action against violation of SOPs and safety measures.

GB chief secretary apprised the forum that smart lockdown strategy was implemented earlier that helped in minimising the disease spread.

A fine of Rs100 is being imposed on the person not wearing mask in public places and three face masks instead are provided to volunteers on spot to follow the safety protocol. The people have generally welcomed the initiative.

AJK chief secretary briefed the forum that transport was opened in the valley with SOPs compliance, whereas effective contact tracing was being carried out to trace affected patients and their close contacts; community mobilisation and rural support programmes network (RSPN) are also contributing effectively.

PDSI minister Umar emphasised provision of optimum assistance to large cities and main hospitals who are facing infected patients influx.

Moreover, he emphasised that government is focusing on measures to contain the spread of deadly pandemic including strict action against violators.

The minister asked the provinces to share details of ramp up plan of health facilities and requirements from federal government to help them to cope with the situation effectively.

NCOC was told that a survey of capital’s graveyards and hospitals will be conducted within the next few days to analyse the latest situation about the COVID-19.

NCOC asked Sindh province to submit their COVID-19 plan of action and additional support required from the federal government in writing after the meeting.

The Sindh representative told the forum that the province needs more equipment especially ventilators to meet the requirements.

It was highlighted that 52 x ventilators have been released from national disaster management authority’s (NDMA) stock and handed over to the Sindh government.

It was informed that the province has also ordered 100 x ventilators, out which 8 have already arrived while remaining will be delivered to the province in July.

Sindh representative said that a hundred bed new hospital will start functioning in Karachi soon.

The forum was told that Pakistan institute of medical sciences (PIMS) has enhanced its capacity to accommodate the COVID-19 patients.

The evening session of NCOC was attended by the interior minister brigadier (R) Ejaz Ahmed Shah, prime minister’s focal person on COVID-19 Faisal Sultan, special assistant to the prime minister (SAPM) on digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus and other high level officials.