Army playing active role to tackle the coronavirus: DG ISPR

Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Babar Iftikhar, taking over the briefing, said: “The army is in full swing to tackle the coronavirus alongside the civil governments.”
Addressing a press alongside SAPM Awan and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza he said,“the army chief has directed all formations to inspect risk assessments at district and tehsil level and help civil administration tackle the pandemic,” he said.
“We are helping the governments with quarantine facilities as well,” he said, adding: “We are stationed at all the entry points; there is a comprehensive strategy in place.”
The Peshawar, Sialkot, Quetta, Faisalabad, and Multan airports will be operational from March 21 and the Army and Rangers personnel will help the civil administration there as well, he said.
All the medical resources of the armed forces are being prepared for an emergency situation, said Gen Iftikhar.
The Army spokesperson said that the Army’s scientists were working to develop a sanitiser to tackle the pandemic.
The ISPR along with health and information ministry has drafted a “crisis and risk communication strategy” in light of the world’s best practices, he said.
“A national command and control centre has been formed along with all stakeholders including the Army, to provide people with timely updates.”
“We are using TV, radio, social media and other platforms to spread awareness,” he said.
“Well-known figures including, scholars, celebrities, influencers, and others must play their part in spreading awareness about the pandemic,” he urged.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza said that a national dashboard was launched which will provide real-time updates on the coronavirus cases across the country.
“There have been far-reaching discussions on health between China and Pakistan. President Arif Alvi’s visit to China was to understand how to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Pakistan.”
“With the assistance of the Chinese ambassador in Pakistan, we will interact with Chinese experts on infectious diseases and seek their help in tackling the pandemic and the fist video conference in this regard will take place in a day or two,” he said.
Dr Mirza, encapsulating the rapid spread of the disease in the world and specifically in Pakistan, said: “The pandemic has spread to over 176 countries registered with the United Nations and nearly 220,000 people have been infected, whereas in Pakistan there are 326 confirmed cases,” he said.
He praised all the provincial chief ministers for cooperating with the federal government. “The provinces are providing us with timely updates. I am thankful to them for their cooperation with the centre.”
“We don’t need to be obsessive about the number as there are thousands of confirmed coronavirus cases in other countries,” he added.
He expressed grief over the death of the two coronavirus patients who died in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa a day earlier.
“PM Imran in his speech focused on social distancing. We need to implement that as soon as possible,” he noted, adding: “The majority of the reported cases (in Pakistan) are imported.”
Acknowledging the efforts made so far in the provinces, Dr Mirza said: “All the governments are playing an active role in curbing the virus.”
The health adviser also informed the media that in the next press conference, only PTV would record the briefing and make it available to other media channels.
He also urged people not to go unnecessarily to hospital OPDs and “if it is necessary to go there, the patient should go alone.”
“Only a single person will be allowed to go in OPDs with people who are very sick, starting today, in hospitals under the control of federal government,” he said.

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