CGSS experts discuss fruitful recommendations for uplifting lockdown


ISLAMABAD, APR 15 (DNA) – Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) has organized an “Online Interactive Session” on the topic “Suggestive Measures for Lifting the Lockdown: What can be the Phases”, on Wednesday.

The aim of the session was to discuss the recommendations that can be fruitful for uplifting the lockdown.

The session was chaired by Mr. NadeemulHaq Vice Chancellor, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). He stated that this is a bigger war than 1965 and 1971 but unfortunately our response has been less than required. We have done nothing during the lockdown and has done no preparations. We do not have any specialists, we need epidemiologist, virologist and economiststo devise a sound strategy with their input.

Air Vice Marshal Saeed Khan (Retd) stated that Government must come up with certain does and don’ts which must be implemented immediately.

We need long-term and mid-term policy while prioritizing our health sector. Innovation is required that can be achieved through the specialists.

Lieutenant General Masood Aslam (Retd), Member Advisory Board stated that  we must ease the lockdown to continue the economic activities and any reaction from the religious and social activists must be dealt strictly otherwise it will prove to be counterproductive. Unnecessary movement must be controlledwhile ensuring strict official status.

Otherpanelists of the session stated thatthe announcement by the Government regarding the extension of the lockdown on 14th April needs further clarification. It was opined that Government is incrementally opening certain sectors which are interrelated with other business, therefore, connected issues of downstream industries must also be addressed.

A complete lockdown in our society is not possible, therefore Government must opt for smart lockdown approach by devising a 14 days plan keeping in view our organizational capabilities. The lockdown must be lifted in two phases, first phase requires identification and assessment of red zone and clear zone, so that during the second phase, lockdown from the clear zones can be lifted.

The use of masks and gloves must be made mandatory by the Government and must optfor mass production of safety gears including masks, gloves and sanitizers which must be distributed amongst the general public. We must also conduct more tests, as currently, we do not have denominators of actual infection rate. There is not much information and data to devise a sound policy. It is about time that civil society must push for occupational health and safetystandards in the factories. There is a lack of public obedience in our society, hence Government must strictlyensure the writ of the state.

We need to mobilize our own production and reduceour exports. We have to mechanize our supply chain and wheels of the internal market must kept spinning in a controlled manner. People are not in a lockdown instead the businesses are atlockdown, so certain sectors must be opened but withproper digital monitoring, tracking and testing.We are entering in the phase of community transmission, we must declare health emergency. This can become a National Security Risk if proper measures are not adopted.

The Online Interactive Session was attended by 30 participants. The panelists included experts of different fields including the following:

  1. Major General Khalid Amir Jaffery HI(M), (Retd), President CGSS
  2. Major General Farooq Ahmad Khan, Former DG NDMA
  3. Brigadier Mansoor Saeed (Retd), Senior Member Advisory Board CGSS
  4. Lieutenant General AsadDurrani HJ, HI(M) (Retd), Senior Analyst
  5. Mr. Amir Zafar Durrani, President Reenergia
  6. Brigadier Akhtar Nawaz Janjua (Retd), Senior Member Advisory Board CGSS
  7. Dr. Basharat Hassan Bashir, Specialist, Public Health Engineering & Member Advisory Board CGSS
  8. Lieutenant Colonel Ather Sultan (Retd), Logistic Expert
  9. Mr. Amir Ghauri, Editor The News International
  10. Dr. Samia Altaf, Public Health Specialist
  11. Dr. Durre Nayab, Joint Director Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE)
  12. Dr. Ashfaq Ahmad, Assistant Professor, IR Department University of Sargodha
  13. Mr. Tauqeer Ahmad, Member Advisory Board CGSS
  14. Mr. Mehmood-ul- Hassan, Member Advisory Board & Regional/Geopolitical Analyst
  15. Brigadier Muhammad Aslam (Retd), Member Board of Advisors CGSS
  16. Mr. Ashfaq Ahmad Gondal, Senior Member Board of Advisors
  17. A.V. Azher Hassan (Retd), Member Board of Advisors CGSS
  18. Mr. ShakeelRamay, Member Board of Advisors CGSS & Director SDPI.=DNA