Lockdown extended till April 30

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ISLAMABAD, APR 14 (DNA)  : – Federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday approved extension in countrywide lockdown to mitigate coronavirus crisis.

The cabinet has decided to extend lockdown till 30th April across Pakistan.

Earlier today, a detailed briefing was given on current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and measures being adopted to combat the disease at National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

Brig (r) Ijaz Ahmed Shah, Minister for Interior, Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Minister for Industries and Production, Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Energy, Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for Economic Affairs, Fakhar Imam, Minister for National Food and Security, Moeed Yousaf, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Security, Dr Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health and Abdul Razak Dawod, Advisor to PM for Commerce attended the briefing.

Minister for Planning, development, Reforms and special initiatives Asad Umar chaired the meeting where the forum reviewed progress made so far and future course of action.

Prime Minister Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Chief Ministers of Sindh, Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, Chief Secretary Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa participated through video.

The forum finalized recommendations to be taken up at National Coordination Committee (NCC) for final decision on post April 14 COVID-19 strategy. A detailed analysis and discussion was made by all stakeholders.

The forum discussed guidelines ad SOPs for possibility of phased easing of industries. The forum considered that the implementation on these guidelines and SOPs will be employers’ responsibility while the decision will be made in NCC for final approval.

It was decided that the Ministry of Interior in consultation with Ulemas will formulate guidelines for Ramazan covering aspects including taraveeh, namaz, roza congregations, festivity (Iftari, sehri etc), arrangements of Juma bazar or Ramzan bazar etc., distribution of food items and fitrana by philanthropists.

The forum was informed that to get indigenous manufacturing capacity, Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) has started developing five different types of ventilators.

It was further informed that eight designs have been submitted for approval while the clinical trials have been started.

The Ministry of Science and Technology, Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP), and National University of Science and Technology (NUST) will finalize the decision of domestic development of testing kit within 36 hrs.

The forum was also briefed about the medical services allocated by Pakistan Railways including converting seven trains into hospitals and isolation wards.

It was informed that 26 trains are available for plying across the country while 48 Railway hospitals are available including 12 major and hospitals and 36 small dispensaries.