coronavirus pakistan cases: Pakistan Army to oversee coordination between federal, provincial govts, cases cross 2,200

Islamabad, Apr 2 (PTI) The Pakistani Army will oversee the coordination between the federal and provincial governments to tackle the coronavirus pandemic as the number of cases in the country showed an upward trend despite various efforts to contain the disease that has infected over 2,200 people.

The Army on Wednesday announced that Commander of Army’s Air Defence Command, Lt Gen Hamood Uz Zaman Khan, has been appointed as the convener of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC).

The NCOC would act as the implementation arm of the National Core Committee (NCC), the government’s lead agency in the anti-COVID-19 campaign, chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and represented by all provinces, Gilgit-Baltistian and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), formed to take unanimous decision on all issues related to the coronavirus, has become operational.

One of NCOC’s key functions is to ensure effective coordination between federal and provincial governments to deal with the pandemic, the Dawn reported.

“The NCOC is serving as a nucleus for one-window operation to synergise and articulate the national effort against COVID-19, optimise informed decision making and ensure implementation of decisions of the National Security Committee (NSC) and the National Coordination Committee (NCC),” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan government has announced a social protection package to provide monetary help to 12 million poor families in the country.

Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation Sania Nishtar on Wednesday said that the government is making efforts to reach out to the vulnerable and marginalised people during the time of crisis.

The government is also working to provide cash to poor families on an emergency basis.

“Emergency cash initiative in response to COVID-19, the largest-ever social protection initiative in the history of Pakistan. 12 million families (72 million individuals) will receive Rs 12,000 each. Total cost Rs 144 Billion (USD 18.8 billion),” she said.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Pakistan reached 2,291 with 76 new cases diagnosed in the last 24 hours and 5 patients died during this period.

The Ministry of National Health Services in the last updates showed that the number of patients in Punjab was 845, Sindh 843, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 276, Balochistan, 169, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), 187, Islamabad, 62 and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir 9 cases.

So far 31 people have died of the deadly disease and 107 recovered, while 9 are in critical condition.

Meanwhile, Pakistan researchers were making efforts to understand the virus and a team led by Dow University of Health Sciences Vice Chancellor Professor Mohammad Saeed Quraishy reported that the genetic make-up of the novel coronavirus may alter in a locally-transmitted case.

According to a media report, the researcher while examining the DNA structure of the virus contracted locally by a young boy observed that the sequencing had slight mutations from the one that originated in Wuhan.

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