Monday Jul 13, 2020
LAHORE: The National Command and Operations Centre formulated the Standard Operating Procedures on Monday regarding the cattle markets and smart lockdown in several places of the country ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
In today’s meeting presided over by NCOC chairman Asad Umar, the session was briefed that the plan for congregational prayers will be the same as of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar, provincial Health Minister Yasmin Rashid, and Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat attended the session, along with other provincial representatives.
The forum was told that around 700 cattle markets will be functioning across Pakistan at the eve of Eid-ul-Azha, for which necessary guidelines have been forwarded.
Addressing the session via videolink, Umar said that the management of cattle markets is quite important in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus as people move back and forth during this time.
The minister said that the cattle markets will be set up outside the cities and a layout of these will be shared with everyone so health protocols and guidelines can be followed.
The NCOC chairman said that the local administrations should ensure that the cattle markets should operate from 6am to 7pm.
Among other guidelines, it was decided that the screening of those entering the markets is mandatory.
People will be asked to ensure they are wearing face masks and practicing social distancing. The officials will be asked to ensure that only a designated number of people will be allowed inside at one time to avoid over-crowding.
The forum also discussed smart lockdowns imposed in certain areas due to a higher number of the coronavirus cases and a future strategy regarding the lockdowns.
The NCOC identified 30 cities as COVID hotspots, with maximum infected people using auto trace and National Information Technology Board maps.
At the moment, 321 smart lockdowns are enforced across Pakistan, said the NCOC statement.
Under the smart lockdown strategy, the forum was told that 750,000 people were traced who came into contact with COVID-infected people.
The officials informed that the COVID-positive patients were put under home-isolation or quarantine across the country to potentially save ‘about 300,000 individuals from getting infected’.
“Contact tracing is being accelerated through a combination of RRTs (Rapid Response Teams) and call centers,” said the statement.
It said that local communities play a vital role in the fight against COVID-19, where rural support network organizations, other groups, etc participate in different activities, supporting the local administration.
Asad Umar said on social media that in a meeting with CM Punjab Usman Buzdar, he lauded the efforts by the provincial government against the coronavirus.
The minister said that he also urged compliance with the SOPs, ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.