Curtain falls on NCOC as nation looks beyond Covid – Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: As the Covid-19 pandemic subsides, Prime Minister Imran Khan has officially launched the National Center for Command and Operations (NCOC), which oversees the government’s response to the epidemic and provides the country with up-to-date information on daily cases, deaths, recovery and number of vaccinations. closed with , etc.

The announcement comes four days after the center was established two years ago and two weeks after the government announced that the coronavirus, which has infected more than 1.5 million Pakistanis and claimed 30,355 lives since March 2020, has returned to normal. It came out after.

“As the NCOC closes today, I want to congratulate the NCOC team and its leadership for their professional and nationally coordinated response to the pandemic. As a result, our response to Corona is [international] We have selected our agencies and people in the field as one of the most successful companies worldwide,” the Prime Minister tweeted.

Planning Minister Assad Umar, who was leading the center, also tweeted, “Today is the last day of NCOC operation. With COVID-19 indicators at record lows and highest levels of immunization, it is currently being handed over to the Ministry of Health. It has been the greatest privilege and honor of my life to serve as NCOC Chair for the past two years and work with the most dedicated team.”

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PMs, government officials welcome the center as a success story. The National Institutes of Health will now deal with infectious disease-related issues.

“With the mercy of Allah and the support of all nations, we were able to overcome this unprecedented challenge. As a Pakistani, I am very proud of myself. [the country] It has been praised by global agencies and personnel for its response to the coronavirus as the most successful in the world.”

“We have learned to live with the epidemic,” Umar said at a press conference with Prime Minister Faisal Sultan’s special health adviser.

He said the architect of the success story was Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He also thanked the public for working with the government and adhering to standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“Federal and provincial health departments, Pakistani Armed Forces, [National Disaster Management Authority] A team that makes logistics a success story for hospitals, civic bureaucracies, judiciary and business communities. Director Asif Mehmood Goraya is a hero who has played an important role in the NCOC,” he said.

The minister said that Dr. Sultan and his team also played an important role in controlling the epidemic, adding that frontline medical workers are also real heroes who gave their lives to save people from the epidemic.

Later, Dr. Sultan announced that the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (NIH-CDC) would now deal with Covid-related issues.

“As the NCOC transitions many roles to the new CDC at the NIH, I would like to thank all my colleagues for the wonderful opportunity to serve and learn. This has been a remarkable coordination mechanism that has played a pivotal role in Pakistan’s COVID-19 efforts,” Dr. Sultan tweeted.

University of Health Sciences Vice Chancellor Dr. Javed Akram supported the decision to hand over to the NIH, which was established to combat the epidemic. “You only need one department to deal with the pandemic,” he said. Setting up a new department for disease cannot be cost-effective,” he said.

When asked, Dr. Akram said the militia would work together as a positive example, but “we need to get out of fire mode.”

“There must be an early warning system to deal with a pandemic. There must be a dashboard for the disease and real-time data must be uploaded. We have to keep an eye on the global situation and be prepared to deal with the pandemic,” he said.

But Sahabzada Saud, head of research and data management at the Free and Fair Election Network (Fafen), said: Serb There are many gaps in the health care system, and the NCOC has bridged these gaps.

“I still believe there is a gap in the health care system. Especially at the local level, they do not have the capacity to deal with health-related issues. For more than a decade, the world has faced several epidemics such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Ebola and Covid-19. It shows that we may have to face more epidemics in the future. The performance of the NCOC was good, and the vaccination process was well managed,” he said.

Saud, who handled Papen’s COVID-19 report, said the Ministry of Health may not be able to address those issues because of capacity constraints. He said the NCOC has developed cooperation between federal and local governments and managed immunizations well.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, 211,368,557 vaccines have been administered. 128,074,138 people received at least one dose, of which 101,881,176 were fully vaccinated and 4,869,245 received booster doses.

The NCOC held a daily meeting jointly chaired by Umar and NCOC National Coordinator Maj Gen Muhammad Zafar Iqbal and attended by Dr Sultan.

In addition, it had representation in all provinces and administrative units. Data was shared every 8 hours and updated at least once a day.

“Director Baba Iftihar is the person who turned the idea into a practical center through ISPR (inter-service public relations),” said a senior health ministry official. Serb On the condition of anonymity, he added that the NCOC was established on March 27, 2020.

“NCOC has saved Rs 50 billion in the national treasury through free media campaigns. More than 40 campaigns were run at the center. It has been audited by many organizations, including Bill Gates and the World Health Organization (WHO).”

Prime Minister Imran Khan presided over the NSC meeting and directed the relevant authorities to develop a comprehensive strategy to prevent the spread of the disease.

However, as the lockdown was imposed on March 16 of that year, many industries such as construction, educational institutions, restaurants, and wedding halls were closed.

Posted at Serb on April 1, 2022

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