Coronavirus-NSC takes decisions to curb the spread in Pakistan

Education institutions closed  and public gatherings banned

The National Security Committee (NSC) meeting on Friday decided to take precautionary measures to stop the spread of coronavirus in Pakistan. The decision was taken after the confirmation of 28 cases of Coronavirus patients in the country.
The NSC in its meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan and attended by the services chiefs of armed forces-chief ministers and federal ministers decided to form a National Coordination Committee to effectively curb the spread of coronavirus by evaluating the situation on day to day basis.
Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza would be the convener of the  National Coordination Committee comprising of  federal ministers concerned, chief ministers, NDMA chairman, Surgeon General of Pakistan, representatives of Inter-Services Intelligence(ISI), Inter Services Public Relations(ISPR) and Directorate of Military Operations (DMO).
The committee would be authorized to include anyone in the committee, if needed. The committee will meet today in Islamabad to discuss the situation. Dr Zafar said the evolving situation demanded to form such a high-level body so that the pandemic could be curbed through coordinated efforts after taking unanimous decisions at the national level.
The NSC also decided to close all the educational institutions for three weeks. A ban imposed on all sort of public gatherings. The international flights will only operate from three airports Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi. No other airport in the country will operate the international flights. The Western border with Iran and Afghanistan will remain completely shut down for two weeks.     
While the seaports would remain open with increased precautionary measures and surveillance to detect any suspicious cargo without affecting the trade activities. 
Dr Mirza while speaking to media after the NSC meeting said that public gatherings have been banned throughout the country as "nothing was more important for the government than the public's safety". He revealed that the government had decided to ban events at wedding halls, cinemas and theatres for two weeks to grapple with the spread of infection.
He further said that "Federal minister for religious affairs will decide on matters pertaining to religious gatherings”. He also said that the government would contact the chief justice to decide on whether courts and kutcheris should keep on functioning or not.
"We request the civil courts to postpone hearings for three weeks," he said. "We will also request judicial magistrates and session’s court judges to go to jails and make decisions on remands and bails there."
Punjab Education Minister Murad Raas said, "Due to the coronavirus, schools in Punjab will be closed starting Sunday March 15, 2020 to Sunday April 5, 2020." "Health of our Children & honourable Teachers is priority #1. At the end of the day it’s better to be safe than sorry."
                                             Rukhsana Manzoor deputy editor

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