ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Wednesday said that no complacency would be permitted and punitive action would be initiated against the violators of standard operating procedures (SOPs) to contain the spread of COVID-19 in high-risk areas across the Country.
Chairing the daily meeting of National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) in Islamabad, Asad Umar discussed the compliance of SOPs in detail with the provincial chief secretaries.
Asad Umar said that a clear message should be conveyed to the masses about the government’s resolve to tackle this challenge and stringent action shall be taken to ensure social distancing and compliance of safety guidelines in public places and high-risk areas.
“The National Coordination Committee (NCC) minutes of the meeting have been approved with the amendment of ensuring voluntary compliance of SOPs and strict administrative action against violators.
The NCC is fully supporting the provinces to ensure strict compliance of safety guidelines,” he added.
The minister said that the traders’ associations were responsible to ensure compliance of SOPs which were being violated in the markets thus increasing the risk of pandemic outbreak.
“An effective media campaign is also going to be launched across the Country to create education and awareness among the masses for voluntary compliance of SOPs”, he remarked.
Asad Umar noted that special focus was made on the business sector mainly markets, industry, and transport which were high-risk areas for pandemic spread.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Secretary Punjab said that there was a need to reinvigorate administration’s resolve, commitment, and rigor for strict implementation of SOPs and also supported the idea to launch strict punitive action against the violators.
The Chief Secretary Balochistan told the forum that the positive Coronavirus cases had increased after the opening of the markets. He added that strict compliance of SOPs was being ensured in the markets and various shops had been sealed on the violation.
The Chief Secretary Sindh said that voluntary compliance of SOPs was necessary to be encouraged through effective media campaign and mass mobilization. He added that different departments were ensuring compliance of SOPs in various sectors where law enforcement agencies were also assisting in the process.
The Chief Secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa informed that the traders’ associations at the division level were taken on board to ensure compliance of SOPs where good compliance was observed in the industrial sector. He added that the transport sector was also engaged to ensure compliance of SOPs.
Representatives of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir also ensured to launch strict punitive action against the violators of SOPs.
The Federal Minister for Interior Brig (retd) Ejaz Ahmed Shah, the Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Syed Fakhar Imam, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, the Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Political Communication Dr Shahbaz Gill, the Prime Minister’s Focal Person on COVID-19 Dr. Faisal Sultan and others attended the meeting.