ISLAMABAD: Testing, tracing and then quarantining people who test positive for the novel coronavirus will help in containing the pandemic, said Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Monday.
The minister was addressing a press conference with Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza. The briefing was held after a meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre.
“If we have a system that directs us to that person who contracts the virus. If we can get to the persons that he has been in contact with and where he lives. After that, if we can tell these people to stay in a safe place in their homes, then we can achieve the same objective with a lot less damage,” he said.
He said that a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) will be held tomorrow (Tuesday) in which chief ministers of all provinces will take part. “The NCC meeting will decide on what measures to take across the country after April 15,” he said. “All decisions will be taken after consultations.”
The federal minister thanked the masses for cooperating with the government and ensuring that the partial lockdown across the country was effective. He urged businessmen to act responsibly as they were responsible for the safety of their employees.
Pakistan to produce N-95 masks: Dr Zafar Mirza
Dr Zafar Mirza said that Pakistan will soon start making N-95 masks for protection against the coronavirus. He said that local transmission of the virus had increased to 52%. Dr Mirza said that Pakistan can conduct 3,000 coronavirus tests on a daily basis.
“We have set a target of testing 20,000-25,000 people for the coronavirus by the month’s end,” he said.
He said that currently, Pakistan had the capability to test 600,000 people for the virus. By April 15, the country can test 1 million people.
Dr Mirza said that Pakistan had built 24 laboratories to conduct coronavirus tests and the total number of active labs in the country had increased to 34.