Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza called on Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Interior Senator A. Rehman Malik where other members were also present , and discusses in detail the prevailing situation after the Coronavirus outbreak and reviewed the preventive measures taken by the government. Senator Kalsoom Perveen, Parliamentary Secretary Health MNA Dr. Nusheen Hamid and Director National Institute of Health Dr. Mohammad Salman were also present at the meeting. Dr. Zafar Mirza briefed the meeting in detail about the current status of the Coronavirus in Pakistan. The meeting reviewed the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Interior to deal with the outbreak of Coronavirus and its potential spread in the country.

Dr. Zafar Mirza told that the government is taking all necessary preventive measures to stop further spread of the Coronavirus. He said that so far the local transmission of Coronavirus is not reported and only those are affected who have foreign travel history. He said that all those entered through the Taftan border are being thoroughly screened for Coronavirus and are being quarantined till their clearance. He told that people who suffer from the common cold should not get themselves tested for Coronavirus. He said that testing for coronavirus  every one is not  possible  however where ever is doubt we can get the test done .

Senator Rehman Malik however directed that government should import enough of stock enabling to test all those who have the symptoms. Dr. Zafar  assured that the government was keeping a keen eye on the issue and was taking effective steps to contain the virus.

Senator A. Rehman Malik said that the Senate Standing Committee on Interior had called an emergency meeting on 27th February just after the confirmation of the first two cases in Pakistan and had proposed the 31 recommendations to the government to combat the spread of Coronavirus in the country. He said that those 31 recommendations will be helpful for the government to combat the virus if followed in letter and spirit. He called for more testing kits adding that we should not deny if someone is suspecting that he is suffering from Coronavirus. Senator Kalsoom Perveen who joined the meeting conveyed that people of Balochistan are passing through great panic as the preventive measures so far taken there are inadequate and unsatisfactory. She expressed great annoyance over the mismanagement at Taftan border adding that it has caused the massive outbreak of coronavirus cases across the country. She said that throughout Balochistan there is a one mobile laboratory and only one ventilator is available  and there is no testing facility at hospitals. She said that people at the Taftan border are kept in tents lacking even the basic necessities. 

Chairman Committee advised the Prime Minister Imran Khan to convene a joint meeting of all Chief Ministers of all four provinces and announce a relief grant to all provinces to overcome Coronavirus. He said that we all with unity have to defeat the coronavirus by strict adherence to the preventive measures. He said that every pilgrim from Iran should be properly tested on the Taftan border on entry  and be quarantined for 14 days. He said that the isolation center should be established in schools with all facilities of screening and testing for coronavirus. He said that the Quarantine centers should be equipped with the pattern of international standards. He urged the government that in wake of further spread of the Coronavirus, the government should import  more testing kits and other necessary medical instruments well on time.

Senator A. Rehman Malik urged the government to provide financial help to the labors suffered because of the growing tensed environment after the Coronavirus outbreak. He advised the government to allocate additional funds on war footing basis to BISP for issuance of Mazdoor Cards for needy people. He said that he is worried about the laborers and low-income staff who work on daily wage basis and feed their families. He said that this is the high time for the government to consider creating alternate means of income to such needy people. He urged that based on the population and workforce survey those poor people rendered jobless should be provided financial help enabling them to merely survive in the growing tensed environment. He proposed that the Benazir Income Support Programme should be given more funds and immediately issue Mazdoor Cards to those whose income is lower than twenty thousand and who do not hold the permanent jobs. He suggested that this financial support should be paid through BISP till the time the situation is normalized. He expressed that it will be difficult for the government to control the situation and social crisis if hunger is not addressed well on time as it can create anarchy within the country. He also advised the establishment of the Federal Regulatory Anti-Coronavirus Programme under BISP to regulate and monitor the listing and disbursement of funds among the needy.He also thanked COAS for his timely step inducting AMC to help the hospitals to counter  this deadly virus  as the AMC support has been extended well in time. He said that the government should  take care of both urban and rural population to safe each  Pakistani.He appealed all the faction of society and political elite to be on one page to fight out this deadly virus.He prayed to Allah to keep this world from this deadly  virus.He also thanked China for timely support to Pakistan and  asked the govt to work ways and means to get the stranded students in china who are going through emotional trauma away from dear ones. He said that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in his press conference gave a complete roadmap to counter Coronavirus.

May God keep all of us safe .Ameen

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