Islamabad, 14 March 2020 – Mudasser Chudhary:
Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood has said that all possible steps are being taken to contain and control spread of coronavirus in the country.
Responding to points raised by Parliamentarians, he said government is vigilant and closely monitoring and scrutinizing the situation, besides taking appropriate steps to check the pandemic. He said a quarantine center was established at the Pak-Afghan Border for screening of Pakistani citizens coming from Iran. He said around one million people were screened at different airports of the country while diagnostic kits were provided at various hospitals. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan is also very concerned about this matter and he has convened an urgent meeting of National Security Committee this evening to evolve a strategy in this regard.
Earlier, PML-N leader and former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has demanded of the government to take spread of coronavirus seriously and convene a joint sitting of the parliament to evolve a comprehensive strategy to counter this pandemic.
PPP leader Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and MQM Pakistan Leader Amin-ul-Haq demanded of the government to declare State of emergency in wake of coronavirus pandemic.
Giving detail of various government measures regarding coronavirus, Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services, Nousheen Hamid said a daily meeting of all the relevant agencies takes place daily to review an action plan on day-to-day basis against the pandemic.
She said that appropriate screening measures are in place at airports and Federal government is providing diagnostic kits to provinces. She said isolation wards have been established in hospitals of all the big cities of Pakistan.
Responding to a point, Parliamentary Secretary on Aviation Division Jamil Ahmed Khan informed the House that Pakistan International Airlines has rescheduled a flight to bring back Pakistan citizens from Saudi Arabia this Sunday. He said the national flag carrier will ensure all possible arrangements to take Pakistani citizens to Saudi Arabia and from there to back home.
The House has now been prorogued.