By Shakeel Ahmed
ISLAMABAD: The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Wednesday asked provinces and other stakeholders for reaching out to masses to ensure standard operating procedures (SOPs) compliance in cattle markets to contain spread of coronavirus.
The NCOC meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar discussed matters pertaining to input of Model Cattle Mandis (markets) and SOPs compliance.
Speaking on the occasion, Asad Umar stressed upon the strict administrative action for complying with SOPs to mitigate the impending risk of coronavirus outbreak in cattle markets.
“There should be no mask no entry in the cattle markets and officials should strictly enforce it and monitor the entry and exit points of the cattle markets. There should also be stalls at the entries of the markets to provide masks to the visitors.”
Sindh Chief Secretary told the meeting that containing the risk of pandemic outbreak on the occasions of Eid-ul-Azha and Muharram was a major challenge where the SOPs shared by the NCOC were conveyed to all of the district and divisional administrations to devise strategies to enforce strict implementation on the guidelines. Balochistan Chief Secretary informed the forum that there were almost 20 cattle mandis established in Quetta whereas 3-5 markets were set up in various cities of the province.
He said that model cattle mandis were set up in Quetta and around 20,000 face masks were distributed among the masses to encourage compliance. Punjab Chief Secretary informed the forum that around 303 cattle mandis would be established in the province from July 15-25 with proposed timings from 9 a.m to 6 p.m.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary said a total of 191 cattle markets would be established in the province whereas no mask no entry with mask distributing stalls at the entrance was already implemented. He added that the district administrations were directed to avoid complacency in enforcement of SOPs. Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Chief Secretary briefed the forum that cattle markets in AJK were increased from 21 to 47 whereas all of the mandis would be in rural areas outside cities and strict compliance would be ensured.
Gilgit Baltistan Chief Secretary said that one model cattle market was established in Gilgit whereas no mask no entry along with mask distributing stall was implemented. Forum was briefed that as per the federal government’s decision to provide 2,000 oxygenated beds to the hospitals across the country by the end of July around 1,825 oxygen beds were added to the existing capacity.