AJK president praises NDMA role in combating Covid-19

Only one ventilator for 71,000 people and one physician for 39,000 citizens available in Occupied Kashmir, says Masood


Our Correspondent ​ April 23, 2020
AJK President Sardar Masood Khan. PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan on has lauded efforts of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) in combating coronavirus pandemic, saying that the swift actions of the authority played a key role in preventing the spread.

During a visit to the NDMA headquarters in Islamabad on Thursday, he discussed the situation that erupted out of the pandemic across the country including Azad Kashmir with Lieutenant General Mohammad Afzal, the authority's chief.

Speaking on the occasion, the AJK president said that after the outbreak of Covid-19 in Pakistan, the NDMA had swiftly taken measures despite difficult and uncertain conditions, and played a key role in preventing the spread of the virus.

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He particularly thanked the NDMA chief for providing protective equipment to doctors, nurses and other medical staff in Azad Kashmir, and expressed the hope that the authority will take more steps on priority basis to provide additional personal protective equipment for physicians and to increase the capacity of rapid testing in AJK.

President Masood maintained that the timely measures taken by the NDMA, other national agencies as well as the the Azad Kashmir government have prevented the massive spread of the infectious virus in the liberated territory, which has sent a positive message to the people in Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K).

"If mutual coordination among the national agencies and the positive response by the people continued, Insha Allah, this pandemic would be overcome shortly."

He added that under the garb of coronavirus testing, the Indian army in the occupied territory had intensified brutalities against the Kashmiri people during the so-called door-to-door searches.

"The Kashmiri youth are being arrested and tortured to martyrdom in prisons and detention cells, while thousands of political prisoners who are exponentially exposed to this disease are not being released," he said, adding that necessary medical facilities are not being provided since the outbreak of the contagious virus in IOJ&K.

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President Masood said that the horrible situation in the occupied region can be gauged from the fact that there is only one ventilator for 71,000 people, one physician for 39,000 people but one Indian soldier to let loose repression against nine citizens. "This serious state of affairs prevailing in Occupied Kashmir is a matter of grave concern for the people and the government of AJK."

On the occasion, the NDMA chief assured the AJK president that more PPEs will be provided to physicians, nurses and other medical staff across the country including AJK, while the number of testing laboratories and the testing capacity would be enhanced gradually.

He said that the government and the people of Pakistan, as well as the NDMA, stand by the people of Himalayan territory and Azad Kashmir in this testing hour.

Earlier, in the NDMA national emergency operation room, the AJK president was given a detailed briefing on the efforts and steps of the authority which it has been taking in coordination with other national agencies to contain the epidemic.

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