ISLAMABAD: Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar has said that the next 15 days are crucial in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic and extreme care is needed to prevent the disease from spreading any further.
During a news conference on Friday, DG ISPR said, “The next 15 days are very crucial … a smart lockdown, testing and tracing and quarantining will prove beneficial in our fight against Covid-19. We will have a targeted lockdown only for virus hotspots and clusters.”
Meanwhile, the military’s media wing announced that a team of Chinese doctors along with medical supplies has arrived in Pakistan, adding that the doctors would bring expertise to help the country fight the virus as it goes through another period of lockdown.
“The Chinese doctors, who have expertise in treating infectious diseases, shall support Pakistan’s efforts in fighting against Covid-19 for the coming two months,” the ISPR said, adding that Major General Huang Qingzhen headed the Chinese team that arrived on Friday.
“The Chinese support reaffirms that being ‘Iron Brothers’ and ‘All-Weather’ friends, Pakistan and China have always helped each other in the time of need,” the ISPR statement added.
During the coronavirus epidemic, the military spokesperson said, “The People’s Republic of China has provided practical evidence of being the best friend and historic strategic partner by providing full support to Pakistan in every field.”
He appreciated China’s help in this difficult time, saying: “We are value China’s help and are grateful to them.”
He added that the Chinese relief and medical supplies were delivered by ship to Gwadar for distribution among the local population.
Maj Gen Iftikhar said that a Principal Staff Officers conference under the chairmanship of the Chief of Army Staff was held at the GHQ on Friday where participants reviewed in detail the deployment and special measures taken by Pakistan Army to stop coronavirus from spreading any further in the country.
The ISPR DG said that future strategies and measures to deal with all kinds of emergencies were also discussed at the conference, adding that the army chief directed all commanders to maintain the steps taken for deployment and security tasks at the borders.
The army’s routine training activities would continue as far as possible, Iftikhar said, adding that all available resources would be utilised in collaboration with the civil institutions so that the problems of the people could be solved and they could be free from worries during the holy month.
Detailing the armed forces’ activities during the pandemic, he said that a quarantine facility was set up for 600 people in Taftan while another quarantine facility for 300 people was established in Torkham.
Apart from containerised quarantine facility of 300 persons in Chaman, he said, a tent camp for 900 persons and rail quarantine facility for 300 persons was also provided in collaboration with Pakistan Railways.
The Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Navy are also playing their full roles in the national effort, he said, adding that the PAF delivered 77 tonnes of relief goods, including medical equipment and medicines, from China through six sorties.
Through 17 domestic relief flights, he added, 64 tonnes of relief goods were delivered to different parts of the country. In addition, the official said, 149 people stranded in Balochistan due to the lockdown were airlifted and flown to Gilgit-Baltistan.
Highlighting Pakistan Navy efforts, the DG said that navy was playing its full role in delivering ration packs, protection masks as well as providing basic medical care to deserving people in the coastal and creeks areas of Balochistan and Sindh.
Finally, he paid tribute to all the frontline doctors, paramedics, health workers, shopkeepers, traders and other food industry workers who have been busy in providing essential food items to the people, and to all those who have contributed to the health of the people.