Pakistan, Iran discuss steps to contain virus

Mirza says govt working on a national policy to increase the number of tests

​ Our Correspondent May 04, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The government was working on a national policy to increase the number of tests and ensuring that the people adopt social distancing in this fight against the coronavirus pandemic in the country, State Minister for Health Dr Zafar Mirza said on Monday.

Mirza spoke with Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki via a video link to share each country’s experiences in dealing with the pandemic. They discussed the measures taken by two countries to contain the spread of the virus.

Iran is one of the worst-hit countries in the world, where the number of Covid-19 cases, a disease caused by coronavirus, was nearing 100,000, with more than 6,000 deaths on Monday, according to Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University monitor.

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In Pakistan, Dr Mirza told his Iranian counterpart, the first case of coronavirus was reported on February 26. He added that the cases had increased since then but now 80% of the cases were of local transmission.

“So far, about 213,000 tests have been conducted,” the state minister said, adding that about 10,000 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours. “The government has set a target of conducting 20,000 tests on a daily basis,” he said.

Speaking about the steps to contain the virus, Mirza said Pakistan had taken comprehensive and effective measures to deal with the pandemic. “The government is working on a national policy to increase the number of tests,” he added.

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To ensuring distance during the social interaction, Dr Mirza said the government banned large gatherings and closed university colleges and schools. He added that the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) had been established to monitor the situation on a daily basis.

The Iranian minister highlighted the steps taken by his side. Dr Namki informed Mirza that Tehran had formulated a national policy on social distancing which would be shared with Pakistan. Mirza said lauded the effective measures taken by Iran to deal with coronavirus.


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