Coronavirus outbreak: We cannot afford an ‘indefinite lockdown’, says DG ISPR

DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar said on Friday that based on the information provided to the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC), the country cannot afford an ‘indefinite lockdown’.

“We cannot afford an indefinite lockdown,” he said, speaking at a news conference with Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan. “We will have to keep our essential services functioning as well.”

Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar thanked the media for reporting objectively on the coronavirus pandemic, saying that he had no hesitation in admitting that the state will require cooperation from the media to battle the virus.

The military’s media spokesperson paid tribute to the doctors, health workers and medical staff that was at the forefront in the battle against the coronavirus.

“I pay special tribute to doctors, paramedics, security personnel, on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19 virus. I also thank ulema for their role,” he said.

NCOC is a ‘one-window operation’
The DG ISPR briefed media about the NCOC, saying that it was headed by Federal Minister for Planning. Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar.

He said that the NCOC serves as a nerve centre “to collate and analyse information received from provinces. After which recommendations are made to National Command Centre” so that the country’s top political leadership can take timely decisions.

The DG ISPR said that the NCOC was a ‘one-window operation. Where under one roof, important ministries and provinces had representation. “Here, all sorts of information is received and is forwarded,” he said.

The military’s media spokesperson said that it was of the utmost importance that the masses cooperated. With the state by staying inside their homes.

“As a good Muslim, it is one of our most important responsibilities to keep others safe as well,” he said. “You can do this by staying inside your houses.”

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