Current situation of COVID-19 is alarming, says Asad Qaiser

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ISLAMABAD, NOV 25 (DNA) – Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser while chairing the 5th meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Corona virus Disease has said that the present situation of COVID-19 was alarming and warrant strict adherence to the health advisories and SoPs.

He called upon political leadership, intelligentsia, opinion makers and health experts to build a national narrative to make aware people of the disastrous effects of COVID-19. The meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Corona virus Disease was held in the Parliament House, this afternoon.

Noting the absence of the Members of the opposition with deep concern, the Speaker said that considering the present state of corona pandemic, the opposition irrespective of the political differences, should have attended the meeting to give their valuable input. He anticipated that better sense would prevail and the opposition would attend the subsequent meetings of the Parliamentary Committee.

He said that the objection raised by certain quarters about the constitution of the Committee were irrelevant since it was valid constituted in exercise of powers vested in him under the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007. He further informed that before issuance of formal notification of the same, all the parliamentary parties in the Senate and the National Assembly were duly consulted.

The Speaker said that he and his family had undergone the disease, thus knew its devastating effects.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Services and Regulation Dr. Faisal Sultan apprised the Committee about the comparison of the figures related to COVID-19 with previous and latest position.

He said that the situation was alarming and the disease would cast devastating effects if SoPs and decisions of the NCOC were not implemented in letter and spirit. Apprising about the COVID-19 testing and available health facilities, he said that government had enhanced its testing capacity besides making all resources available to provide facilities in hospitals for COVID-19 patients. He appreciated the decision of the NCOC for imposing restrictions on the large gathering, public congregations and educational activities which were major contributor in spread of disease.

The Members of the Parliamentary Committee had the consensus that all the political leadership ought to give a unified message to the public to adopt precautions in order to curtail the spread of the corona virus disease. They suggested for implementation of decision of the NCOC, later ratified by the Hon. Islamabad High Court through administrative measures to stop large gatherings. They regretted that Opposition should have attended the instant meeting since issue of immense national importance was under consideration.

They unanimously appreciated the convening of the Committee which was constituted under the rules and Constitution and held its 4th meeting attended by all i.e. Treasury and the Opposition without raising any objection about its constitution and also made recommendations on COVID-19 which are being implemented.

The Members also suggested for making arrangements for online classes through PTV and PBC for students to carry on their studies from home.

While discussing the issue of summoning of the National Assembly, the Committee unanimously recommended that the opposition may be consulted for convening the session of the Assembly for abiding by the previous decision made with their consensus to hold session of the Assembly with minimum quorum to be worked out by the Treasury and the Opposition.

The Committee also paid its tributes to the Doctors, Paramedics and all those involved in proving healthcare facilities to the COVID-19 patients. The Committee also appreciated the performance of NCOC for monitoring the prevalence of the disease and its spread.=DNA

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