Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said a portal would soon be made operational to provide updated record of hospitals, patients and the availability of beds.
“This portal will have the latest data from all the 424 hospitals in the country allocated for COVID-19 including the number of beds, ventilators and the patients under treatment,” Umar said while briefing the media on Sunday at the National Command and Operations Centre.
The minister added the portal will also help in identifying coronavirus hotspots in order to stem the spread. “If the virus spreads we need an efficient system to keep track. This will help people in identifying the closest hospital and whether the hospital is equipped with the necessary equipment to combat the virus.”
He added that every hospital had a login ID and password and they were already updating the required information. “The portal is ready and it will be functional in the next few days,” Umar said.
He added that they were also engaging with the rural support programs not only to create awareness amongst the rural population about the contagion but also to provide relief to the deserving families.
The minister said the “smart lockdown” strategy was implemented in the country to keep a balance because the government was aware of the human cost of the virus.
“The decisions were taken keeping in mind the current economic situation and the ongoing health crisis,” Umar said.
“We wanted to give relief to the public which is why these decisions were taken. All the decisions were taken in consultation with all the federating units. Big policy level decisions have been taken and now it is time for their implementation.”
Referring to the reopening of businesses under the “smart lockdown”, the minister said it was not possible to bar people from earning their livelihood for long. “We need a system in which the economic activities are allowed to continue all the while people are kept safe as well,” he added.
“Instead of putting the entire country under lockdown, we put hotspots under lockdown,” he noted. “In Punjab, 359 areas were put under lockdown while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was enforcing smart lockdown 177 areas.”
Speaking about the number of tests being conducted in the country, Umar said a day earlier they conducted 13,500 tests. “There are 70 labs where tests are being done.”
The minister added that a system was being developed in order to ensure an efficient response in case of a spike in cases in the coming days.
He also expressed satisfaction that the trajectory of coronavirus cases in the country was not as serious as had been witnessed in some other countries. He, however, said that they were preparing for the worst situation.