ISLAMABAD, Jun 20 (APP):The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday reviewed the imposition of smart lockdown in the coronavirus hotspot areas and compliance of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) by the people across the country.

The NCOC meeting chaired by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar was updated in this regard by the chief secretaries.

Asad Umar suggested that the provincial governments should issue notify that private organizations and corporations should not take any punitive action against their employees living in the areas under smart lockdown for not attending offices.

All the efforts and measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic would show results after 15 days whereas the provincial governments should ensure implementation of smart lockdown with strict compliance of the SOPs by the people, he added.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Secretary said the population of around 500,000 had been restricted under the smart lockdowns implemented in various localities across the province, with main focus on urban areas of Peshawar, Malakand, Swat, Haripur, Nowshera and Mardan.

There was no high risk of spread of the coronavirus in other seven districts, including Kohistan and Upper Chitral, he added.

The Punjab Chief Secretary informed the meeting that eight main cities were under the lockdown, with less than a million population restricted.

He said over 80 percent compliance of wearing masks at public places was witnessed, however, the administration was trying strict enforcement of all the SOPs. Some 12,000 transport owners were fined for violating the SOPs and health guidelines, he added.

The Sindh Chief Secretary told the NCOC that almost 24 districts with a population of 5 million were put the smart lockdown.

The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Chief Secretary said a total of 59 smart lockdowns were imposed in the valley, where the public compliance of the SOPs had improved. The district administrations were providing free masks to the people if found without wearing the same.

The Gilgit Baltistan Chief Secretary informed the forum that the deputy commissioners had been authorized to impose lockdown in the areas with high number coronavirus positive cases. The general public was complying with the SOPs, he added.

The NCOC meeting also reviewed implementation of the National Coordination Committee’s decisions, availability of oxygen cylinders, and need assessment of critical medical equipment and their import keeping in view the disease projections.