The Government of Pakistan, UNICEF and WHO encourage people to adhere to SoPs and reinforce preventive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19

28 July 2020
Dr Zafar mirza
UNICEF

ISLAMABAD, 28 July 2020 – Today the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (MoNHSRC), UNICEF and WHO called on the public to reinforce adherence to COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures and strictly enforce key preventive behaviours against the coronavirus.

Chaired by Dr. Zafar Mirza, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Health, the public online event highlighted that everyone in Pakistan has a role to play to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus. The goal is to avoid a repetition of the spike in coronavirus transmission which followed Eid ul Fitr in May by strictly observing the standard operating procedures against the pandemic, as flagged by Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday.

“We are at a critical juncture of the current pandemic, witnessing a significant decrease in the number of cases, and no way can afford slackness or complacence, as was observed during Eidul-Fitr days”, said Dr. Zafar Mirza.

Not only has the COVID-19 outbreak impacted people’s lives and health across the country, but it has also adversely impacted the delivery of essential public services including heath, nutrition, education, water and sanitation.

“We are now at a crucial stage of our joint fight against the coronavirus, which Prime Minister Imran Khan and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Dr. Zafar Mirza have been leading since March, together with partners and dedicated front-line health workers” said Ms. Aida Girma, UNICEF Representative in Pakistan. “It is crucial that we all implement the few behaviours that are key to save lives and prevent the spread of the virus among our families and communities. The more we adhere to these behaviours, the sooner we will be able to resume a normal life and provide children and families with the essential services which they need, such as immunization against preventable diseases,  nutrition to keep at bay lifelong problems such as stunting and wasting, and education to help children and adolescents build their future and that of their communities.”

The Government of Pakistan is working to resume and sustain the provision of essential services with support from UNICEF and WHO across the country. Immunization against polio has already resumed in a number of high-risk districts.

“WHO appreciates the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to resume the provision of essential health care services in the context of COVID-19 with the support of all the partners, particularly WHO and UNICEF,” said Dr. Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala, WHO Representative in Pakistan. “Immunization against polio and vaccine preventable diseases has already resumed in many districts successfully. WHO greatly admires the leadership of the Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Minister of Health Dr Zafar Mirza in fighting against COVID-19 epidemic in Pakistan.”

Dr. Qibla Ayaz, Chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology; Muhammad Rizwan, international cricketeer; Dr. Naseem Akhtar, Focal person for COVID-19 at PIMS in Islamabad; and 15-year-old Areesha Fatima had recorded video messages played during the event, in which they called on people to mobilize against the virus and help save lives.

To protect themselves from the coronavirus, people need to:

  • Avoid public gatherings
  • Wear a mask when they leave their house, including when shopping at the market and if praying at the mosque
  • Wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds, or with a sanitizer, regularly
  • Refrain from touching their eyes, nose, mouth and ears with unwashed hands
  • Stay at least six feet away from other people
  • Stay at home in case they develop COVID-19 symptoms.

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For further information, please contact:

Sajid Shah, MoNHSRC, Sajidshahpro@gmail.com, Tel: +92 301 5103069

Arsalan Khalid, UNICEF Pakistan, arsalanksr@hotmail.com, Tel: +92 333 525 1175

Sami Malik, UNICEF Pakistan, asmalik@unicef.org, Tel: +92 300 855 6654

Maryam Yunus, WHO Pakistan, yunusm@who.int, Tel: +92 300 844 1744

Media Contacts

Abdul Sami Malik
Communication Specialist
UNICEF Pakistan
Tel: +92-300-855-6654
Tel: +92-51-209-7811

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