ISLAMABAD, March 31 (PTI): Pakistan on Thursday announced closing down of the national anti-coronavirus body, citing a drop in Covid-19 positivity rate in the country.
Prime Minister Imran Khan in a tweet expressed satisfaction over the tackling of the pandemic by the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), which served as a nerve centre to control Covid-19.
“Today, as NCOC closes down, I want to congratulate the NCOC team and its leadership for a professional, nationally-coordinated response to the pandemic. As a result our Covid response was recognised by international agencies and people in the field as one of the most successful globally,” Khan, who is facing a no-confidence motion in Parliament, said.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) was set up in March 2020 after the eruption of the virus that wreaked havoc around the globe. It was set up to collect, analyse and process information.
Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, who headed the NCOC, in a press conference said Pakistan successfully tackled the Covid -19 pandemic.
“Our response to the pandemic was also acknowledged by the international organisations,” he said.
Pakistan reported 244 new Covid-19 cases and six deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the total nationwide case tally to 1,524,793 and death toll is 30,355. The positivity rate was recorded at 0.82 per cent.
Separately, Umar tweeted that the NCOC closure coincided with the country showing the lowest Covid-19 indicators and it was time to shift its responsibility to the ministry of health.
“Today (Thursday) is the last day of NCOC operation. With covid indicators at all-time lows & high level of vaccination, baton now being passed on to health ministry,” he said.
Islamabad-based National Institute of Health (NIH) will now take over the functions, roles and responsibilities of the NCOC.
The virus has so far infected 486,941,058 people and claimed 6,139,121 lives worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Covid-19 tracker.