To combat the pandemic, NCOC has been a very successful initiative for the government. Now, as the pandemic ends, the government has closed NCOC. Special Assistant to Prime Minister announced it last week on Health, Dr. Faisal Sultan. Now, all functions, roles, and responsibilities of the NCOC are transferred to the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Today, as NCOC closes down, I want to congratulate the NCOC team & it's ldership for a professional, nationally-coordinated response to the pandemic. As a result our Covid response was recognised by int agenciies & people in the field as one of the most successful globally.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 31, 2022
Today is last day of NCOC operation. With covid indicators at all time lows & high level of vaccination, baton now being passed on to health ministry. Chairing NCOC during last 2 years & working with the most dedicated team has been the greatest privilege and honour of my life.
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) March 31, 2022
It was set up on 27 March 2020. In these two years, NCOC has achieved a lot, and it has been appreciated globally. Its main aim was ‘to analyze and process information and keep the nation updated on the COVID-19 related figures.’ A dedicated portal was established and social media was actively used to keep the people updated on the situation.
Federal Minister for Planning and Development, Asad Umar was heading the NCOC. It had experts from both civil and military institutions. Its sole responsibility was to devise policies and implement them as per Prime Ministers’ National Coordination Committee (NCC)’s advice so that timely action related to COVID-19 could be taken. Daily stats for COVID-19 were displayed on the website and their social media forums.
It has played a key role in spreading awareness regarding the pandemic amongst the public. According to an official of the Ministry of National Health Service, 40 free awareness campaigns were run during the past two years, which saved around Rs. 50 billion of the national treasury.
Pakistan has witnessed five waves of the disease. Because of timely planning, data collection, and decision-making, the waves were controlled. Effective strategies, such as smart and micro-lockdowns, to save the lives and livelihoods of the masses. SOPs were created for public places, offices, and indoor and outdoor activities to stem the local spread and ensure strict surveillance of borders and airports.
An aggressive vaccination campaign against COVID-19 was launched. Data analysis, vaccine campaign planning, and community engagement were done, keeping in mind the polio campaign. Special inoculation centers and an easy registration and certification process were launched to facilitate the public. Elderly people were facilitated separately.
Percentage Of Vaccinated Population
77% percent of people have been fully vaccinated, whereas 88% of the eligible population has taken the first jab of the vaccine.
World Health Organization (WHO), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, along with several other organizations, has appreciated Pakistan’s COVID-19 response, which was led by the NCOC.
Bill Gates appreciated the NCOC. “Last week, I also went to Pakistan, where I visited two of the country’s innovative command centers for fighting diseases, the NEOC for polio eradication and the NCOC for COVID. The NEOC uses state-of-the-art information tools developed by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to track polio so that no child is ever paralyzed by it again,” he added. The NCOC, Gates said, had applied resources and lessons learned from the polio program — including data analysis, vaccine campaign planning, and community engagement — to coordinate Pakistan’s response to COVID. “Both centers blew me away.”
We hope such initiatives are taken according to the situation. It is also an honor for us to defeat the pandemic in a controlled manner and then be recognized internationally is a big feat to achieve.