Need to transition from lockdown to testing, tracing and quarantining strategy: Asad Umar

Need to transition from lockdown to testing, tracing and quarantining strategy: Asad Umar

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said on Monday said the government needed to transition from a strategy of total lockdown to a strategy of testing, tracing and quarantining (TTQ) to return to normalcy.


"If we shut everything down to stop coronavirus, we will never be able to get back on our feet. This is exactly why we need a strategy of testing, tracing and quarantining," said Umar while addressing a press briefing along with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza.

The minister said the decision on future course of action with regards to ongoing lockdown will be taken in a meeting of National Coordination Committee (NCC), formed to devise a national strategy on coronavirus crisis, on Tuesday

Dr Mirza said the government currently had the capacity to conduct 600,000 tests, an amount which is expected to cross 1 million by mid-April. He added that these testing kits would allow the government to meet its daily testing target of carrying out 20,000 to 25,000 tests by end of April.

Earlier the day, the Supreme Court questioned the credentials of Dr Zafar Mirza and ordered the removal of the special assistant.

“There is an army of ministers and advisors in place but no work is being done,” the CJP observed. He also alleged that “corrupt people” have been kept as advisors in the government.

Responding to the CJP's comments regarding dismissing Mirza, Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan said removing the PM's aide at this point and time would be disastrous.

"Do not change him mid-flight," he said, urging the court to leave the matter up to the federal government.