COVID-19

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has warned that the second wave of coronavirus could hit Pakistan in winter.
In a tweet on Sunday, the Prime Minister urged citizens to adopt precautionary measures to avoid further spread of coronavirus. The Prime Minister said, “As compared to some other states, Allah has been kind to us in Pakistan and spared us from the worst effects of COVID-19. There is a fear that the onset of winter could result in the 2nd wave.”
Imran Khan urged everyone to wear face masks in public to avoid a spike and said all offices and educational institutions must ensure that masks are worn.
Pakistan reported six more coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, pushing the death toll from the deadly disease to 6,513, besides 632 fresh COVID-19 cases.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan has summoned the session of Pakistan National Nutrition Coordination Council (PNNCC) on Monday (today).
The second session of Pakistan National Nutrition Coordination Council (PNNCC) was earlier scheduled on October 2; however, it was postponed by the federal government on substantive grounds.
The UN Regional Coordinator Jolene Frederick and the head of UNICEF Pakistan will participate in the upcoming session of PNNCC which will deliberate upon the government’s steps in accordance with the challenges of the nutrition situation in the country.
Dr Sania Nishtar and Dr Baseer Achakzai will brief the participants of the meeting, whereas the representatives of international institutions will brief details of ongoing projects in Pakistan.
The national council will envisage a comprehensive strategy for overcoming the challenges regarding malnutrition in the country.
The first session of PNNCC was held at the PM Secretariat on November 8 last year where Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired the council with eight ministers as its members.
The Prime Minister in his first speech to the nation held up the MRI of a stunted child and highlighted the key issue of malnutrition and committed to addressing the issue. Since then, efforts have been ongoing to deliver programs to address stunting.
The recently launched EhsaasNashonuma is a conditional cash transfer programme aimed at tackling stunting among children under two years of age, along with pregnant and lactating mothers. In the first phase, 35 EhsaasNashonumaCentres have been opened across 9 districts of Pakistan.
There was no serious effort made in the past to address the serious issue of stunting and this area remained unaddressed which caused more than 40% stunting in children. That is why the federal government of Pakistan has institutionalized the inter-ministerial PNNCC, chaired by the Prime Minister Imran Khan and there are 8 cabinet ministers in the Council.
This is the first time in the history of Pakistan that the inter-ministerial PNNCC has been created to steer a nutrition specific agenda in the country. Dr Sania Nishtar, SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, is the vice-chair and hosts the secretariat of the Council.
Other cabinet members in the council are; Syed Fakhar Imam, Asad Umar, Dr Fehmida Mirza, Shafqat Mehmood, Abdul Razak Dawood, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Malik Amin Aslam Khan, and Dr Faisal Sultan. The chief secretaries of all four provinces, GB and AJK, federal secretaries and experts from UNICEF and SUN are also part of the council. The PNNCC is the country’s coordination body at federal level on nutrition and all allied matters. – TLTP