National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Chairman Lieutenant General Inam Haider Malik on Monday presided over the special session of the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) and directed the officials concerned for Anti-Covid National Preparedness Audit 2022-23. The National Institute of Health (NIH) team was called on for updated monitoring of regional trends of a new variant of coronavirus and trajectories development for Pakistan without creating undue alarm, a news release said. NDMA Chairman focused on evolving COVID variants and expressed confidence in Pakistan’s current strategies and National Preparedness. However, the situation would be continuously monitored by National Command & Operation Center (NCOC), and preparedness, preventative protocols, and vaccination administration system will be strengthened to tackle the spike in concern. The NCOC showed detailed statistics on COVID management, vaccination administration data, and the low risk of the new variant in Pakistan. It was informed that the current COVID positivity rate stood at 0.53 percent and 95 percent eligible population has been inoculated with the first and 90 percent with the second dose of COVID vaccines. NDMA Chairman directed the NCOC ex National Institute of Health (NIH) to issue precautionary COVID variant risk advisory for public and relevant stakeholders based on scientific analysis of data at the global and regional level and carry out selective mock drills for the COVID emergency. He also directed NIH to review the stocks of COVID vaccines and arrangements in hospitals to deal with COVID cases. The chairman apprised the participants of the Prime Minister’s vision on the establishment of the National Preparedness and Response System in the country. He also explained the expansion plan for NEOC and making it live interfaced with all departments to remodel the country’s emergency response from a reactive to a proactive mode for disaster management. During the meeting, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) also briefed the forum on the weather outlook for this winter season. The Representative from National Information Technology Board (NITB) informed NEOC about the current status of the registration of flood-affected farmers on digital applications and their ongoing verification process to provide relief assistance. Representatives of the Ministry of Food Security, Ministry of Railways, Pakistan Meteorology Department (PMD), Federal Flood Commission (FFC), National Highway Authority (NHA), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Provincial Health Departments, and NITB also attended the session.