The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Tuesday held consultation with the provincial governments on the issues related to the revival of construction activities and resumption of domestic travel halted due to the coronavirus, testing capacity, and overall media strategy to mobilize the masses for preventing the contagion’s spread during the holy month of Ramazan. The NCOC meeting was chaired by Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and attended by Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, Minister for Economic Affairs Khusro Bakhtiar, Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, SAPM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, Prime Minister’s Focal Person on Covid-19 Dr Faisal Sultan, Minister for Energy and Power Omar Ayub Khan, Minister for Interior Brig (r) Ejaz Shah, National Disaster Management Authority Chairman Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal and NCOC Chief Coordinator Lieutenant General Hamood uz Zaman Khan. Speaking on the occasion, Asad Umar said it has been decided through the NCOC forum to have uniformity in lifting restrictions from the construction industry. The associated industries in other provinces are facing unfair competition from the KP industry, which has managed sufficient supplies so the latter should halt its units, he added. “The construction industry will be revived under a unanimous policy decision in the second phase as now is the first phase of lifting the restrictions,” he added.Dr Firdous said her ministry has prepared strategic and technical messages for public awareness to contain Covid-19. The PTV, Radio Pakistan and APP (Associated Press of Pakistan) will be the official media portals for disseminating public information messages during Ramazan. She said in a meeting with Council of Islamic Ideology Chairman Dr Qibla Ayaz, the procedure for live telecast of Taraweeh prayer has been decided. The prayers will be broadcast at PTV. Asad Umar suggested that public awareness messages of political leaders including the prime minister, leader of the opposition and others should be recorded and telecast during Ramazan to educate the masses for observing safety guidelines.Minister for Industries and Production Hammad Azhar said the industries related to the construction, including sanitary ware, pipes and aluminium have been opened in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In Sindh, it has been decided that industries having labour in its premises will initiate their operations after complying with the SOPs. However, the remaining provinces have raised reservations on the process due to the absence of a level-playing field in the prevailing scenario. The minister supported the decision made by Asad Umar and urged the KP authorities to accept it. Additional Chief Secretary KP Shehzad Bangash responded that only two industries related to the construction sector have been allowed to carry out their operations.Chief Secretary Punjab Azam Khan on the occasion said the authorities in Punjab are very clear on reviving the industries linked with the construction sector and have allowed only the units decided at the forum. “If any further relaxation is being made, then it will lead to commencement of all the market operations across the province and it will increase the risk of the coronavirus spread,” he said. Chief Secretary Sindh Imtiaz Ali Shah informed the meeting that a committee has been formed to allow the construction industry to resume its operations after following SOPs.Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan briefed the meeting on the issue of resumption of domestic travel. He said the inbound and outbound air traffic is going on whereas pressure is being built up to open domestic flights as well. He suggested that limited flights should be allowed at domestic level as partial domestic flights for Gilgit Baltistan are operational and chartered flights are also going on. “Private local airlines should be allowed along with the PIA to operate on alternate days whereas SOPs for international and domestic flights in GB are already in place and both should be enforced separately,” he said. Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid said the Pakistan Railways has carried around 285,000 passengers from Karachi during the implementation of lockdown in Sindh.