Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Friday directed the provinces to share their latest COVID-19 combating efforts and latest information about the pandemic in their respective areas in the Resource Management System (RMS) to facilitate people. Chairing a meeting at National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) to review the COVID-19 situation, he said that the RMS was effectively providing latest information regarding COVID-19 to four provinces including Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). RMS also provides latest information about the availability of beds, ventilators and other facilities available in hospitals. The representatives of provinces, AJK, GB and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) expressed satisfaction over the workings of RMS. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Dr Moeed Yousaf briefed the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) about the latest plan of bringing back stranded Pakistanis and testing plans of the suspected patients.The meeting was attended by Interior minister Brig Ijaz Ahmed Shah, Special Assistance to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, Prime Minister’s focal person on COVID-19 Dr Faisal Sultan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan Tania Aidrus, and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Security Dr Moeed Yousaf. High ranking officials of provinces including Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) also participated. Earlier, the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) briefed all the provinces including Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on centralized Resource Management System (RMS) which would be launched tomorrow.The NCOC meeting was headed Director Operations and Plans NCOC Major General Asif Mehmood Goraya. Speaking on the occasion, Major General Goraya said there was need to focus on hospital data authenticity as its data ingestion had different issues in the provinces. He said there was also disparity in the data of number of tests conducted per day and contact tracing of affected COVID-19 patients. Community mobilization, he said, had brought positive impacts and all stakeholders were also involved in the process.Chief Executive Officer (CEO) National Information Technology Board (NITB) Shabahat Ali Shah said all of the provinces had worked hard to update the RMS system. There were discrepancies in the data received from Sindh where the information shared should be analyzed by the data operators/providers for reducing anomalies, he added.The provincial representatives also apprised the forum on the issues faced by their administrations regarding RMS and exchanged their feedback on the system.NCOC official also told the forum that globally the only way adopted to fight COVID-19 was test, track and quarantine (TTQ) strategy and smart lockdown. He mentioned that different additional measures were also adopted along with TTQ strategy to mitigate the risk where contact tracing was also necessary.Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza on Friday said the government had developed health information system with having update on the status of available facilities at public sector hospitals for the COVID-19 patients.Addressing a press conference here at the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Dr Mirza said due to the information system, the government would be able to know the occupancy of beds and ventilators, and their availability at the intensive care units and allocated wards of hospitals.He said with the help of the system, the authorities concerned could easily manage the situation in hospitals to properly treat the corona patients. Moreover, the shortage of any necessary equipment could also be addressed.Dr Mirza said although the number of patients on ventilators were increasing but still the ratio of ventilator usage was 20 percent which meant still enough quantity of ventilators and beds were available in hospitals for the COVID-19 patients.He said the government was committed to ensure availability of medical services and provision of the best possible medical treatment for the corona patients at hospitals.He said the government had made some amendments in the guidelines of safe burial of dead COVID-19 patients for the safety of all those who attended the funeral ceremony or handled the dead bodies of individuals suspected or confirmed for COVID-19.He said till date there was no scientific evidence of transmission of virus through the dead body of COVID-19 deceased case, yet it was vital to ensure precautionary measures while handling the bodies of suspected or confirmed cases.He said adopting guidelines would help prevent any possible transmission. There was no restriction on immediate family members to attend the funeral rituals.He said anyone attending the body must use appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE) including gown, gloves, and mask etc. He advised to use face shield and goggles, if there were a potential risk of body fluid splashes.He said the body should be cleaned and dried, and it could also be covered with a white cloth, as per the religious practice, for the burial. The health care workers, family members or mortuary staff, preparing the body for burial, should follow the standard precautions of wearing appropriate PPE.He said the family and friends might view the body but should not be allowed to touch or kiss it. They should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water frequently.The burial rituals, including burial gathering and prayers should have minimal possible numbers like only immediate family and relatives. All in attendance should observe standard precautions like social distancing, face masks and frequent hand washes.Dr Mirza said during the last 24 hours, 57 corona patients lost their lives, which was ever highest figure of deaths in the country due to COVID-19. Some 157 patients were on ventilators.He said so far 64,000 confirmed cases were reported throughout the country while during last 24 hours 2,636 new cases were reported. He added that 35% patients had been recovered completely while over 520,000 corona tests had been conducted so far. He said new corona positive cases were increasing and there were threats of spread of the disease. He asked the citizens to continue implementing protective measures as per directions to stem the increase in the coronavirus cases.