Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar on Wednesday said that we need to work together to deal with natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes and corona-virus. He said, all institutions including media, judiciary, scholars, doctors, nurses and paramedical staff played a vital role during the COVID. This was stated by him in virtual address in the inaugural session of the two-day national conference on ‘Challenges of Governance in Pakistan Amid the Covid-19 Pandemic’ organized by Punjab University’s Department of Political Science. Ambassador of China to Pakistan Mr. Nong Rong also attended the session online, while PU Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad Akhtar, former caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Prof Dr Hassan Askari Rizvi, Founding Director Center for Public Policy and Governance F.C College Lahore Dr Saeed Shafqat, Dean Faculty Behavioral and Social Sciences Prof Dr Umbreen Javed, Chairperson Department of Political Science Prof Dr Iram Khalid, researchers, senior faculty members and a large number of students participated in the conference. Asad Umar said that during COVID-19, the government of Pakistan also faced the twin challenges of saving the economy along with the health of the people, due to which the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) and National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) were set up to combat and convey the truth to the people. He said that the government and the military leadership together in the NCOC made the best decisions in the national interest. He said that the NCOC decided on lockdown, hotspot lockdown and smart lockdown based on daily data so that people’s health and economic condition could be improved. He said that he made all the decisions keeping in view the situation of his country after learning from other countries. The Minister Planning and Development said that the process of vaccination had started and the same laws were applied to all keeping aside the difference between the rich and the poor and even the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan vaccinated themselves in their own respective turns. He said that keeping in view the lack of resources and poor health facilities to deal with the epidemic, the government has increased the facilities at hospitals. He said that the use of technology through various applications has made it easier to calculate the number of patients in hospitals, and has ensured availability of oxygen, assessment of the condition of beds and medical facilities. Asad Umar said that China supported Pakistan in difficult time. He said that through artificial intelligence, the government was formulating a strategy for the future so that an effective and integrated strategy could be formulated to tackle challenges like corona.