PM lauds Pakistan’s rank on The Economist’s Global Normalcy Index

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday commended the performance of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and the Ehsaas team for their effective and coordinated response during the COVID-19 pandemic, which gained recognition by UK-based ‘The Economist’ in its report.

The prime minister in a tweet appreciated the three departments of the government and expressed gratitude to Allah.

“Congratulations to NCOC members, Ehsaas team & State Bank of Pakistan for effective response to COVID-19 pandemic; and above all thanks to the mercy of Almighty Allah,” he tweeted.

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In its Global Normalcy Index (GNI), the magazine has ranked Pakistan at number three out of 50 countries that performed well in controlling the COVID-19 spread.

The report showed that Pakistan’s neighbours, India and China, were ranked 48 and 19 with scores of 46.5 and 72.9 respectively. The United States stood at 20th in the ranking.

The Economist’s normalcy index focuses on how better the countries are returning to their pre-pandemic levels, by grading each country using eight indicators: Time not at home, retail, office use, public transport, road traffic, flights, cinema, and sports attendance.

According to the report, a rise was witnessed in global normalcy during March 2020 due to several countries imposing lockdowns.

With 100 set as the pre-pandemic level of activity, Pakistan ranked third with 84.4 out of 100. While Hong Kong topped the list with a ranking of 96.3 while New Zealand was ranked in second with 87.8.

In the category of ‘office use’, ‘retail’, ‘public transport’ and ‘time not spent at home, Pakistan ranked over 100. However, the categories of  ‘cinema’ and ‘flights’ witness a low score.

Earlier on Tuesday, Federal Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati called on Prime Minister Imran Khan and apprised him about the progress on Main Line One (ML-1) project. He also briefed the PM on the revenue generated in freight operations during the previous fiscal year.

Last year in November, Pakistan and China have agreed to accelerate efforts for the early completion of the Karachi-Peshawar ML-1 railway project.

The agreement was reached between then Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid and Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong in a meeting in the federal capital.

The main line project involving 1,872km railway track will be completed at a total cost of $6.8 billion.

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