close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
March 14, 2020

PA session prorogued indefinitely over virus

Lahore

March 14, 2020

LAHORE :Punjab Assembly was prorogued on Friday as a precautionary measure to counter the threat of outbreak of COVID-19 in the province.

Before the session was prorogued by the panel of chairmen, Mian Muhammad Shafi, the PPP parliamentary leader Hasan Murtaza criticised the government for gross neglect to protect the citizens of the province from the deadly pandemic coronavirus. Speaking on a point of order, Hasan Murtaza said he went to Services Hospital for testing his servant for the suspected coronavirus, but the staff and doctors told him that the hospital had no facility to test any patient for coronavirus. He said the hospital staff refused to give the patient any preventive medicine and instead told him to go to any private hospital or laboratory for coronavirus test. He said private laboratories and hospitals were providing the testing facilities for Coronavirus by charging at least Rs10,000 and more, which were too much for the poor to pay.

He asked the chair to intervene into the matter to make the government realise the fast growing intensity of seriously threatening virus and wake up from its sleep to save the poor and voters. He reminded that entire world had taken intensive protective measures to avert the corona threat, including massive medical precautions, testing, quarantine and other steps to protect the citizens but the Punjab government was still far away from equipping its public hospitals from the facilities to check, test and treat the corona patients. He said the government was asking the political leaders to express solidarity with the government which was taking a number of measures to prevent the outbreak of this menace, but there was no practical measures seen on the ground. He asked if government wanted to sit idly and expect the virus to go away itself.

Law Minister Raja Basharat challenged Hasan Murtaza and accused him of spreading incorrect information and misleading the House. He said the PPP parliamentary leader should realise that it was no time to create fear and panic among the masses, adding that the honourable members of the House should issue positive statements from this forum. He said the government was committed to counter the coronavirus threat and planned to set up testing centres at tehsil levels. He noted a number of measures the government was taking to prevent the spread of this virus, including keeping visitors in quarantine, closing down public gathering places and providing latest medical testing facilities in the hospitals. He said the pilgrims coming back from Iran were being kept in 14-day quarantine for screening of the virus. Awais Leghari of PML-N asked the chair to question the government for reasons under which his district DG Khan was chosen as the screening place for pilgrims without providing proper screening facilities there. He added that there was no case of coronavirus reported from there. Information Minister Fayyaz Chohan told the House that a total of 72 suspected of coronavirus were reported in Punjab, out of them, 71 were tested negative and sent home, while only one was under observation. He asked Hasan Murtaza to speak with care and caution on such sensitive issue, to refrain from creating panic among the people.

In view of the deadly coronavirus, the government cut short the agenda of the present Punjab Assembly session by more than one week and announced proroguing the session for indefinite period.