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March 16, 2020

KP govt releases Rs500m to overcome coronavirus challenge


March 16, 2020

PESHAWAR: The KP government has released Rs 500 million funds on an emergency basis for the purchase of essential and inevitable equipment and other items to fight the coronavirus in the province.

Adviser to KP Chief Minister on Information, Ajmal Wazir, said this while briefing journalists at the Itla Cell of the Information Department in the Civil Secretariat on Sunday, said an official handout.

The adviser said coronavirus is an international issue and not confined to Pakistan alone. “However our level of preparedness is matching and we have taken all-out efforts to knock it down at all levels before it becomes an unhandled challenge,” he added.

He said the provincial government had a special high powered task force which the Chief Minister Mahmood Khan was leading to effectively counter coronavirus in the province.

Ajmal Wazir said the provincial cabinet in a recently held meeting had taken several steps by relaxing rules and regulations for making urgently required procurement to counter coronavirus in the province.

The adviser said the district administrations have been empowered to take all the required steps in the given situation.

He said out of the total Rs 8 billion, the government has allocated Rs 5 billion for the purpose to overcome challenges posed by the coronavirus.

The adviser said 1200 isolation wards have been established in the hospitals of the province. Health workers have also been deployed in the Airport, etc.

Ajmal Wazir said 36 people were tested so far the coronavirus of whom 27 were found negative and nine were yet to be determined.

He advised the people not to be scared of the coronavirus but be cautious to be educated and well aware of the pandemic.

The adviser appealed to the journalists to put their share of mass-scale public awareness against pandemic effects of coronavirus.

Referring to the government efforts taken so far the adviser reminded that saving the people is the first and foremost responsibility of the government.

He said curative steps had been taken on war footings. However, prevention is the best cure to knock down this pandemic.

The adviser pointed out that there was daily mobility of from 7,000 to 8,000 people at the Pak-Afghan border, but added that a full screening infrastructure was there as well and screening was taking place continuously.

He said that there was a complete ban on gathering and congregation beyond 50 or more in the province. Even the KP Assembly session has been postponed, he pointed out.

The adviser said local volunteers have been put on red alert and because of all-out efforts, there are dim chances that the coronavirus might make inroads into KP.

He said we cannot close down the shopping plazas and bazaars in the province but will take steps based on any abnormality in the coming days.

Ajmal advised the Ulema, social and political leadership and the media to rise to the occasion and contribute to the collective cause of awareness-raising campaign.

In response to a question, the adviser said the screening of all Chinese nationals living in KP have been completed and even those working with Chinese have been screened as well.