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Mosques won’t be closed in Punjab, says Usman Buzdar

By Our Correspondent
March 17, 2020

LAHORE:A delegation of renowned religious scholars of different schools of thought called on Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office on Monday and announced supporting the government for dealing with coronavirus.

Addressing the delegation, the chief minister announced that mosques would not be closed in Punjab. The Punjab government took the lead to write to the federal government on January 03 about coronavirus and also set up a control room in the health department. Similarly, a cabinet committee has also been established to monitor the steps being taken for controlling the coronavirus. This committee regularly holds its meetings while Rs240 million had been released to the health department for the procurement of necessary medical equipment, he added. The government has also allocated an amount of Rs1 billion for the health department to cope with the possible coronavirus threat.

The chief minister told that 41 high dependency units in DHQ hospitals had 541 beds capacity. Special hospitals have been established in Muzaffargarh, Lahore and Rawalpindi for the treatment of coronavirus patients while quarantine facility has been established in DG Khan, Multan and Bahawalpur to monitor health conditions of the pilgrims, he said. The chief minister said that 760 pilgrims had reached DG Khan and they were being screened. Meanwhile, additional 10,000 kits are being procured to diagnose coronavirus, he added.

The chief minister said that Punjab cabinet had also approved public health emergency, adding that corona treatment facility could be set up within one week for one lac people. He said that ban had been imposed on public gatherings under Section 144 in Punjab and public awareness campaign was in progress.

The people should not be panicked rather adopt precautionary measures, he told. Nations go through sufferings and by the grace of Allah Almighty we will succeed, he added. The religious scholars should sensitise the people about coronavirus. The government appreciates religious scholars’ recommendations, he added. The religious scholars appreciated the steps taken by the Punjab government for safety from coronavirus.

Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat said that religious scholars’ cooperation with the government was a positive tradition while Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid maintained that corona’s spread was fast and one should not go out of home during holidays.

Provincial Minister Saeed-ul-Hassan Shah observed that people should avoid going to other places during the pandemic. The religious scholars were also given a briefing about precautionary measures and steps taken by the government. Khateeb Badshahi Masjid led the prayer for safety from the corona. Maulana Sahibzada Fazal Raheem, Maulana Ghulam Muhammad Sialvi, Maulana Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, Hafiz Zubair Ahmad Zaheer, Allama Muhammad Hussain Akbar and other religious scholars also spoke on this occasion. Mussarat Jamshed Cheema MPA, chief secretary, ACS (Home), Secretaries of Information and Auqaf departments and others were also present.