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March 26, 2020

CM Usman Buzdar announces risk allowance for medics, paramedics


March 26, 2020

LAHORE: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has announced a special risk allowance, equal to one salary, for doctors, nurses, medical staff and others engaged in the treatment of coronavirus patients.

The CM said this while talking to the media after chairing a cabinet committee meeting for eradication of coronavirus. The chief minister said total number of coronavirus patients in Punjab is 312 - 176 in DG Khan, 77 in Lahore, three in Multan, 19 in Jhelum, two each in Rawalpindi and Faisalabad, 21 in Gujrat, eight in Gujranwala and one each in Mandibahauddin, Rahim Yar Khan, Sargodha and Narowal. The total number of quarantine facilities in Punjab is 163 having a total capacity of 20,000 patients, he added.

Meanwhile, work is in progress to set up more quarantine facilities along with increase in medical facilities. PSL level-3 labs will be set up in every division and 62 crore rupees have been released for 5 divisions for early completion this project, he added.

The 600 people cleared after spending 14 days in a DG Khan quarantine facility are being sent homes and the Punjab government is also arranging follow-up screening in their respective districts. Their corona tests were negative and screening of prisoners has also been started. A summary has been moved to release 3,500 prisoners involved in petty crimes besides setting up a 100-bed hospital in Camp Jail Lahore, the CM said.

The chief minister said that the Punjab government is writing a letter to CAA that arrangements be made to quickly check the Punjab bound CAA staff after foreign duties or Punjab government be provided with their lists for screening. He assured that cleanliness and other essential matters will not be affected and the administration will ensure cities' regular cleanliness. He directed that food-chain supply should not be affected, adding that there is no shortage of anything but people should avoid unnecessary hoarding. The administration is active against hoarding and provision of personal protective equipment is in progress for safety from coronavirus. He advised people to maintain social distancing and impressed upon the philanthropists to attend to the needs of the indigent strata around them. There is no curfew but people should restrict to their homes and cooperate with the government. The Punjab government will announce social protection package on the pattern of the federal government, he added.

The chief secretary at the meeting said 150 pilgrims coming from Iran are kept in Faisalabad. The Taftan border is closed and there is no information about the arrival of more pilgrims. Ministers Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan, Musarrat Jamshed Cheema MPA, Chief Secretary, administrative secretaries and others were also present.

cabinet committee: Usman Bazdar has set up a cabinet committee headed by Provincial Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Social Welfare Raja Basharat to further strengthen the steps against coronavirus across the province.

Other members of the committee include the Punjab finance minister, minister for industries and commerce, chief secretary, senior member of Board of Revenue, additional chief secretary Home, IG, secretaries of department of primary health, information, finance, specialised health, P&D and local government, Lahore division commissioner and PDMA DG.

According to the notification, the committee will coordinate with the federal and international agencies to fight coronavirus, and will supervise hospitals and the health facilities to ensure diagnosis of coronavirus patients, their isolation and treatment.

It will ensure provision of required testing kits, medical equipment and other facilities to hospitals along with arranging training of medical staff and provide staff at the required locations. In addition, the committee will also oversee a massive awareness campaign among the masses to prevent infection of Covid 19. Besides ensuring uninterrupted and food supply throughout the province, it will ensure the implementation of social distancing and limited mobility of citizens according to the government announcements. The cabinet committee will convene a review meeting on a daily basis and forward the report to the chief minister.

The primary health secretary, also the secretary of the committee, will provide logistic and administrative support to the committee.

Visits UET Kala Shah Kaku Campus: Usman Buzdar visited the Kala Shah Kaku Campus of University of Engineering and Technology Lahore and inspected isolation/quarantine centres set up over there.

The chief minister expressed the satisfaction over the arrangements and directed to install incinerator as well. He directed the health department to follow relevant SOPs and no leniency be shown in this regard.

The chief minister was told that 15 AC buses had been arranged to transfer the patients from Old Airport Terminal Lahore to KSK Campus after their registration. The patients will be shifted to the quarantine facility where control room and emergency response centre have also been set up. Similarly, four ambulances and 10 motorcycle ambulances have been arranged while 15 doctors and 65 members of the medical team will perform round-the-clock duties in different shifts. Dispensary and infection control system, along with security arrangements, have been established. Portable washrooms and other facilities are also available in the KSK Campus for 816 patients. Around 1,400 patients can be quarantined in UET, GCU and Judicial Complex facilities. The patients will be kept separate according to their medical conditions and bed, sanitizer, food and other necessary items will be provided in every room. The chief minister was also told about the yellow van and yellow room facility. The clothes of the medical teams will be disposed of in the incinerator. The goggles, boots, gloves, face masks, caps and protective dresses will be collected in the yellow room and the sealed protective kit will be sent to the yellow van for its disposal in incinerator at high temperature. This process will also be digitally monitored.

The chief minister directed the health department to follow relevant SOPs and no leniency be shown in this regard. The infection control programme should be strictly followed, he added. Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, Commissioner and DC Lahore and Health Department officials were also present on this occasion.