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April 1, 2020

Situation in Punjab under control: Buzdar

National

April 1, 2020

LAHORE: Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has directed to release all the citizens arrested for violating Section 144 during coronavirus campaign.

The chief minister told the media that Punjab Insaf Imdad Programme had started. The applicants will apply online/SMS and Rs4,000 will be paid to the needy families after verification. Meanwhile, cement factories have been exempted from the imposed restrictions due to coronavirus. Giving a media briefing after chairing a meeting of the cabinet committee on coronavirus at Civil Secretariat, the chief minister stated that Rs10 billion had been earmarked for providing a grant to 25 lakh families under Punjab Insaf Imdad Programme. It is not required to visit any office for seeking aid and there will be no governmental interference to ensure complete transparency, he maintained. He said the local government department would conduct antiseptic spray in seminaries and mosques. However, people should avoid going outside unnecessarily. The field hospital at Expo Centre will be made functional today (Wednesday), he added.

The chief minister told that the total number of confirmed coronavirus patients in Punjab is 662 and the situation is under control. The government will provide resources to medical researchers for the preparation of coronavirus vaccine and the SOPs of home-based quarantine will also be issued after consultation with the doctors coming from China.

The CM informed that district-level committees are being formed for the provision of PPEs in hospitals and quarantine centres. These committees would be comprised of Deputy Commissioners and other officials, he added. Around 1,200 tests are being conducted daily in Punjab and the capacity of conducting 5,000 to 7,000 coronavirus tests will be achieved after the establishment of BSL-3 level labs at divisional level, he added.

The government appreciated all those performing duties for overcoming coronavirus pandemic, he said.

To a question, he said that campaign was underway to deal with the hoarders. An emergency plan has been devised to deal with any untoward situation and supply of essentials will not be affected. He disclosed that the Punjab government initially contacted Dr Tahir Shamsi for consultations about the treatment of coronavirus. The experts are researching at the University of Health Sciences and Pakistan will surely succeed in preparing vaccine. He told that more than 10,000 recruitments would be immediately made in police and approved vacant posts would be filled in phases. Similarly, Rs250 million will be provided to police for investigation and operational matters; 500 single cabin pickups will be purchased for police and Rs75.57 crore will be provided in the next budget for procurement of additional 182 vehicles, he added. The under-construction building of police stations will be completed and new buildings of 101 police stations will also be constructed after the transfer of government lands. He assured that Police Khidmat Centres would be made commensurate with the latest needs and steps would be taken to make police a public-friendly institution.

CORONA CRISIS MANAGEMENT CELL

The chief minister visited Corona Crisis Management Cell at Civil Secretariat. He was briefed that Corona Crisis Management Cell had been established to monitor the coronavirus situation in the province. Corona Crisis Management Cell is reviewing the situation at global, national, provincial and tehsil levels. He was briefed that supply and demand of edibles and flour in different districts was being monitored and the departments concerned were informed about the supply and requirements of commodities. Data about those who violated Section 144 has also been compiled in Corona Crisis Management Cell.

The chief minister was briefed that 6,154 FIRs had been registered across the province and action had been taken against more than 10,000 people for violating Section 144 imposed to deal with Coronavirus. Corona Crisis Management Cell has representatives of Rescue and other departments concerned. Usman Buzdar was informed that the situation arising due to the arrival of pilgrims from various places was also being monitored.

Additional Chief Secretary Home Momin Ali Agha gave a detailed briefing to the chief minister about the Corona Crisis Management Cell.

The chief minister said that setting up of Corona Crisis Management Cell was a commendable step as timely monitoring of the situation occurred by a pandemic was very important.

Foreign vaccine to be ineffective as local coronavirus genome is different: experts

The convener of experts’ forum constituted for conducting research on Coronavirus Prof Dr Mehmood Shaukat, Vice-Chancellor University of Health Sciences Prof Dr Javaid Akram and other experts called on the chief minister at Civil Secretariat on Tuesday.

The chief minister was told that the PPE manufacturing had been started in Punjab and it was in accordance with the international standards for safety from coronavirus. It is being made from reusable material. He directed to accelerate the manufacturing process of Personal Protection Equipment. It was disclosed in the special meeting that the mask of N95 level was also being manufactured locally. Experts’ forum presented the report about their research and told the chief minister that forum was researching to cure the corona with different medicines and DRAP had approved the study of Punjab about coronavirus. Genome of local coronavirus is different from the Chinese Coronavirus with nine changes; therefore, foreign vaccine can be ineffective for it.

The chief minister was briefed that Corona Test Kits would also be manufactured at local level. Test use of Anti-Bodies Test Kit is in progress.