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October 24, 2020

Minister warns of drastic action if corona SOPs defied

Lahore

October 24, 2020

LAHORE:Provincial Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Social Welfare Raja Basharat has said that the government would be forced to take drastic measures if the people defied government SOPs to avoid the virus spread.

Addressing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Corona held at the Chief Minister's House under his chairmanship here Friday, the law minister said the government had been repeatedly appealing to the people to take precautionary measures but unfortunately most of the people seemed to be ignoring the SOPs. He said that due to the effective efforts made by the government, the corona outbreak was almost over but due to people’s non-cooperation new cases had started increasing so all possible steps would be taken to stop the virus spread.

An earlier health department briefing said there had been a steady increase in new cases of corona since 15 September. The secretary primary health said that one school in Hafizabad and one in Bhakkar had been closed due to the corona positive test while a number of classrooms of schools in several districts had also been closed. He said that Gujranwala, Nankana Sahib and Gujrat were reporting the highest number of new cases of corona in the province respectively followed by Lahore, Rawalpindi and Sargodha. He said that smart lockdown was currently under way in 774 areas of Punjab while new SOPs had been set up for marriage halls, campuses, markets, workshops and other workplaces. The meeting considered allowing government employees of above 55-year age and lady workers coming with babies to work from home, but the decision would be taken after the CM’s approval.

CS forms body to bring down vegetable prices

The Punjab chief secretary has directed the authorities of the Punjab Agriculture Department to get approved as early as possible the rules of the Punjab Agriculture Marketing Regulatory Authority (PAMRA) Act, which was introduced to modernise the system of agricultural markets to effectively control the prices of agricultural commodities, including vegetables. Chairing a daily-review meeting on price control, the CS formed an eight-member committee and tasked it with presenting recommendations within two days to bring down the prices of vegetables immediately. He said the main reason for the clear difference in the prices of vegetables in various cities was the outdated system of the auction in the markets. He said direct sale of agricultural commodities by farmers to consumers would help limit the role of middlemen.