Lahore                 -           Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has directed to release all the citizens arrested for violating section 144 during coronavirus campaign. While giving a media briefing after chairing a meeting of the cabinet committee on coronavirus at Civil Secretariat, the Chief Minister said that Punjab Insaaf Imdad Programme had been started on Tuesday. The applicants would apply online/SMS and Rs 4000 would be paid to the needy families after verification, he added.

He said, cement factories had been exempted from the restrictions earlier imposed due to coronavirus. The Chief Minister stated that Rs10 billion had been earmarked for providing a grant to 2.5 million families under Punjab Insaaf Imdad Programme. It was not required to visit any office for seeking aid and there would 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 100-bed field hospital at expo centre would be made functional tomorrow, he added.

The Chief Minister told that the total number of confirmed coronavirus patients in Punjab were 662 and the situation was under control. The government would provide resources to medical researchers for the preparation of coronavirus vaccine and the SOPs of home-based Quarantine would also be issued after consultation with the doctors coming from China.

The CM informed that district-level committees were 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 1200 tests had been conducted daily in Punjab and the capacity of conducting 5000 to 7000 coronavirus tests would 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 had been devised to deal with any untoward situation and supply of essentials would not be affected. He disclosed that the Punjab government initially contacted Dr Tahir Shamsi for consultations about the treatment of coronavirus. The experts were researching at the University of Health Sciences and Pakistan would 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, Rs 25 crore would be provided to police for investigation and operational matters. 500 single cabin pickups would be purchased for police and Rs75.57 crore would be provided in the next budget for procurement of additional 182 vehicles, he added.

The under-construction building of police stations would be got completed and new buildings of 101 police stations would also be constructed after the transfer of government lands. He also 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.

Provincial ministers Raja Basharat, Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, Chief Secretary, IG Police and relevant secretaries attended the meeting.

–visits Corona crisis

management cell

The Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar 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 was reviewing the situation at global, national, provincial and tehsil levels. He was further briefed that supply and demand of edibles and flour in different districts was also being monitored and the concerned departments were informed about the supply and requirements of commodities. Data of those who violated Section 144 had also been compiled in Corona Crisis Management Cell.

The Chief Minister was briefed that 6154 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 had representatives of Rescue and other concerned departments.

Usman Buzdar was informed that the situation arising due to the arrival of pilgrims from various places was also being monitored.