LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Monday that the people were determined to combat and eliminate the dengue virus, as reflected in the spirit and enthusiasm with which they observed the Anti-Dengue Day.

Paying glowing tributes to citizens, students, teachers, members of civil society, ulema and government officials for enthusiastically observing the Anti-Dengue Day throughout the province and making effective arrangements for this purpose, Shahbaz said – before leaving for the United Kingdom on a four-day private visit – that the Punjab government was fully committed to protection of human life by eradicating the dengue virus. “Protection of citizens’ life is the top most government priority,” he stressed.

The chief minister said mass awareness was the starting point of the movement for rooting out the dengue virus. “Despite weekly holiday, the administrative machinery throughout the province, by attending the duty on the Anti-Dengue Day, has sent a strong message that protection of citizens’ life is of utmost importance to the Punjab government,” he maintained.

Shahbaz said, besides the government, PML-N parliamentarians and workers were always available to serve the masses in any hour of trial and crisis. He stated the campaign against dengue had now been transformed into a mass movement, while the process of eliminating dengue mosquito and larvae was vigorously continuing with the cooperation of the people.

The chief minister said all arrangements had been completed at government hospitals to meet any untoward situation. “It would be criminal negligence if the people suffered from the dengue virus, while elected representatives and government officers shirked their official responsibilities,” he stressed.

Shahbaz said it was praiseworthy that elected representatives and all segments of the society realised their responsibilities on the Anti-Dengue Day, and proved that we were a living nation that could combat any difficult situation with courage and determination. He announced that, with the grace of Allah and cooperation of the citizens, along with timely and effective steps by the government, the situation of dengue was now under control.

The chief minister hoped that, maintaining a similar spirit, the campaign to uproot the menace of dengue would continue in future as well. “With the help of students, civil society and common citizens, the anti-dengue movement is proceeding in an organised manner. I strongly believe the dengue virus would be effectively controlled if we continued to work with similar passion and commitment,” he added.