Peshawar    -  To review the latest situation of the second wave of coronavirus across the province, arrangements and preparation made by concerned departments to contain the possible outbreak of the epidemic, the existing capacity of hospitals to deal with any emergency situation, a meeting of provincial Task Force on Covid-19 held here on Wednesday with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan in the chair.  

Provincial Minister Taimur Jhagra, Special Assistant to CM on Information Kamran Bangash, Corps Commander Peshawar Lt. Gen. Noman Mahmood, Chief Secretary Dr. Kazim Niaz, Inspector General of Police Sanaullah Abbasi and other relevant civil and military high ups attended the meeting. The meeting reviewed in detail the latest situation of the second wave of coronavirus across the province, arrangements and preparation made by the concerned departments to contain the possible outbreak of the virus, the existing capacity of hospitals to deal with any emergency situation and other relevant matters.   Briefing the meeting about the latest situation of corona, it was told that second wave of coronavirus had started in the province adding that increasing number of positive corona cases were being reported in various parts in Upper and Lower Chitral districts and some parts of Hazara division. It was also told that new cases of corona were being reported in various educational institutions.  

The forum, expressing concern over the rise of cases in Chitral district, directed the secretary health to immediately visit Chitral and take necessary steps on war-footings for the capacity building of public sector hospitals in the district and increase testing capacity at local level in order to effectively deal with any emergency situations.  

After discussing the option of announcing early winter vacations in education institutions, specially in winter zones to contain the possible spread of the virus, the forum directed the education department to work out the matter and come up with feasible proposals for any decision to this effect.  

In the light of the decisions of NCOC the meeting decided to ensure strict implementation of wearing of face masks in public places, closure of amusement parks at 6:00pm and closure of wedding halls, restaurants and markets at 10:00pm. The health department was directed to identify hotspots across the province and communicate the same to the district administrations for implementing smart lockdown strategy to contain the pandemic.  

The meeting, stressing the importance of public awareness to contain the possible outbreak of Covid-19, directed the information department to chalk out a media plan for a mass scale public awareness campaign through all mediums of mass communication. The health department was also directed to take necessary steps well in time to ensure availability of testing kits and personal protective equipments in all hospitals. 

The meeting was informed that number of active cases across the province was 804, whereas district with highest number of active cases per million populations include Chitral upper, Chitral lower, Mansehra, Abbottabad and Peshawar.  

About testing capacity it was told that at present the overall testing capacity was 4000 tests per day which could be increased if and when required. 

The forum agreed to take all required steps keeping in view the peculiar context of the province to keep the masses safe from the virus. 

Speaking on the occasion, the KP Chief Minister termed the safety of masses as foremost responsibility of his government and said that all available resources would be utilised to this end. He directed the concerned quarters to focus special attention on the areas and pockets where corona cases were on the rise. The Chief Minister urged the public to strictly follow precautionary measures to keep themselves and other safe from the pandemic.