Lahore            -       Coronavirus has left the whole world in torment. Countries all over the world are trying hard to contain this disease using all their available resources, however, they have so far been unable to overcome this menace. Coronavirus patients’ number has exceeded six million all over the world, whereas fatalities have reached more than 383,000.

In Pakistan, total number of corona patients are around 89,000 and almost 1,830 people have fallen prey to this deadly disease. Experets opinine that only by keeping social distances we can prevent its outbreak. People are being asked to stay at home. If they have to go out, they must take preventive measures like covering their face by masks and using sanitizers. They have also been asked to keep six feet distance from others. But, unluckily, people have not changed their lifestyle and habits and taking it so light. Some of them even making fun of it. Markets and roads are witnessing the same rush. If we do not change our habits and lifestyle, the state of affairs can go worse. Governemnt is continuelusly warning people that they must comply with the lockdown directions.

It is beyond doubt that government alone cannot fight this disease. In order to achieve this goal, people will have to act upon the advices and comply with the directions issued by the government from time to time. If people are safe and sound they can earn their living, but if they fall prey to this disease and cannot survive, their jobs and business are useless. So the prevailing situation requires us to take precautionary and preventive measures.

Coronavirus has changed the whole world. This disease has enhanced social distancing. It is a famous saying that man is a social animal and cannot live alone. But now it is being preached that people should keep social distancing. Meeting, shaking hands, and hugging like acts are being discouraged now. Are this not a necessary outcome of our evil deeds? All those social evils which are forbidden by any religion, have been adopted by us. In every religion, nudity, vulgarity, rape and wine have been declared sins, but all these evils are being committed by human beings. To justify our personal lust, arguments are sought and advanced. Usurping rights, injustice with oppressed, hoarding, bribery and delayed justice are other such social evils which are now part of our society. When there is no difference between Halal and Haram, law of nature becomes active and there is destruction everywhere.

It is beyond doubt that lockdown affected the poor and daily wagers very badly. On directions by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar started Ehsaas Kifalat Programme which is the biggest project of the province. Under this programme, poor families are being given Rs12,000/- monthly. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar is personally monitoring this programme. Ehsaas Kifalat Programme is a splendid welfare plan, which is helping the poor to make their both ends meet. The real chalenge the government is facing is to extend help to the right and deserving people and keep it transparent. Keeping this in mind and to ensure the same, the chief minister has made flury of visits to Dipalpur, Chishtian, Toba Tek Singh, Gojra, Head Tremu, Sheikhupura, Narowal, Rawalpindi and many other areas. The CM is monitoring the distribution of monetary help among the poor and the needy.

It is a quality of CM Buzdar that he is doing his work quietly and not advertising his welfare works like the previous rulers did. Buzdar does not like advertisement of such acts.  As far as the provision of medical facilties to citizens and preventive measures from Covid-19 are concerned, Buzdar government has taken timely and effective steps.

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has granted approval for establishment of four more laboratories for diagnosis of Covid-19 patients in the province. CM Buzdar has said that in the first phase, Labs will be set up in Sialkot and Sargodha while in second phase new laboratories will be established in Rahim Yar Khan and Gujrat. While asking the Health Department to take immediate steps for setting up new Labs in Sialkot and Sargodha, he said that two labs had been upgraded in Punjab and three new were already completed. He said upgradation of TB Control Programme and Institute of Public Health Labs had been completed. He revealed that new Labs had also been set up in Allied Hospital Faisalabad, Nishtar Hospital Multan and Tehsil Headquarters Hospital Wazirabad. He said Punjab had attained 4500 tests per day capacity. The CM told that three new labs in Bahawalpur, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rawalpindi will become functional in next few days. He said doing business while shutters down will not be allowed. He said violation of Punjab Infectious Diseases (Prevention And Control) Ordinance 2020 will not be tolerated and such shops will be sealed and challaned. In Ramazan, however, milk shops and Tandoors remained open during Sehri time. He said industries violating SOPs will be proceeded against under relevant laws. A meeting cabinet committee for prevention of Corona disease was held under CM Usman Buzdar in chair at CM’s office. In the meeting, medical facilities being provided to the corona patients were reviewed. Issues relating to provision of PPEs to medical and para medical staff were also came under discussion. Steps taken for smart and partial lockdown were also reviewed.

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said in his tweet that government is going to start Smart Sampling in the province. He said a committee comprising prominent experts will be established in light of results received after Smart Sampling to evolve future strategy. He said at the outset attention were paid towards testing of the people kept at Quarantine Centres, but now, when the burden burden on the system is less and testing capacity is high, we can better judge presence of virus in local community through Smart Sampling. During this whole episode abilities of CM Buzdar have come to the fore. He has emerged more successful and more powerful after every political crisis. CM Buzdar, through his character and administrative decisions, has nullified all objections raised by powerful quarters and now they are stunned over his performance. CM Buzdar avoids being prominent and never tries to talk tall about politics.

After outbreak of coronavirus hoarders and traders selling things on exorbitant rates bacame active and they hoarded commodities relating to Covid-19 disease like masks, sanitizers, chlorine and detol amd started selling them on their own prices. A box of masks with price almost Rs150-200 was selling at Rs1000. Prices of all other daily use items were also made dearer. It added to the woes of common man. Monitoring the situation closely, Buzdar government again took a big step and promulgated The Punjab Prevention of Hoarding Ordinance 2020 in the province underwhich the hoarders would get three years in prison as punishment and price of 50 percent consficated items would be added to the national kitty.

The ordinance said: “Any dealer who is found to hoard any scheduled articles shall be guilty of an offence punishable with simple imprisonment up to three (3) years and fine equivalent to 50 per cent of the value of the scheduled articles involved in the case.”

Under the ordinance, the relevant officer can, on the basis of his knowledge, can check godown of any dealer without warrant. The dealer would be bound to produce all record of his production, export, import, stock, sale and distribution.

The ordinance says every dealer would be bound to provide information regarding production, import, export, purchase, stock, sale or distribution of any of the scheduled articles to the deputy commissioner who can inspect and/or verify the books, registers and premises.

CM Usman Buzdar said his government had issued the ordinance to take stern action against people creating articial crisis by hoarding commodities. Under this ordinance people will be liable to be proceeded against hoarding medicines, flour, sugar, pulses, tea, edible oil, fish, eggs, milk, meat, face masks, sanitizers, surgical gloves, chemical used to make fertilizers, agri medicines, potatoes, onion, tomatoes and other items.  The ordinance 2020 also provides rewards for informers in case their information leads to conviction of a hoarder where 10 per cent of the auction proceeds of the hoarded articles will be given to the informer as reward.

Under the ordinance, hoarding will be a non-bailable offence.  Minster for Industries Aslam Iqbal has said that Punjab is the only province which has collected data of essential items through maping. Hoarder will be the person who will not declare his articles. Punjab government has also taken actions against hoarders under the previous act.  From January first till 22nd April, essential items like sugar, flour, Ghee, rice, red chilli, pulses, cooking oil, and Gurr worth Rs 2914.14 million were confiscated and sold on government fixed rates. Islam strictly borbids mixing of impurities, lying and weighing less. Such acts have been strongly disliked.

On an occasion, Holy Prophet (PBUH) said a true trader will wake up with martyrs on judgement day. On another occasion the Holy Prophet (PBUH) said, “Hoarders are sinners, Likewise people weighing less will have to face garave punishment.” It goes without saying that Punjab government government under leadership of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar taking comprehensive and positive steps for welfare of the people and he is emerging as a very good administrator in the province.  The environment at BSL level-3 lab is kept clean by virtue of low air pressure. Micro and molecular biologists work round the clock at Central PCR Lab. Samples for the corona tests are brought in from different areas to the lab via cold chain transport, while results of these tests are sent to the concerned hospital online within six to seven hours.

‘The Mist Queen’, a special vehicle for spraying disinfectants, and designed on the instructions of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, gave a practical demonstration at the Chief Minister’s House. Only Rs0.2 million have been spent on its manufacturing.

Speaking on the occasion, Buzdar said the vehicle would be used to disinfect main roads and markets. “Eight such vehicles have been manufactured to disinfect Lahore’s crowded areas. These vehicles would be handed over to 455 local governments of Punjab in phases,” the CM said, and added LWMC and Rescue 1122 were jointly spraying disinfectants in the provincial capital. He further said that the Punjab government would continue to take steps for the elimination of the coronavirus. Secretary local bodies on the occasion said following ‘The Mist Queen’, the department would also introduce ‘The Mist Cannon’.

Meanwhile, distribution of Rs12,000 to each family under the prime minister’s Ihsas Kifalat Programme is underway. Around 0.7 million families in Punjab will benefit from this programme. Around three lakh, 16 thousand families received the amounts on the first two days of the programme while 481 camps have been set up for the purpose across the province. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar made whirlwind tours to several Punjab cities such as Mandi Bahauddin, Gujjer Khan and Rawalpindi, and inspected distribution of financial aid under the Ihsas Kifalat Programme.

The chief minister also visited the field hospitals and reviewed the arrangements made there for the treatment of patients.

He not only inspected the camps set up for the distribution of amounts, but himself handed cash to the deserving women.

Speaking to the recipients on the occasion, Buzdar said the government had launched a transparent programme for providing relief to the poor segments of the society during the lockdown. “Never in the history of the country, such a brisk and transparent financial aid distribution programme has been introduced,” he claimed. The CM vowed not to let dearth of resources stand in the way of provision of relief to the downtrodden segments of the society. He told that he was himself overseeing the programme. He said all necessary arrangements had been made at the centres for the deserving people. “Social distancing has been ensured at these centres,” he said, and added, “People’s cooperation is required if coronavirus is to be defeated.”

The chief minister said six centres had been set up at Mandi Bahauddin, and added that in all, 63, 236 deserving people in the district would be provided financial aid. He further said that the distribution of financial aid would continue till the end of the current month. “Similarly, around Rs88 crores would be distributed among the needy people in Gujranwala division,” he informed.

Buzdar said 207 centres had been set up in the division for the purpose. He said that temperatures of people were checked visiting the centres for receiving the amounts. Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also visited one such centre housed in a school in Gujjer Khan, and reviewed the distribution of cash.

People present at the centre on the occasion expressed their satisfaction with the mode of distribution of money, and praised the government efforts. Talking to the chief minister on the occasion, people termed distribution of Rs12,000 to each family a big relief in the current situation.

Buzdar said 4,966 people would be handed cash at this centre in the first phase. When the chief minister inquired from the deserving women seated in the waiting area about the arrangements made at the centre, they expressed their satisfaction. The CM later distributed sanitizers among the women.

Buzdar, on the occasion, vowed to ensure transparency in Ihsas Kifalat Programme. After having done with his visits to Mandi Bahauddin and Gujjer Khan, the chief minister went to Rawalpindi where he visited 130-bed special field hospital housed in Sports Complex, which the Punjab government has built for the coronavirus patients in a record period of time. He went round different departments.

Speaking on the occasion, the CM said following Lahore a special field hospital had been built in Rawalpindi as well. He said the capacity of the hospital could be enhanced from 130 to 300-bed.

He said that not only all necessary facilities had been provided at the hospital for the treatment of patients but arrangements had also been made for the comfort of doctors and the paramedical staff. “A nursing station has been built inside the hospital,” Buzdar said, and added, “The patients will be kept in isolation at the hospital.”

The chief minister informed that the hospital had been affiliated with the Rawalpindi Institute of Cardiology.

He said the best way to stay safe from the Covid-19 was to stay at home.

The CM also went to Red Crescent Corona Care Field Hospital during his visit to Rawalpindi and went round its different departments.

Red Crescent Chairman Ibrarul Haq briefed the chief minister on the occasion. The latter expressed his satisfaction with the arrangements made at the hospital. He was particularly excited to learn about the availability of 10 ventilators at the health facility.

Buzdar said it was heartening to note that all necessary facilities had been provided not only to the patients, but also to the doctors.

The CM said that the hospital consisted of 150 beds while it also had an Intensive Care Unit (ICU). “The Punjab government is fighting against the pandemic with full might and vigour,” he said, and added, “We talk less and do work more.”

He further said that the provincial government had built field hospitals for the coronavirus patients in different cities. “By the grace of The Almighty Allah we will defeat the pandemic in collaboration with the people,” he hoped.

The effective steps taken by Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar against the Covid-19 has earned him praise on Twitter. ‘Wasim Akram Plus’ has now become a top trend on the website.