ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan will Monday (today) resume hearing in its suo moto notice of government’s measures to combat coronavirus pandemic wherein it had already turned down the request of Attorney General for Pakistan and Advocate General Sindh, to form a team of medical experts for their advice on coronavirus pandemic.

A five-member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed will conduct hearing of the government’s measures to combat coronavirus pandemic,

During the last hearing, the AGP and AG Sindh suggested the court to constitute a Committee including epidemiologist from the federation and each province to seek their opinion regarding the diseases.

However, the CJP observed that the matter is already before the federal government and they can do so accordingly.

The apex court also observed that the federal government is doing everything to mitigate the sufferings of people and it has short of funds and seeking aid from abroad to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The top court of the country directed National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSRC) to file reports regarding the matter.

The court also ordered the federal and provincial governments, Gilgit Baltistan and ICT to file the progress reports on coronavirus.

The Court further directed the federal and all the provinces to pay outstanding salaries and pension to the sanitary workers within two days. The Chief Justice directed the Advocate General Sindh to give special treatment to the sanitary workers and provide them PPEs not only in Karachi but in the whole of Sindh.

He said that no government had paid attention to the miseries of sanitary workers, who go into the gutter where poisonous gases cause their death. He added that every year many workers die due to poisonous gas.

The apex court noted that in Sindh no PPEs provided and salary paid to the sanitary worker for the last 9 months.

The court issued direction to all the provinces and the ICT.

The Attorney General and the Advocate Generals of the provinces assured that the grievances of the sanitary workers would be addressed at the earliest.

The court said that they would also examine the condition of sanitary workers given to the contractors and how the contract of their services was awarded.

Attorney General Khalid Jawed Khan informed the apex court that the coronavirus is present in Pakistan and the worst has yet to come.

He said that the government is expecting serious spike in June and if that the situation emerges then the government will not be able to cope with this situation.

The order said: “We are aware the reality of the COVID-19 that is very much in Pakistan and has caused many casualties and large number of people are affected by the disease and ailment is being treated in hospitals.”

It added that there is probability that the coronavirus may spike in that there may be acute medical emergency and a lot of funds and resources will be required to meet the same.

“Pakistan’s economy is not such to bear the expenses of medical emergency. Nor does it have enough resources for the same. However, the government is trying to mitigate the situation,” the report said.

It further said that the Chairman NDMA has given useful report and stated that the PPEs manufactured locally and private sectors will be encouraged to give support in manufacturing the PPEs.

The ventilators which were not produced in Pakistan will be started soon. They have given ordered for the import of 1,187 ventilators and out of that 300 have been received and distributed among provinces, ICT and Gilgit Baltistan.

He also assured that the medical equipment and the testing kits for coronavirus will be manufactured in Pakistan and dependence would be reduced.

The Chief Justice thanked the Chairman NDMA and said in written order:

We are grateful for such report and appreciate his efforts to combat coronavirus.