LAHORE - Lahore alone has half of the total COVID-19 patients in Punjab mainly owing to non-compliance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) by the general public.

This was revealed in a high level meeting held under the chair of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar to review the coronavirus situation in the province.

The meeting termed the situation in Lahore as critical and attributed the same to non-compliance of SOPs by the people.

The meeting was told that more than half of the total coronavirus cases in Punjab were from Lahore and violations of SOPS were being witnessed in markets and commercial areas.

Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan, Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, Chief Secretary, ACS (Home), IG Police, Health Secretaries and others attended the meeting.

The meeting noted that the cases were increasing due to the non-compliance of the policy of social distancing, use of face masks and other precautionary measures as the required public cooperation was not there in the provincial metropolis. 

The meeting decided to take steps for stopping the increasing cases of coronavirus in Lahore by implementing a separate strategy. Punjab government will send its recommendations to the Centre in this regard.

The meeting was further told that National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will set up 300 HDU-beds hospital in Punjab and the Punjab government will provide 300 DHU-beds in different hospitals of numerous cities in the province.

The CM directed that there should be no dearth of injections required for coronavirus patients in Punjab.

He informed that around 700 injections will be provided to the government hospitals within one week and its distribution will be made according to the number of patients. Unnecessary expenditures will be decreased, he said.

The CM maintained that record legislation had been made by the Punjab government during the last two years to facilitate the citizens and Punjab Assembly’s legislation record was much better than other provincial assemblies. Every moment is being spent on public welfare as it is the main agenda of the government, he added.

He regretted that the past rulers only protected their personal interests. Buzdar said the PTI-led government was creating ease in the lives of every stratum and vowed the mission of public service will be completed. “People want practical steps, instead of slogans, and opposition has neither any public welfare agenda nor any strategy to deal with coronavirus. Instead of personal liking or disliking, Punjab is following the principles of merit and good governance and the government is moving forward in the right direction”, he said, adding that the opposition on the other hand was engaged in politics on non-issues.

The government will accelerate the journey of public service without caring for criticism for the sake of criticism, the CM concluded.

Also, Chief Minister has rejected the proposal of deduction in the salaries of government employees saying that the government was in the favour of giving relief to them.

This was stated by him while presiding over a meeting about the upcoming budget. The meeting discussed different budget-related proposals and the CM directed that subsidy culture should be discouraged in the upcoming budget. He further directed that the cycle of unnecessary expenditures should be totally stopped in government departments and any shortage should be fulfilled by making the best use of the human resource.

Effective administrative measures help in producing maximum results, through minimum human resource, and saving of government resources should be ensured through austerity in POL and other heads.

Similarly, every possible step should be made to increase the resources and the best budget should be presented according to public expectations, he added.

Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan, Provincial Ministers Raja Basharat, Hashim Jawan Bakht, Chief Secretary, Chairman P&D, Secretary Finance and others attended the meeting.

CONDOLES DEATH OF PIR SYED KABEER ALI SHAH GILLANI

Buzdar has expressed a deep sense of sorrow over the death of Pir Syed Kabeer Ali Shah Gillani. In a condolence message, the CM extended sympathies to the bereaved family adding that religious services rendered by Pir Kabeer Ali Shah will always be remembered.