LAHORE  - The provincial apex committee which met here on Thursday with Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar in the chair recommended imposition of ban on political, social, cultural and religious gatherings in the province besides restricting the number of invitees for marriages at open places. 

The meeting also recommended quarantining the people coming from abroad, especially from India and also dilated on the proposal to reserve some hospitals especially from Southern Punjab for corona patients.  It also pondered over the option of starting early winter vocations in education institutions. 

Corps Commander Lahore Lt Gen Majid Ehsan, General Officer Commanding 10-Div Maj Gen Muhammad Aniq-ur-Rehman Malik, DG Rangers Punjab Maj Gen Muhammad Amir Majeed and higher ranking military officials attended the meeting. 

Provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat, Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, Special Assistant for Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Chief Secretary Jawad Rafiq Malik, IG Police Inam Ghani, Addl Chief Secretary (Home), Addl Chief Secretary Higher Education, Secretary Specialized Healthcare & Medical Education, Secretary Primary & Secondary Health, Secretary Schools Education, Secretary Information, medical experts, head of Special Monitoring Unit and concerned officers were also present. 

 Corps Commander Lahore Lt Gen Majid Ehsan assured to extend all possible cooperation with the Punjab Government. “Pakistan Armed Forces assured their full support to the civil government as corona is a national challenge. Pakistan Army stands with the government to make people’s lives safer and ready to tackle the second wave of corona through collective efforts”, an official handout quoted him as having told the meeting.   The meeting reviewed in detail the measures taken to overcome the second wave of the coronavirus as the participants expressed concern over the increasing number of corona affectees and the death rate. 

The political and military leadership of the province decided to take effective measures and make collective efforts to cope with the second wave of the Covid-19. 

The meeting agreed to chalk out an effective strategy in advance in anticipation of a difficult situation with regard to the coronavirus.

The meeting decided to ensure strict implementation on wearing masks at public places and stressed that violation of SOPs will not be tolerated under any circumstances. 

It was further decided to run an effective public awareness campaign. It was also decided in the meeting that all necessary arrangements and strategy will be given final shape before the start of winter season.

Usman Buzdar said that public support was utmost necessary to deal with coronavirus. He said the government will continue to take steps for protecting the lives of the people. “The people have to show responsibility in this situation. 

The more precautionary measures people take the safer they will be”, the CM added. 

The Chief Minister stated that the final decision on the recommendations of the apex committee will be taken by the technical team after reviewing all the recommendations. 

The government will ensure the implementation on the decisions taken by the technical team, he affirmed, adding that the government will work more efficiently for safeguarding the lives of the citizens. He said that Pak Army had always vigorously supported the nation in its time of trial. The Chief Minister also thanked the military leadership for their cooperation to deal with the corona pandemic.  The medical experts gave suggestions and recommendations to stop the spread of coronavirus in the province.