LAHORE                  -             The Punjab Assembly session was prorogued on Friday, at least one week earlier than the planned duration due to threat of coronavirus.

The session that started for two hours and 15 minutes behind the scheduled time with Member Panel of Chairman Mian Muhammad Shafi, echoed with allegations of indifferent attitude of the government to control the spread of deadly virus.

Terming the allegations baseless, the ministers suggested the opposition to show unity and avoid creating restlessness among the masses.

On a point of order, PPP’s Syed Hasan Murtaza drew attention of the chair towards coronavirus threat and ‘lack of facilities at the public sector hospitals.’

“I went to Services Hospital for diagnostic test for my servant but only to know that there was no such facility.

The staff also refused to give any medicine and instead suggested to approach any private hospital or laboratory,” he said, adding, private laboratories and hospitals were charging Rs10,000 for the tests which was not affordable for the masses.

He said that the government was in deep slumber when the entire world was taking intensive protective measures, testing and quarantine to protect the lives of citizens.

He said, government on one hand was asking the political leaders to express solidarity with it, while on other hand the government was not taking practical measures to control the menace. He further said that it seemed that the rulers wanted coronavirus to perish at own.

Accusing Hassan Murtaza of misleading the House through incorrect information, Law Minister Raja Basharat stressed the need for realizing that it was no time for point scoring and creating fear and panic among the masses.

He said that the legislators should issue positive statements from the floor of the House. He stated, the government was taking concrete measures to save people from coronavirus and testing centers would be set up at tehsil levels.

He counted government measures including keeping visitors in quarantine, closing down public gathering places and providing latest medical testing facilities in the hospitals. He said, the pilgrims coming from Iran were being kept in 14 day quarantine.

PML-N’s Awais Leghari questioned the government’s move of choosing DG Khan as screening place for pilgrims without providing proper facilities there. He said that no coronavirus patient had so far been reported from DG Khan.

Minister for Information Fayyaz-ul-Hassan Chohan said that out of 72 suspected of coronavirus cases, 71 were tested negative and sent home. “Only one suspected patient is under observation in the province,” he said.

He suggested, PPP’s parliamentary leader to remain careful while speaking on sensitive issue of coronavirus.

He went on saying that Hassan Murtaza should refrain from creating panic among the masses. As precautionary measure, the chair prorogued the session.