PESHAWAR               -              Provincial Task Force on COVID-19 on Fri­day decided to seal entire markets, instead of individual shops, over violation of the an­ti-coronavirus SOPS.

Provincial Task Force on COVID-19 held a meeting here on Friday, with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair.

The meeting, while expressing its seri­ous concern on the non-implementation of SOPs and overcrowding in some of the mar­kets and shopping malls, stressed the need for strict implementation of the SOPs and directed the quarters concerned to engage the representative bodies of traders to play their role in implementing the SOPs

The meeting reviewed in detail the latest corona situation across the province and implementation status of the Standard Op­erating Procedures (SOPs) in the markets and shops opened in the light of the deci­sion made in the last meeting of National Coordination Committee.

Provincial Ministers Taimur Salim Jhagra, Shaukat Yousafzi and Advisor to CM Ajmal Wazir, Corps Commander Peshawar Lt. Gen. Nauman Mahmood, Chief Secretary Dr. Kaz­im Niaz, Inspector General of Police Sanaullah Abassi and other highups of concerned civil and military bodies attended the meeting.

The participants were given a detailed briefing about the latest corona situation across the province including the number of confirmed cases, deaths, recovered pa­tients, total tests conducted so far as well as the number of beds, ventilators, ICUs and HDUs and other necessary arrangements put in place for corona patients in public sector hospitals.

The forum stressed the optimal utilization of the capacities of corona testing laborato­ries and enhancing the numbers of beds, ven­tilators, ICUs and HDUs for corona patients in the hospitals on urgent basis in order to deal with any expected and un-expected situation effectively and directed the concerned quar­ters for necessary steps to this effect.

With regard to the rapidly increasing number of corona cases in specific localities of some districts, the district administra­tions concerned were directed to take nec­essary actions for strict administrative lock­down in those localities.

Regarding the possible opening of in­ter-district transport, it was agreed that any decision to this effect would be made after engaging the transporters for implementa­tion of SOPs and fixation of new fare in view of the reduction in fuel prices. The chief min­ister directed the high-ups of Health Depart­ment to devise a feasible plan to increase the number of beds and other arrangements in public sector hospitals specially the autono­mous teaching hospitals of the province