LAHORE                  -               Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has announced to give one-month additional salary to doctors and other staff engaged in the treatment of coronavirus patients adding that this salary will be paid from 1st of April.

Addressing the meeting of cabinet committee for the eradication of coronavirus at his office here on Thursday, the Chief Minister reiterated that the heirs of an employee dying during the anti-corona drive would not be left alone. If anybody dies, the heirs would be provided with financial aid under martyrs’ package, he said.

The CM directed that governmental orders with regard to extension in lockdown be implemented at every cost adding that no violation of the government orders would be allowed. Out of 3,232 coronavirus patients in Punjab, 550 had been recovered, he said. He emphasized that the industries allowed to resume work would have to follow their SoPs and action would be initiated in case of any violation.

He announced that four new labs were being set up, which would be operational in the next few days after approval from Punjab Healthcare Commission.  The CM was informed that around 56 thousand testing kits were available in Punjab and more than 46 thousand people had been tested by the Punjab government.

The CM said that extension in lockdown had been made under the Punjab Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control Ordinance, 2020 and every step was taken to protect the lives of the people.

The meeting reviewed the coronavirus situation, availability of PPEs and other material and the precautionary measures in detail. Provincial Ministers Raja Basharat, Hashim Jawan Bakht, Chief Secretary, IG police, Commissioner Lahore, CEO Urban Unit, secretaries of health, finance, information departments attended the meeting from CMO through video link. Secretary Local Government participated from Civil Secretariat and secretaries of P&D, labour, industries, food departments and special secretary agriculture department attended the meeting from P&D Department. Chairman PITB participated from his office through video link.

CM TAKES AERIAL VIEW OF LAHORE, SHEIKHUPURA AND ADJOINING CITIES

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar took an aerial visit of Lahore, Sheikhupura and adjoining cities to inspect steps taken for the implementation on lockdown. He inspected the closure of markets, commercial centres and the flow of traffic on different roads. He aerially viewed parks, grounds and stadiums in different cities. The CM also inspected industrial zones. He expressed satisfaction over the arrangements taken for prevention from coronavirus pandemic and lauded the role being played by the deputed personnel of Police, Rangers and Pak Army. The CM showed concern over traffic on some roads of Lahore city. He appealed to the citizens to follow the government’s instructions and to restrict themselves to their homes. The government was paying special attention to protect the masses from this outbreak and they would remain safe by following the government’s instructions, he said.

He said necessary steps would continue to protect the lives of the people. He said that all the markets, shopping malls, restaurants, public and private offices and public transport would remain closed. Similarly, there would be a ban on holding religious congregations and social gatherings. He further clarified that ban would remain imposed throughout Punjab for holding events, fairs, sports competitions and opening of gyms and snooker clubs, he added. Wedding halls, marquees, educational institutions, tuition centres and seminaries would remain closed till April 25. He said the ban on holding examinations had also been extended and pillion riding would remain banned in the province. Notified government employees would be allowed to visit offices, he said.

He said grocery stores, karyana shops, bakeries, opticians, pesticides, seeds and fertilizers shops, auto-workshops, agricultural machinery workshops and vendors would remain open from 9-00 am to 5-00 pm. Punjab government had decided to open low-risk industries and SoPs had also been formulated in this regard, the CM concluded.