LAHORE                  -              A delegation of renowned religious scholars of different schools of thought called on Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office on Monday.

While addressing the delegation, the CM announced that the government was not closing mosques due to fear of coronavirus. The Punjab government took the lead to write to the federal government on January 03 about coronavirus and also set up a control room in the health department.

Similarly, a cabinet committee was also established to monitor the steps being taken for controlling the menace. This committee regularly holds its meetings while Rs240 million has been released to the health department for the procurement of necessary medical equipment, he added.

The government also allocated Rs1 billion to cope with the coronavirus threat. He said that41 high dependency units have been set up at DHQ hospitals. Special units have been established in Muzaffargarh, Lahore, and Rawalpindi for the treatment of coronavirus while quarantine facility was established in DG Khan, Multan, and Bahawalpur to monitor health conditions of the pilgrims, he said. He said that 760 pilgrims reached DG Khan and they were being screened.

Meanwhile, additional 10,000 diagnostic kits have been procured. The CM said that cabinet also gave approval to public health emergency adding that corona treatment facility could be set up within one week for one lac people. He said that ban was imposed on public gatherings under Section 144 in Punjab and public awareness campaign was also in progress.

People should not get panicked and they should adopt precautionary measures, he said. He urged religious scholars to sensitize people about precautionary measures to fight coronavirus. The government appreciates religious scholars’ recommendations, he added. The religious scholars appreciated the steps taken by the government for coping with threat of coronavirus.

Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat said that religious scholars’ cooperation with the government was a good tradition. Minister for Health Dr Yasmin Rashid said that corona’s spread was fast and one should not go out of the home during holidays.

Minister for Aukaf Saeed-ul-Hassan Shah observed that people should avoid going out unnecessarily. The religious scholars were also given a briefing about precautionary measures and steps taken by the government. Khateeb Badshahi Masjid led the prayer for safety from the corona. In a statement, he said that the government took timely steps to protect people adding that there was no room for any negligence in this regard. He said that every possible step was being taken to protect people and reiterated that the government would continue to stand with the citizens. He urged people to avoid going to public places. People coming from abroad should be examined and health safety measures should be conveyed to protect their families. He said that the government was active and precautionary measures were yielding best results. He said that practical steps have been taken against the hoarding of masks and other medical equipment. He said the government was also focusing on the training of doctors and other paramedical staff.

CM condoles death of former governor Iftikhar Hussain

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar expressed sorrow and grief over the sad demise of former Governor Lt Gen (Retired) Iftikhar Hussain. He extended heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family and prayed that may Almighty Allah rest the departed soul in eternal peace.