PESHAWAR - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has taken key decisions to counter the threat and spread of corona virus in the province.

A meeting jointly chaired by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Health and Finance Taimur Jhagra and Chief Sec­retary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Kazim Niaz which was attended by all admin­istrative secretaries and key stake­holders, discussed the issues regard­ing fear and spread of Corona Virus in the province and prepared a counter mechanism toward the threat.

It was decided in the meeting to es­tablish 150-bed quarantine at the Levy Center Shahkas, while the PDMA and District Administration have been directed to shift the suspected cases of Pakistani returning from Torkham border at the Centre. The meeting also decided to communicate that all the teaching as well as administrative staff will not attend the institutions, except the medical colleges and KMU staff which are required for clinical, pathological and radiological purpos­es connected with patient care.

Furthermore, the Health Department will process and finalize their require­ment of additional HR and also consid­er utilization of services of students of professional medical and dental colleg­es, paramedics as well as public health schools and the private sector.

It was also decided that secretaries of departments will identify for tem­porary closure of 15 days, the non-es­sential and non-critical directorates, attached institutions and submit the same to the Chief Secretary for orders.

Furthermore, the secretaries will also identify non-essential and non-critical staff within the departments, in direc­torates, attached departments, author­ities, semi-autonomous bodies and dis­trict offices, and such staff may not be allowed to attend office for the next 15 days. Where an office is considered es­sential, bare minimum staff will be re­tained to carry out essential work.

The meeting also decided that em­ployees having more than 50 years of age and a serious co-morbidity, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes etc will be granted leave for the next 15 days. Female employees in the fami­ly way will also be granted leave for the next fifteen days. All official visitors will first be urged to discuss the matter on phone, and if extremely necessary, they can visit personally.

All non-official visitors will prefera­bly be dealt at the reception desks. The Information Department will inform the general public that a ban on visit­ing offices for the next fifteen days is in the offing.

Private ceremonies including wed­dings and other festivities are already banned in wedding halls. However, a ban will also stand imposed on all such functions in open areas or spaces. The RR&S Department will formally notify this under the NDM Act, 2010.

The meeting agreed that the Estab­lishment Department will issue in­structions to all the provincial gov­ernment employees to ensure social distancing, advocate the same to the people around them, and also to avoid all such gatherings in their private lives where there is a risk of not en­suring social distancing.