LAHORE                      -                 Punjab government is considering a proposal regarding partial shutdown of the civil secretariat as a preventive measure to stop further spread of Coronovirus in the province. 

Sources said that it was being contemplated at the highest level to do with the minimal staff asking rest of the employees to stay at home.

It has been further learnt that Punjab Chief Secretary Major (R) Azam Suleman has directed all administrative secretaries to prepare three lists of employees to implement the proposal. The lists include: (1) list of full strength of staff, (2) list of essentially required staff and (3) list of skeleton staff.

Sources said that only the essentially required staff may be called for duty at the civil secretariat to reduce the risk of Corona spread.

Chief Secretary Punjab Major (Retd.) Azam Suleman Khan has set up the Corona Crisis Management Committee to monitor overall situation of COVID-19 as well as the availability of essential commodities in the markets across the province.

The decision to form the committee was taken at a high-level meeting presided over by the Chief Secretary Punjab. Administrative secretaries of health and other relevant departments and Commissioner Lahore division attended the meeting in person whereas divisional commissioners and regional police officers joined the meeting through video link.

The Chief Secretary said that in the prevailing situation, it was prime responsibility of the government to protect lives of people and ensure availability of essential items to them. He asked the administrative officers to take stern action against the persons involved in hoarding and profiteering of edibles, face masks and sanitizers. He also gave orders regarding strict implementation of directions issued by federal and Punjab governments to prevent coronavirus.

The Corona Crisis Management Committee, comprising nine members, would work under the headship of Special Secretary Home Department Iqbal Hussain. As per direction of the Chief Secretary Punjab, the committee would hold daily meeting to monitor overall situation in the province. It would also oversee the demand and supply of essential commodities, particularly medicines and food items, besides taking action against hoarding. The committee would ensure implementation of section 144 imposed in the province. It would also present its report to the Chief Secretary on daily basis regarding patients in quarantine, isolation centres and high dependency units established in hospitals.