OUR STAFF REPORTER LAHORE Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday raised the daily wages from Rs 325 to Rs 500 of the work-charged employees conducting spray to eliminate dengue virus in the City. The scourge of dengue virus will be controlled through collective efforts and coordinated strategy, though it is a difficult task but still achievable, the CM said while presiding over a review meeting regarding the on-going campaign. The government is moving in the right direction for eliminating dengue virus and short and long term polices are being evolved for this purpose. Besides establishment of a special taskforce against dengue virus, a research cell has also been set up on permanent basis under his direct supervision while a team of master trainers is being prepared with the consultation of Sri Lankan experts, he said. The policy evolved for eradication of dengue virus and its implementation was reviewed in detail at the meeting which lasted for more than four hours. The CM said all out measures were being taken for curbing dengue virus, and machinery and medicines were also being imported for this purpose, while the campaign against dengue virus had been further accelerated with the consultation of Sri Lankan medical team and a comprehensive strategy had been adopted for promoting public awareness in this regard. According to him, the Lankan experts had described dengue virus as a social issue and in addition to government efforts, the people would also have to play their role for maintaining cleanliness in their houses, streets and surroundings. He said all-out measures were being taken for providing the best medical facilities to dengue patients in hospitals and besides provision of blood test and other facilities, additional staff and machinery had also been made available. It has been decided to recruit one thousand nurses immediately for providing better treatment facilities to the patients, and their recruitment will be made through walk-in-interview, he said. While setting up a team headed by Chairman Chief Ministers Inspection Team, he directed that a report be submitted to him regarding the hospitals showing better performance with regard to provision of medical facilities to dengue virus patients. He added that for the purpose of providing free treatment to the patients in this hour of trial, private hospitals had also been included in the campaign while private laboratories ha been directed to charge a maximum fee of Rs 90 for dengue virus test. He also formed a committee to monitor implementation of the instructions issued by the government to private hospitals and laboratories. The committee will also take stern action against the violators and no officer or official of Health Department would be spared if found guilty of connivance in this regard. Private laboratories will also display banners outside their premises regarding dengue test fee. Indoor residual spray is of vital importance for controlling dengue virus and all town committees should promote this campaign by adopting a comprehensive strategy, he said, while directing that a daily report be submitted to him regarding the number of patients affected by dengue virus and other data. He mentioned that said planning had also been made to reactivate more than 100 dispensaries in Lahore which had been closed for years and out of these 25 to 30 laboratories would be handed over to Labour Department to make immediate arrangements for the provision of doctors, paramedics and other facilities in these dispensaries. He added that the City District Government had already activated 19 dispensaries at different places. The CM said the decision to close educational institutions was taken so that they could complete spray and other preventive measures against dengue virus at their premises. He noted that town committees would issue certificates regarding completion of these arrangements in the educational institutions of their respective areas. Educational institutions which failed to undertake spray and complete preventive measures will not be allowed to start the classes, he said, while instructing that for setting up a committee comprising elected representatives to convey the clear institutions of the CM in this regard to the management of private educational institutions. The CM described as comprehensive the briefings given by different committees. He commended the endeavours of the heads and the members of these committees and stressed upon them to maintain the same spirit for eradication of dengue virus. Earlier, Secretary Health gave a detailed briefing regarding dengue situation and the measures for its control. Secretary Schools informed the meeting that 100 percent spray had been completed in government schools while the ratio was 70 percent in private educational institutions. He said show-cause notices were being served to the schools failing to undertake spray and adopt other preventive measures. District Coordination Officer Lahore informed that 100 foggers had reached Lahore from Germany, and action was being taken against the elements involved in price-hike of insecticides and mosquito repellents.