LAHORE               -              The Punjab government has decided that development authorities including LDA and sections of government department related to construction sector will be opened with skeleton staff to facilitate the construction business in view of the COVID-19 situation in the province.

A high-level meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Secretary Major (r) Azam Suleman Khan.

Also decided to open specific sections of Revenue department including Fard and property transfer for four or five hours to accommodate people associated with construction business.

Specialized Healthcare Nabeel Awan, Secretary Primary Healthcare Capt (r) Muhammad Usman, Commissioner Lahore Saif Anjum, CCPO Zulfiqar Hameed and officers concerned attended the meeting whereas divisional commissioners and regional police officers joined through video link.

Addressing the meeting, the Chief Secretary said that the opening of relevant offices would help people get approved building designs besides ensuring that other necessary services were provided to them. He directed that SOPs regarding coronavirus prevention be implemented in all offices being opened for the purpose.

The meeting was told that eight laboratories had been upgraded in phase 3 to enhance capacity of conducting coronavirus tests daily in the province.

Secretary Primary Health Capt (r) Muhammad Usman briefed the meeting that two labs in Lahore and one each in Rawalpindi, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur, Wazirabad, Faisalabad and Multan had been upgraded. After the issuance of certificate by Punjab Healthcare Commission, these laboratories were fully functional, he said.

The Chief Secretary said that the Punjab government had completed three phases of upgradation of test laboratories. He maintained that capacity of conducting the virus tests was enhanced to 400 in the first phase, upto 3100 in second phase and after upgrading eight labs in third phase, the number of tests had been increased by 1520. Now Punjab had acquired capacity to conduct 4620 coronavirus tests daily and after availability of automatic machines in three labs the number of tests would further rise by 570, he concluded.