Multan       -            Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar warned on Saturday that COVID-19 pandemic was not going to be over rather it could further intensify in coming days.

Talking to media here, he said that the government had eased the lockdown while keeping in view the plight of the labour class. “But people should not give up taking the precautionary measures,” the governor counseled.

He expressed the apprehension that the coming month (May) could prove fatal for the nation if the mosques’ administrators and ulema failed to ensure precautionary measures during the holy month of Ramadan.  The governor disclosed that 5,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and thousands of face shields had been provided to the hospitals of south Punjab to protect doctors and the paramedical staff from the pandemic. Sarwar said that 12 million families would benefit from the government’s Ehsaas Programme, under which each family was being paid Rs12,000 without any regard for their political affiliation.

He added that the government would provide ration to another 500,000 families in collaboration with the NGOs through Punjab Development Network.

The governor said that the nation paid rich tributes and saluted all those who were frontline fighters against the coronavirus, including doctors, army, Rangers and police personnel.

Answering a question, he said that the government was working in collaboration with the welfare organisations for families which lost their means of earning livelihood because of the lockdown.  He reiterated that ration and funds were being distributed with utmost transparency.

He disclosed that philanthropists and business community had donated Rs 400 million for Prime Minister’s Corona Relief Fund at Governor’s House. “We’ve collected a total of Rs3 billion for the corona affectees, and this amount is being used to supply ration to 500,000 families across the province,” he added.

Sarwar claimed that the experiment of setting up telemedicine helpline centers had proved to be successful, and so far thousands of people had consulted doctors through this medium while staying at their homes. He further said that the manufacturing of sanitizers and other protective gear had begun at local level.

The governor told media men that Quran would be taught at all universities along with translation in order to make new generation aware about Quranic teachings.

Provincial Minister Dr Akhtar Malik, Vice Chancellor of Nishtar Medical University Dr Mustafa Kamal Pasha and others were also present on the occasion.