LAHORE             -        Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat and Chief Secretary Jawwad Rafique Malik Tuesday visited various parts of the provincial capital to review the enforcement of smart lockdown and arrangements made at the cattle markets.

They visited Liberty Market in Gulberg and markets in Johar Town and issued instructions to the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) to deploy more police personnel in the markets. They said that government’s measures helped control the coronavirus pandemic, but carelessness could lead to resurgence of the disease. They said that the smart lockdown was inevitable in the prevailing situation.

Raja Basharat said that the decision of smart lockdown ahead of Eidul Azha was taken in the public interest and the government would continue taking steps to protect people from COVID-19, he added.

During the visit to a cattle sale point at the Pine Road, the chief secretary expressed displeasure over the absence of a sample collection team of the Health Department for coronavirus testing and said that the instructions issued should be complied with in letter and spirit as no negligence would be tolerated. The CS directed the Primary Healthcare Department to set up a special counter for screening at the entry points of every cattle market.

The chief secretary said that the government’s efforts to control the coronavirus were facing a major challenge on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, adding that no compromise could be made on the issue of protection of health and lives of people. He said that there was a risk of coronavirus spread due to rush in the markets before Eid. That was why a smart lockdown was enforced, keeping in view the experience of Eid-ul-Fitr.

He said that special arrangements should be made for cleanliness in these markets, adding that only a specific number of buyers should be allowed to enter the cattle markets to ensure social distancing.