LAHORE - Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has urged people to take coronavirus seriously and adopt necessary precautions on the eve of Eidul Azha.

“We cannot afford Eidul Fitr like situation again at the time when cases are decreasing considerably. Any mistake can spoil government efforts”, he said while addressing launching ceremony of special issue of annals of King Edward Medical University on COVID-19 here on Wednesday.

Vice-Chancellor KEMU Prof Khalid Masood Gondal, Pro Vice Chancellor Prof Ejaz Hussain, Registrar Prof Asghar Naqi, Prof Balqees Shabbir, Prof Saira Afzal, Prof Saqib Saeed, Prof Asad Aslam, faculty members and administrative doctors were also present.

Chaudhry Sarwar said that the  government believed in merit and transparency.

“As a Chancellor, I can say this with certainty that I have appointed all Vice-Chancellors on merit and not a single hiring has been done through unfair means. When we appoint Vice-Chancellors on merit we expect them to ensure the same in their respective universities”, he said, adding, previous governments have destroyed national institutions. He said that unfortunately some bureaucrats were creating hurdles in smooth working of universities.

He maintained that inordinate delay will no longer be tolerated in administrative procedures of universities.

 “We have made the policy that files regarding universities will be processed in the department within 10 working days.

Any officer who fails to do so will be answerable in this regard and action will be taken against them as per law and constitution.

My mission is that Pakistani universities rank among top 500 universities of the world. In order to achieve it, we are strengthening institutions by ending political interference.

Governor Punjab said that there was danger of spike in coronavirus cases on Eidul Azha and Muharram ul Haram. Negligence in observing government SOPs will result in aggravating the situation in Pakistan, he said.

Coronavirus is a global pandemic and there is no option but to follow SOPs, he said.

He said that King Edward Medical University and other medical institutions have played an exemplary role in tackling coronavirus in Pakistan. National, as well as international organisations were lauding the research work of King Edward Medical University.

He said that the telemedicine initiative has proved to be successful in Punjab. Millions of people have sought medical advice from experts by calling on the helpline.  “We launched Pink Coronavirus Helpline for women where they can seek help from lady health workers”, he said.

Prof Khalid Masood Gondal said that doctors have been fighting coronavirus as frontline soldiers. Smart lockdown policy and telemedicine helpline have been very fruitful in tackling coronavirus.