LAHORE                    -                 Chief Secretary Punjab Major (r) Azam Suleman Khan, on Friday, has visited office of Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) and reviewed the measures being taken to combat coronavirus in the province.

The Chief Secretary inspected different sections of the control room where he was briefed on coronavirus situation in Pakistan, especially Punjab, in comparison to the international statistics on pandemic-hit countries. He was informed that Germany’s virus test rate is highest in the world.

The Chief Secretary directed that data about patients be strictly monitored and special step be taken to contain spread of the disease in vulnerable areas. He reiterated that people’s cooperation was vital for overcoming coronavirus, adding that public awareness about the contagion should be enhanced.

Senior Member Board of Revenue (SMBR) Babar Hayat Tarar briefed that under the PM’s Ehsaas Programme an amount of Rs 19.39 billion had been distributed among 1.482 million persons in the province as yet. Under category 1 financial assistance was distributed among women from 9th to 14th April and under category 2 disbursement among men has been underway since 14th April, he added.

He maintained that protective gears for doctors, paramedics and others staff was being sent to districts and goods dispatched so far include 65,718 gowns, 323,000 surgical masks, 287,050 gloves, 55,215 goggles, 82,522 N-95 masks, 15,350 litres sanitizer, 10 thermal guns, and 55 face shields.

Meanwhile, Chief Secretary Punjab chaired a meeting to review healthcare facilities for coronavirus patients and prices of medicines, with secretaries of health departments, CCPO Lahore, divisional commissioners and regional police officers joining though video ink.

The Chief Secretary ordered the health department to keep contact with manufacturers and dealers to maintain prices of medicines, particularly life-saving drugs. He mentioned that SOPs regarding coronavirus containment must be followed at industries and shops allowed to open during lockdown and availability of masks, sanitizers, and adoption of protective measures including social distancing would be mandatory at workplaces. In case of violation, action would be taken in accordance with law, he warned.

The meeting was briefed that field hospitals were being established at every divisional headquarter and coronavirus-hit districts and so far 1,000-bed field hospital in Lahore, 300-bed each in Gujranwala, Gujrat and Rawalpindi, 200-bed in Jehlum and 100-bed health facility each in Chakwal and Camp Jail Lahore had been completed.