LAHORE                 -          Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that 550 pilgrims kept in DG Khan quarantine facility have been sent homes as they have been tested negative for coronavirus.

Chairing a meeting of the cabinet sub-committee, he also expressed his satisfaction that new testing labs would be made functional soon to provide corona test facility at the divisional level.

The government, he said, had released 62 crore rupees to the health department for this purpose besides allocating three thousand beds for coronavirus patients in government hospitals. “The availability of three thousand beds in private hospitals has also been identified. The government has further arranged 50,000 beds through mapping of hostels of different educational institutions”, he said, adding that 12 billion rupees had been released to the health department for the procurement of necessary medical equipment for doctors and paramedics.

The Chief Minister said there was no shortage of anything including flour and availability of daily-use items in markets would be fully ensured. Usman Buzdar directed concerned authorities to initiate crackdown against hoarders and profiteers as people could not be left at their mercy. He further directed to improve the food supply chain. The Punjab government also approached the federal government to start the Zakat deduction process one month earlier, he disclosed and further added that necessary arrangements had been made to treat the coronavirus patients.

The meeting reviewed in detail the stock and supply of essential items, as well as procurement of necessary medical equipment.

Provincial ministers Raja Basharat, Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Hashim Jawan Bakht, Chief Secretary and health secretaries attended the meeting.

The Chief Minister said that government had taken all-out measures to safeguard the lives of people and every possible measure would be taken in future as well to protect the masses from coronavirus.

In a statement, he maintained that the government was there to support the people of the province and that they would not be left alone in these testing times. “All our joys and sorrows are with the joys and sorrows of the masses and will always be”, Usman Buzdar said.

The CM said that he considered the difficulties of the people as his own. “We are not those who left the people in crunch times and the measures which were being taken by the government were meant for safeguarding the lives of people. “We do not practice politics of self-projection, rather we consider it a mean of thanking Allah Almighty.”, he observed.

 The Chief Minister appealed to the citizens to ensure the hundred per cent compliance with governmental orders for the sake of collective betterment. “Today’s social distancing would save us from the agony of a permanent separation”, he concluded.

CM salutes medics

Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar said the government salutes doctors, nurses and paramedics who were engaged in providing treatment facilities to coronavirus affected patients. He said that the nation recognized the efforts being made by doctors in providing medical facilities to the patients in this difficult time. He announced that the Punjab government would pay one additional salary to doctors and paramedics engaged in the treatment of coronavirus patients as special risk allowance. He said that doctors and paramedics had proved themselves as benefactors by serving day and night and their beneficial role will be written in golden words in the annals of history. The services of doctors and paramedics who are working on the frontline will always be remembered, he said.

Buzdar thanks Murad Ali Shah

Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar today telephonically contacted Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah and thanked him for sending one hundred thousand KN-95 masks to Punjab government, being donated by China to the Sindh Government. Usman Buzdar said that Punjab government appreciates it adding that we should help each other in this difficult moment. Our unity and commitment will defeat this fatal disease. We will successfully deal with coronavirus challenge with the cooperation of the people, he added.