Punjab increases measures to combat coronavirus

Entry of only goods transport would be allowed in Punjab from Sindh

Rameez Khan March 19, 2020
LAHORE: Chief Secretary Punjab Major (r) Azam Suleman Khan has directed all civil and police officers to ensure strict implementation of government’s instructions during the coronavirus national emergency to protect precious human life.

He issued the directives while presiding over a meeting to review steps being taken to prevent coronavirus, ensure uninterrupted supply of daily-use items and check hoarding, here on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by Senior Member Board of Revenue, Additional Chief Secretary Home, IG Punjab, administrative secretaries of different departments, and officers of Special Branch and other law-enforcing agencies.

The meeting decided that entry of only goods transport would be allowed in Punjab from Sindh whereas all other road traffic from Punjab to Sindh and vice versa would not be permitted.

The Chief Secretary directed that there would be a complete ban on wedding or other ceremonies in farmhouses. He said that in the light of government’s decision all meetings would be held through video link, Skype calls and online conferencing and only skeleton staff would attend the office whereas the remaining officials would work online through Skype from their houses.

He also mentioned that entry of general public in government offices has been suspended in view of their own protection and social distancing, however, all administrative secretaries, divisional commissioners, deputy commissioners, and heads of attached departments would notify, in press, two landline numbers and one mobile number for the contact of general public during office hours.

These numbers would also be displayed prominently outside offices at entry gates and officers of grade 17 and 18 would be deputed to attend calls on these numbers so that people could not face any problem in the resolution of their problems, he added.

He asked all civil and police officers to ensure compliance with the orders about closures of all shops, shopping malls and restaurants till 10pm as no negligence would be tolerated in this regard.

The Chief Secretary also directed commissioners and deputy commissioners to prepare lists of family members of the persons being kept in quarantine and provide food hampers to families in case their bread earners in quarantined. He also issued instructions to administrative officers to contact owners of private hospitals and hotels for establishing more isolation rooms in these buildings.

The meeting decided that desks would be set up for public outside offices of SHOs in police stations and police khidmat centres would remain closed till further orders. People can lodge their complaints with these desks instead of visiting the office in police station. The meeting also took decision to close all public parks and recreational places in the province, besides enhancing the number of Panahgahs in cities.

All deputy commissioners were asked to carry out mapping of hostels in their districts so that quarantine facility could be provided at these buildings in case of emergency. The meeting was briefed that production of masks, gloves and sanitizers have been started locally whereas 270,000 masks have been recovered during action against hoarding in Rawalpindi.

The meeting also decided tracking of those passengers arrived from China, Saudi Arab, Iran and other coronavirus-hit countries and ensuring availability of sufficient quantity of sanitizers and soaps/ hand wash at opened offices, banks, shopping malls for hand washing during operational hours.


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