PESHAWAR: Expressing concerns over the violations of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) in re-opened markets on the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), the provincial government is mulling sealing entire markets rather than just individual shops as a deterrent.
This was discussed during a meeting of the Provincial Task Force on Covid-19 which was held on Friday with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair.
The latest situation regarding Covid-19 across the province was reviewed along with the implementation of SOPs in markets and shops, which had been re-opened in light of a decision made by the National Coordination Committee.
Various options for a future course of action in this regard were discussed while a serious concern was expressed over SOPs being flouted and overcrowding in some markets. They directed that the relevant departments engage with representatives of traders’ bodies and play their role in implementing the SOPs.
It was decided that the implementation of SOPs in these markets will closely be monitored over the next few days. In case of non-compliance, the entire market will be sealed instead of individual shops.
On the rapidly increasing Covid-19 cases in specific localities of some districts, the district administrations of these areas were directed to take necessary actions for the strict administrative lockdown of localities where the clusters have emerged.
CM Mahmood further directed senior officials of the health department to devise a feasible plan to increase the number of beds and other arrangements in public sector hospitals, especially in the autonomous teaching hospitals of the province.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 16th, 2020.