PESHAWAR: With 459 new novel coronavirus (Covid-19) cases confirmed over the past 24 hours, taking the provincial total to 18,472, the provincial government on Monday started imposing a “smart lockdown” in parts of Peshawar.
This was decided as Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Monday presided over a meeting of the provincial task force on Covid-19. The meeting approved a strategy for smart lockdown which will be tabled before the provincial cabinet in its next meeting for formal approval.
The meeting reviewed the Covid-19 situation in the province with a special focus on the implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to keep the virus from spreading.
Participants of the meeting expressed their concerns over the violation of SOPs in some of the sectors and decided to implement them strictly.
In this regard, the respective district administrations were directed to take necessary actions to ensure that the guidelines are followed in letter and spirit and to shut down all such premises where the SOPs are not being followed.
It was also decided to impose fines for not using face masks in public places.
With reports that hospitals have run out of space for Covid-19 patients, participants of the meeting decided to carry out a need-assessment of district headquarters hospitals (DHQs) and devise a plan for enhancing their capacities for dealing with Covid-19 cases. It was further agreed that committees will be constituted at the divisional level to constantly monitor the treatment being provided to Covid-19 patients in DHQs.
It was briefed that some 3,500 tests are being conducted daily while efforts are underway to increase this number to 5,000 daily.
The forum was also informed that 40 per cent of the equipment required by hospitals, as communicated by the provincial government to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), will be provided today (Tuesday).
The forum also decided to regulate charges at private sector hospitals for providing treatment to Covid-19 patients. The health department was directed to take the necessary steps in this regard.
CM Mahmood said that soon after the budget session of the provincial assembly, all cabinet members will be assigned duties to regularly visit their respective district and tehsil hospitals to monitor the treatment being provided to Covid-19 patients.
Meanwhile, on the directives of the provincial government, the Peshawar district administration started imposing a smart lockdown in four different areas of the provincial capital including Ashrafia Colony, Chinar Town on University Road, Danishababd and Sector-E of Hayatabad Phase-1.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 16th, 2020.