Supreme Court to review reopening of businesses after Eid

By: News Desk      Published: 05:35 PM, 19 May, 2020
Supreme Court to review reopening of businesses after Eid

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared that it will review the situation regarding reopening of the businesses after Eidul Fitr.

The apex court said it ordered reopening of the shopping malls and markets on the weekends keeping in view the event of Eidul Fitr.

The five-judge bench resumed hearing of the suo motu case where National Disaster Management Authority’s Chairman Lt-Gen Muhammad Afzal was also present.

The court questioned the authorities regarding the provision of facilities at the coronavirus quarantine centres across the country to isolate and treat the patients. “The videos on social media are depicting the dire condition of the quarantine centres,” remarked Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed.

The CJP said that at the quarantine centres people are not getting basic facilities such as water and clean washrooms. “Our concern is not related to the expenditure, it is about the quality of services,” said the CJP and added “We have seen videos of people from Lahore Expo Centre and Islamabad quarantine centres.”

He said people are agitating and urging others to ‘die abroad but not come back to Pakistan’. “Ten people are sitting together at the quarantine centres, what sort of quarantine is it?” he asked.

The general impression is that the resources are not in the hands of relevant people, he added. “Everything is not about money, do not base this on money… Money is not important, humans are.”

The Attorney General said that due to the court’s recent order to reopen shopping malls and small markets, public is thinking that the coronavirus issue is not a serious matter. The AG pointed out that the officials are now facing difficulty in implementation of measures due to the apex court orders.

He requested the court to keep in view the severity of the situation while giving remarks and orders.

Following which, the court stated that people are being affected from the coronavirus on a big scale and the court will review the situation after Eid.

The CJP noted that the public are facing an uncertain situation regarding the coronavirus tests as they do not know whether they actually are infected or not. “In Lahore, four people tested positive at a government facility, but at a private lab they tested negative,” he pointed out.

Giving example of the SC Lahore registry, the top judge said that the employees faced a similar situation where they tested negative at a private lab.

He observed that there are resources present to facilitate the public but they are not performing to their maximum. The court stated that the NDMA is working primarily in cities but not in far-flung villages.

The CJP noted that all the major quarantine centres are in big cities. “All the government resources should be utilised for people.”

The NDMA chairman briefed the court regarding the government measures, where he said that one million safety kits per month are being produced.

Since April 20 there has been no import of a PPE kit in the country, he told the court, adding 300 ventilators out of 1,187 ordered have been received so far.

The apex court subsequently adjourned the hearing until June 8.