Buzdar declares emergency in Punjab

On CM’s orders, Rs8b released to PDMA, health department  

By: News Desk      Published: 03:47 PM, 20 Mar, 2020
Buzdar declares emergency in Punjab
File photo.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has said that a province-wide emergency has been declared due to the rapid increase of the coronavirus cases.

While informing the media that government is importing coronavirus-related equipment, Buzdar said “We’ve the capacity to cure as many as 10000 coronavirus patients in Punjab.”

Speaking to a news briefing, the CM said that there are currently 96 people with confirmed cases of the coronavirus, including 15 of them in Lahore.

“Of 96 who tested positive for the coronavirus in Punjab, 76 people came from Iran,” the CM said and added that more pilgrims reached Multan from Taftan.

Paying tribute to the doctors who are combating the deadly virus, CM Buzdar said he had formed a ministerial committee under the law ministry that would be dealing with the matters relating the doctors’ issues.

He said that the doctors have been sent to all-36 districts of Punjab, and in Lahore’s Expo Centre the authorities have decided to form a 1000-bed field hospital.

Earlier in the day, Usman Buzdar announced the chief minister emergency fund and requested the affluent people to donate in it generously.

Announcing eight billion rupees for PDMA and the health department in a high-level meeting in the wake of the growing number of coronavirus patients, the CM said that he also had formed a committee to listen to the grievances of the doctors and the health professionals.

Earlier the finance department had released the funds on an emergency basis following the CM’s directive.

Confirming the 96 coronavirus patients in Punjab, the CM said “We’ve given a go-ahead to the Commissioner of Lahore for a 1,000-bed special field hospital at the Expo Centre Lahore, and added that he had directed the authorities to ensure the provision of masks and necessary equipment in the hospitals.

The CM also said that the provincial government had also identified 880 beds capacity in the eight hotels (that could possibly serve as the isolation centres).

About the inter-provincial cooperation, the CM said that Punjab is ready to cooperate with Balochistan, and said: “We’ve formed a committee to survey the quarantine centres in Taftan in order to cooperate with Balochistan government.”

About the people who subsist on daily wages, CM Buzdar said that he had extended the directives to ensure such people are given daily wages unabated.