KP to give 15-day leave to govt employees above 50, considers closing offices

Published March 17, 2020
Adviser to KP Chief Minister on Information Ajmal Wazir addresses the media in Peshawar on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV
Adviser to KP Chief Minister on Information Ajmal Wazir addresses the media in Peshawar on Tuesday. — DawnNewsTV

Adviser to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister on Information Ajmal Wazir on Tuesday urged citizens to not panic after the province reported 15 cases of coronavirus in a single go a day earlier. He was speaking at a news conference in Peshawar.

"There is no need to be worried but precautions are very necessary. Avoid going out, stay away from people who have a high temperature and wash your hands." He added that Khyber Pakhtunkwa does not have its own case yet, all the people who tested positive are people who returned from the border.

Refuting rumours that a person who died in the Hayatabad Medical Complex on Monday had coronavirus, he said that the person died of pneumonia. He added that the number of infected people in KP had not increased.

Read: KP reports first coronavirus cases

Wazir added that the KP government's focus was to protect the people from coronavirus as much as possible and it had taken certain decisions in this regard.

"We are considering closing government offices. All employees aged 50 and above will be given a 15-day leave, prisoners' sentences will be reduced by two months. Police training in all training centres across the province have been postponed and police officers have been asked to come back to duty [...] schools have also been shut."

Talking about the 250 pilgrims who would return from the border on Tuesday, he said that quarantine facilities have been arranged for them at Gomal Medical College in Dera Ismail Khan. He added that Chief Minister Mahmood Khan directed that adequate groceries and other amenities be provided to those quarantined.

Wazir said the KP government had started interacting with the ulema, it would brief them and bring them on board. He added that he would soon address a joint press conference with these religious leaders and bring forward a plan.

Responding to a question on coronavirus preparations in Peshawar's Lady Reading Hospital, he said that the hospital "carries the burden for the entire province. If a patient of coronavirus or a carrier came to the hospital it would be catastrophic". He added that arrangements had been made at the Police Services Hospital in the same city.

The adviser said the KP government was "closely monitoring the situation" and would make further decisions in the best interests of the province's people.

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