LAHORE: A Lahore High Court full bench on Friday (today) will hear a petition questioning the federal and provincial governments’ alleged inefficiency to take prompt measures to control coronavirus pandemic.

Chief Justice Muhammad Qasim Khan heads the bench that comprises Justice Shujaat Ali Khan, Justice Ayesha A. Malik, Justice Shahid Jamil Khan and Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi.

Judicial Activism Panel’s chairman Advocate Azhar Siddique filed the petition pleading that the government had failed to take timely steps to control the spread of coronavirus. He seeks multiple directions for the government to protect the public at large from COVID-19 saying all universities throughout the province and sport centres should be used as quarantine as well as shopping malls should also be closed by 5pm in evening.

The petitioner states that it is the duty of the state to provide basic and essential facilities to elderly people, among others, in order to protect their lives. He asks the court to direct the government to formulate and implement policies immediately with regards to the establishment of quarantine centres, disease control centres, ensure availability of ventilators, masks and sanitizers.

He further asks the court to ensure precautionary measures at airports, railway stations and motorways’ entry and exit points throughout Punjab as well as other mechanism so that no infected person can enter the cities.

Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2020