LAHORE: The Punjab government on Wednesday decided to take stern action against opening of factories and private offices other than those exempted by the home department but allowed poultry shops to stay open till 8pm, which, it says, is in view of Ramazan.

It was decided in a meeting under Chief Secretary Azam Suleman Khan, which also decided to make the trace, track and test (TTT) system more efficient for those who have completed isolation and were allowed to go home.

The meeting was held to review coronavirus situation in the province and was attended by Punjab Law Minister Raja Basharat, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Momin Agha, Inspector General of Police Shoaib Dastgir, Commissioner Lahore Saif Anjum and officers concerned whereas divisional commissioners joined through video link.

The chief secretary directed officials to provide the best possible healthcare as well as food and other facilities to coronavirus patients being kept in quarantine and isolation, saying that no negligence or laxity would be tolerated in this regard.

Speaking at the meeting, the chief secretary said that it is prime responsibility of the government to look after the coronavirus patients. The meeting was briefed that the process of sending quarantined pilgrims, participants in Tableeghi Ijtama and citizens to their hometowns have started after they are being tested negative for the virus. The areas sealed to curb spread of coronavirus are also being opened and nine different areas in Gujranwala have been de-sealed.

He directed that after completion of quarantine period those tested negative be sent to their homes but trace, track and test (TTT) system particularly be continued in their respective areas. It was also decided to depute a special secretary for monitoring of dengue and matters related to it.

Law Minister Raja Basharat said performance of all officers is praiseworthy in this hour of need. He asked field officers to enhance coordination with him and elected representatives to fight coronavirus through concerted efforts.

The IGP told the meeting that a security plan for the month of Ramazan had been finalised. He ordered regional and district police officers to ensure enforcement of Section 144 to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2020