QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani has announced a Shuhada package for government employees losing their lives to Covid-19.
The chief minister was presiding over a meeting on Friday to review the provincial government’s efforts against coronavirus and a swarm of locusts.
The command and operation centres of agriculture and health departments briefed the chief minister on measures being made to control coronavirus and locusts invasion in 31 districts of Balochistan.
The meeting has decided to declare government employees who die of coronavirus while performing their duties martyrs. It announced financial assistance for doctors, paramedics, technicians and other staff of Fatima Jinnah and Sheikh Zahid hospitals.
The chief minister has directed authorities concerned to issue three months’ basic salaries for doctors, paramedics and security guards of the two hospitals, which would be applicable from March 1.
CM Alyani expressed concern over violation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) by citizens during the smart lockdown.
The meeting decided to allow OPDs and treatment in private hospitals with full implementation of safety precautions and to start smart-OPDs in government hospitals’ emergency wards.
“Covid-19 is becoming part of our normal life hence we must implement safety precautions in order to curtail the spread of the contagious virus,” he said.
Mr Alyani directed the information department to launch an awareness campaign about Covid-19 for the general public on media.
Health Director General Dr Saleem Abro informed the meeting that so far 3,928 positive cases were reported in Balochistan. “We have been carrying out 800 daily tests in Fatima Jinnah Chest Hospital, 1,200 in Taftan, 44 in BMC Hospital and 100 in Sheikh Zahid Hospital.”
Health secretary Dostain Jamaldini said the health department had appointed micro-biologists and technicians in provincial laboratories on a contract basis. He said there was a stock of VTM testing kits and PPE kits for next two months.
“The health department procured equipment worth of Rs200 million while additional equipment of Rs233m being purchased,” he said, adding that measures had been taken to ensure availability of oxygen in Sheikh Zahid and Fatima Jinnah Hospitals.
The meeting also decided to carry out blood plasma of those patients of Covid-19 who had fully recovered.
The chief minister directed commissioners and deputy commissioners to ensure implementation on the Malaria Control Programme and embark anti-malaria spray across the province.
Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2020