Punjab govt to send recommendations to Centre for tightening virus restrictions in Lahore

Published June 12, 2020
More than half of the Covid-19 cases in Punjab are from Lahore and SOP violations are being seen in markets and commercial areas, the statement said. — AFP/File
More than half of the Covid-19 cases in Punjab are from Lahore and SOP violations are being seen in markets and commercial areas, the statement said. — AFP/File

The Punjab government has decided to send recommendations to the federal government for tightening lockdown measures in Lahore in a bid to curb the growing number of Covid-19 cases, it emerged on Friday.

According to a handout issued by the CM's Office, the decision was taken during a meeting presided over by Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar.

It was decided that recommendations will be sent to the Centre in order to impose stricter restrictions, the statement said, adding that a separate strategy will be implemented in Lahore after approval from the federal government.

During the meeting, it was stated that the situation in the provincial capital was critical due to the public flouting standard operating procedures (SOPs).

More than half of the Covid-19 cases in Punjab are from Lahore and SOP violations are being seen in markets and commercial areas, the statement said.

The meeting was also told that the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will set up a hospital in Punjab with 300 high dependency unit (HDU) beds. Further, the provincial government will also provide 300 HDU beds to different hospitals across the province.

On Thursday, the Punjab cabinet committee on combating coronavirus threat had decided to devise a separate strategy for the provincial capital.

The meeting had decided to formulate an expert working group for devising a separate model for Lahore and present its recommendations to the National Command and Control Centre for final approval.

Expressing concern over an increase in the number of coronavirus patients in Punjab, especially Lahore, the meeting had decided that more steps would be taken to stop community transmission.

'No disease-free area'

Earlier this month it emerged that on May 15 an alarming summary was presented by the Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department to Buzdar according to which "no workplace and residential area of any town was disease-free" in Lahore, Punjab's capital, and that the total number of cases in the city were estimated at around 0.7 million.

Advising the chief minister to immediately enforce a complete lockdown for "at least four weeks", the summary had said that a smart lockdown would not work since all areas of the city had been impacted by the disease, adding that asymptomatic cases had become the "main source of infection and local transmission" in the metropolis.

"Any subsequent decision of lifting, relaxing or doing away with lockdown measures should be taken after reviewing the results of smart sampling conducted with regular intervals till the final tapering down of the virus," it had recommended.

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