PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has said that provincial government is taking steps beyond its means to give maximum relief to all the sectors affected by the prevailing coronavirus situation.
Talking to a delegation of Wedding Hall Owners Association here on Tuesday, he said that almost all the sectors were affected by the pandemic and wedding halls industry being one of them.
An official statement said that financial issues faced by the owners and workers of the wedding halls and matters related to the possible opening of wedding halls under proper SOPs came under discussion in the meeting.
The delegation demanded opening of wedding halls subject to implementation of proper SOPs, keeping in view the financial problems faced by the owners and thousands of workers.
It also demanded that wedding halls should also be given relief in electricity bills as given to other business units.
Govt spokesman says smart lockdown enforced in 235 areas of province
The chief minister said that government was faced with two different challenges at the same time. He said that on one hand the government was making hectic efforts to contain outbreak of the pandemic and on the other it was taking steps to protect the people against hunger and starvation. He said that government was making all possible efforts to maintain a balance between both of them.
The chief minister said that in the new budget, the provincial government had given maximum possible relief to all the sectors including wedding halls industry in the provincial taxes.
He assured the delegation that its genuine demand of relief in electricity bills would be taken up with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Regarding the possible opening of wedding halls under proper SOPs, the chief minister ordered formation of panel headed by Provincial Minister Sultan Khan to develop SOPs to that end.
Meanwhile, spokesperson for government Ajmal Wazir has said that smart lockdown has been implemented in 235 areas across the province to stop spread of Covid-19.
Briefing journalists, he said that smart lockdown was imposed in the areas where the number of cases was high. He said that the number of Covid-19-infected people in all areas under smart lockdown was 3,130. He said that 640,125 people were confined to their houses due to movement restrictions.
Mr Wazir said that 2,746 houses were isolated in the affected areas. He said that Covid-19 patients were currently under treatment in 241 hospitals of the province where all the facilities were available to them.
He said that rumours were being spread about lack of space in the hospitals but there was no truth in such reports. He said that Lady Reading Hospital currently had a total of 75 ventilators of which 44 were reserved for coronavirus patients and 22 of them were occupied.
Mr Wazir said that 93 beds and 21 ventilators were reserved for coronavirus patients of which 78 beds and 15 ventilators were occupied in Khyber Teaching Hospital while 144 beds and 25 ventilators were reserved at Hayatabad Medical Complex where 122 beds and 23 ventilators were occupied.
Mr Wazir said that since April, 14,152 passengers had arrived at Peshawar airport through 88 flights. He said that dead bodies of 58 Pakistanis from Gulf countries were also brought through Peshawar airport. He said that all the passengers coming and going through Peshawar airport were checked through thermal scanners.
Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2020