RPOs, commissioners told to enforce fresh Covid curbs

Published September 5, 2021
A woman walks in a market amid the spread of the coronavirus in Pakistan. — AFP/File
A woman walks in a market amid the spread of the coronavirus in Pakistan. — AFP/File

LAHORE: In the light of the guidelines of the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC), the Punjab government has decided to strictly enforce restrictions in 15 high-risk districts to contain the spread of coronavirus and issued directions to all divisional commissioners and regional police officers (RPOs) in this regard.

The instructions were issued during a meeting chaired by Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid and the chief secretary here on Saturday.

New restrictions have been imposed on 15 high-risk districts of Punjab in the light of the NCOC guidelines. These districts include Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Multan, Khanewal, Mianwali, Sargodha, Khushab, Sheikhupura, Bahawalpur, Gujranwala, Rahim Yar Khan, Gujrat, Sialkot and Bhakkar.

The meeting reviewed the pandemic situation, health facilities for patients and vaccination targets.

34 more deaths in Punjab; minister terms 15-20 days crucial

Addressing the meeting, Dr Yasmin Rashid said implementation of SOPs was essential to curb the spread of corona.

She said the next 15 to 20 days are crucial in controlling the fourth wave of the pandemic. She said 88 per cent of corona patients admitted to hospitals were unvaccinated, adding that the spread of the virus could be prevented only through vaccination and precautionary measures.

The chief secretary said in the light of the decisions of the NCOC, the restrictions had been tightened in the high-risk cities. He said protection of health and lives of the people was of utmost importance to the government and action should be taken against those who were not wearing masks and maintaining social distance at public places.

He also lauded the health department and administrative officers for successfully achieving the vaccination targets. He said implementation of SOPs in markets was the responsibility of the trader organisations and in case of any violation, the shops should be sealed.

He also issued instructions for sending the home department the reports about the actions taken over SOPs’ violations.

The meeting was briefed that an average of 764,000 people were being vaccinated daily. The door-to-door vaccination campaign is under way in eight districts and revised targets had been fixed for them for the month of September.

The meeting was attended by the secretaries of the health department, the commissioner and the officers concerned while all divisional commissioners and RPOs participated through video link.

34 deaths: The coronavirus death toll crossed 12,000 mark in Punjab after the province reported 1,941 new cases and 34 more fatalities during the last 24 hours.

Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Secretary Imran Sikandar Baloch said the province-wide vaccination campaign was successfully moving towards its goals and special SOPs had been issued for various sectors in view of the alarming situation of coronavirus.

He said there were 662 vaccination centres in operation and the vaccination campaign was successfully under way at all centres in Punjab.

As many as 12 deaths were recorded in Lahore whereas 34 deaths have been reported in Punjab.

The health minister has asked people to contact Rescue 1122 before going to hospitals in case Covid-19 symptoms appear.

“People can get information about service and beds availability in nearby hospitals from the Rescue 1122,” she added.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2021

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