It is responsibility of administration to provide relief to farmers during harvesting of wheat crop and for this purpose transportation of agricultural equipment and machinery has been exempted from the restrictions imposed under section 144 to contain spread of coronavirus in the province.
Chief Secretary Punjab Major (r) Azam Suleman Khan expressed these views while presiding over a meeting to review situation of coronavirus in the province. The meeting was attended by Inspector General of Police Shoaib Dastgir, Commissioner Lahore Saif Anjum and officers concerned.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Secretary said that in view of wheat harvest season, movement of equipment and machinery related to agriculture sector has been permitted but the labour to be engaged for harvesting would have to follow the laid down SOPs. Similarly, transportation of cement and soda ash has also been allowed to continue work in construction sector, he added.
The Chief Secretary constituted committees at district level to ensure availability of personal protection equipment (PPEs) for doctors, paramedics and other staff treating Corona patients. The committee will comprise representative of deputy commissioner, army, medical superintendent (MS) of hospital and chief executive officer (CEO) of district health authority. It would monitor inventory and consumption of PPEs on daily basis.
The Chief Secretary ordered that disinfection cabins be prepared within two days and process of cleaning and disinfecting barracks of jails be completed at early as possible. He asked the officers to enforce the government’s orders regarding opening of shops from 9am to 5pm only.
He directed that stern action be taken against profiteers and grocery and other big stores involved in fleecing people be sealed after warning. The IG Punjab told the meeting that process of releasing persons violated section 144 has started as per government’s instructions but those arrested on charges of hoarding or other crimes would not be released.
Meanwhile, the Chief Secretary Punjab visited field hospital at Expo Centre Lahore and reviewed healthcare facilities there. He lauded the performance of Commissioner Lahore, secretaries of health department and administration for making functional 1000-bed hospital in a short period of only nine days. He said that the Expo Centre field hospital would ease burden on other health facilities in the city, besides providing medical care to coronavirus patients.