Health system to be upgraded to deal with coronavirus: Jhagra
Statesman Report
PESHAWAR: Minister for Health and Finance, Taimor Saleem Jhagra has said that doctors' organizations are working against coronavirus pandemic and keeping in view the health sector would be paid first in next budget.
Talking to media and doctors at Civil Secretariat here Saturday, he said that lockdown had been eased but the virus had not yet disappeared so we have to change our lifestyle and fight against coronavirus pandemic.
He said health system was being upgraded to deal with coronavirus as well as dengue and polio. Protective gears have been provided to all hospitals in the province while the shortage of doctors and paramedics has been dealt accordingly.
He said that personnel on duty at frontline are our heroes and their sacrifices would not go waste.
He said that the entire health system was being monitored and in just two months, equipment and safety equipment worth Rs 4 billion have been procured.
He said that the federal government has given full support to province in current emergency situation providing every kind of assistance. Health Minister said that 1000 tests are being conducted daily in Khyber Medical University.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Friday announced the easing of lockdown enforced across the province on March 21 to check the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
According to it, shops and selected businesses will open four days a week and that all businesses will be closed at 4pm.
A notification of the relief, rehabilitation and settlement department said all businesses would remain closed across the province on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
“The decision regarding easing the lockdown has been taken on the advice of the federal government,” said adviser to the chief minister on information Ajmal Wazir.
Says permission subject to SOP adherence
He said the National Coordination Committee, which met under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad on Thursday, had announced the lifting of lockdown in phases.
The adviser said the lockdown was announced across the province on March 21 to contain the virus and that the closure of businesses except those of essential services was extended from time to time.
The RRS department’s notification said all shops were allowed to remain open four days a week but not later than 4pm in the day subject to adaptation of the standard operating procedures.
It, however, said the businesses except the already identified essential ones would remain closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The government has yet to decide about the resumption of public transport service.
The notification said meetings of the representatives of transporters at provincial and divisional levels would be convened to discuss preparation of proper SOPs for transport service.
The government exempted construction activities, businesses of steel, PVC pipes, electric appliances, manufacturers of steel, aluminum equipment, ceramics, paints industries, sanitary, paints, steel, aluminum works and hardware stores from the closure.
The notification said permission for the opening of those businesses would be subject to the adaptation of SOPs as guidelines had already issued for industrial units and sale points.
Moreover, all factories not included in the negative lists of factories were allowed to resume operation.
Another notification said low-risk industrial units, including marble mining, cutting/polishing and gemstones processing, were also exempted from closure.
In a notification issued on Mar 21, the provincial government had announced the closure of all markets, shops, and businesses except some essential shops and services until Mar 24. However, different notifications were issued from time to time for extending the lockdown.
On Apr 15, a notification was issued by the RRS department regarding extension in the closure of educational institutions, suspension of public transport and closure of shops.
Similarly, the government on Apr 24 put more restrictions on exempted shops by fixing 4pm as closing hour for them.
The government also made the wearing of face masks mandatory by people outdoors.
The business community welcomed the easing of lockdown.
The Traders Alliance said in a statement that Eidul Fitr was 15 days away, so the announcement of the closure of small markets and small shops two days a week should be reviewed.
It asked the governments to work with trader organisations to devise a ‘workable SOP’.