ISLAMABAD: While giving an update on COVID-19 preventive measures to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed on Wednesday, the government functionaries apprised that emergencies in all hospitals are in operation round the clock whereas private hospitals have not been restricted from operating during lockdown as they can operate after fulfilling health protocols as suggested by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
During a meeting CJP Gulzar raised issues regarding closure of OPDs, testing capacity of coronavirus, safety of doctors, paramedical staff, vision of quarantine and steps taken so far by the government functionaries.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza briefed the participants about the current statistics and response of the government at federal and provincial levels and WHO protocols. He said that emergencies in all hospitals are open round the clock and private hospitals have not been restricted from operating during the lockdown because they can operate after fulfilling health protocols as suggested by the WHO.
Talking about passengers coming from other countries, he said that all the passengers are being quarantined as per WHO protocols whereas health staff is being trained on daily basis to enhance their capabilities.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Special Initiatives Programme Dr Sania Nishtar told the meeting that due to outbreak of the deadly virus, economic activities have been halted and people have been rendered jobless. She added that the government has taken an initiative to help as many as 12 million families under Ehsas Programme through which one-time payment of Rs12,000 per family is being disbursed to the poor, deserving and jobless people earmarked through the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) software and available record of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). She added that the amount will be disbursed after biometric verification and health protocols and preventive measures to control outbreak of COVID-19 at the places of disbursement will also be taken care of.
NDMA Chairman Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal briefed the meeting about the procurement, availability of protective gear, ventilators, masks and other essential items, process of disbursement to all hospitals marked for preventing COVID-19 with the help of armed personnel. He also informed the attendees that more laboratories are being made to enhance testing capacity.
Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Khan Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed, Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed Khan, Secretary Health Dr Tanvir Ahmed Qureshi, Poverty Elevation and Social Safety Division Secretary Ali Raza Bhutta. BISP Secretary Yousaf Khan, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner (DC) Hamza Shafqat, Supreme Court (SC) Registrar Khawaja Daud Ahmad and DG health also attended the meeting.
In his concluding remarks, the CJP thanked the government functionaries for a detailed briefing on important issues and wished them luck in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.