ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed on Friday took first suo motu notice over ‘insufficient facilities’ in the country to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
A five-member larger bench headed by CJP Gulzar will commence hearing into the matter on April 13.
CJP Gulzar also issued notices to the attorney general, health secretary and interior secretary. Besides, the chief justice also summoned all the chief secretaries and advocate generals of the four provinces.
Justice Gulzar also sought details of facilities in hospitals regarding coronavirus. It must be noted that SC had earlier expressed displeasure over steps taken by authorities to combat the COVID-19 in the country.
The CJP was also briefed over the federal government’s efforts to tackle coronavirus pandemic in the country at a meeting held at the Supreme Court. According to a handout issued by the apex court, the meeting was also attended by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin.
The government’s representatives who briefed the meeting included Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal and SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar and Attorney General Khalid Jawed.
Giving briefing on health affairs, Zafar Mirza said that the emergencies in all hospitals remain functional for 24-hours. “No private hospitals have been shut during the lockdown,” said Mirza.
The chief justice asked regarding the closure of hospitals’ OPDs, testing capacity for coronavirus and preventive equipment provided to the medics.
The SC on Tuesday also ordered to set up proper quarantine centers at Taftan, Chaman and Torkham borders for coronavirus patients.
Hearing a case pertaining to the closure of OPDs and availability of facilities amid coronavirus pandemic, the apex court ordered the federal government to establish quarantine facilities at all three borders within one month.