LAHORE: The Punjab government has started considering imposing a complete lockdown in the provincial capital and will present recommendations in this regard to the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), Pakistan Today has learnt.
A high-level meeting was held at the Chief Minister’s House, under the chairmanship of Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid on the direction of Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar.
Minister for Commerce and Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal, Punjab Chief Secretary Jawad Rafique Malik, Home Additional Chief Secretary Momin Agha, Department of Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education (SH&ME) Secretary Nabeel Awan, Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department (P&SHD) Secretary Sara Aslam, and Auqaaf secretary were also present in the meeting.
Other participants of the meeting were Lahore Commissioner Captain (r) Usman Younis, Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Ghulam Mahmood Dogar, Additional Inspector General (IG) Sahibzada Shehzad Sultan, higher education secretary and other officials, including all commissioners and regional police officers (RPOs), who participated through video-link.
During the meeting, Dr Yasmin reviewed the latest coronavirus situation in the province whereas the SH&ME and P&SHD secretaries presented a detailed report on the matter.
All the commissioners presented a report on the implementation of Covid-19 standard operating procedures (SOPs) across the province and the concerned authorities presented various suggestions and recommendations for the prevention of coronavirus.
During the meeting, future strategies for the cities most affected by the coronavirus, working hours of vaccination centres during Ramadan and implementation of standard operating procedures (SOPs) in mosques were reviewed.
Sources in the Punjab government informed Pakistan Today that the provincial government was concerned about the apparently uncontrollable spread of the disease in the city.
According to details, it was decided in the cabinet committee meeting that in the first phase, a complete lockdown would be imposed in all the cities where the rate of positive cases of coronavirus is more than 15 per cent.
Similarly, in the second phase, decisions will be taken to implement lockdown in cities with a rate of more than 10 per cent. It was also learnt in the meeting that the rate of positive cases of Covid-19 in Lahore has now reached 19 per cent.
Moreover, in Faisalabad and Sargodha it is 17 per cent while in Rawalpindi and Rahim Yar Khan it is up to 15 per cent. Other dangerous cities include Gujranwala, Multan, Bahawalpur and Vehari where the positive cases of coronavirus are more than 10 per cent, sources said.
Sources further added that the Punjab government would present all these recommendations at the NCOC meeting, which will be held on Monday.
Moreover, the government wanted the district administration of each city to be consulted and given full decision-making power to control the situation.
However, the cabinet committee agreed to keep medical stores, petrol pumps, hospitals, grocery stores, dairy shops, tandoors and Ramadan Bazaars open during the lockdown.
The health minister said that due to the rapid increase in the number of coronavirus patients across the province, the rate of positive cases of coronavirus in Punjab has increased alarmingly.
“Steps are being taken to immediately increase the number of ventilators and beds in government hospitals in Punjab. Outdoor of four specialities have been closed in government teaching hospitals of seven districts. In Punjab, all the tools are being used to fight the coronavirus,” the minister said.
Furthermore, health department officials informed Pakistan Today that the ventilators of government hospitals in the province have been filled up to 88 per cent while the oxygen beds of hospitals have admitted up to 67 per cent of its capacity for patients.
“Similarly, a total of 1186 patients are being treated in public and private hospitals of the provincial capital and 234 critical patients of Covid-19 are on ventilators while 295 patients are undergoing treatment in the intensive care unit,” an official informed.
Officials added that as many as 657 patients were admitted on oxygen and 766 patients were being treated in government hospitals whereas 420 patients admitted to private hospitals.
Mayo Hospital has the highest number of 280 patients under treatment where 75 patients are on ventilators. A total of 57 patients are being treated at Services Hospital and 63 at Jinnah Hospital.