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CM Usman Buzdar upset over growing COVID cases

LAHORE:Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on the Eradication of Corona and expressed concern over the increase in the number of patients in Lahore and other districts.

It was decided to close markets after Maghrib prayers while milk and yoghurt shops, medical stores and tandoors will be exempted from this prohibition. It was decided to take steps for securing the lives of the common man in cities with a more than five per cent positive corona test ratio. The meeting resolved to ban sports activities, Jashan-e-Baharan and public meetings in Lahore and some other cities for two weeks.

Similarly, holding marriage ceremonies in marquees and marriage halls will be banned for two weeks. According to the decision, only takeaway will be allowed from restaurants and the meeting further approved to close down shrines and cinema halls for two weeks.

Meanwhile, parks will be shut down at 6pm. Half of the offices’ staff will work from home and the rest of the officials will be allowed to perform duties in the offices, the meeting settled. The meeting chose to limit the number of passengers in public transport especially the metro bus service and orange line metro train according to the SOPs. These arrangements will apply to cities with more than five per cent corona positive test rate from Sunday and will remain enforced for the next two weeks. The Primary and Secondary Health Department will issue a notification in this regard.

The CM maintained that corona positive cases were increasing, adding that every possible step would be taken as public health was most important. The decisions had been taken in the larger public interest and more steps could also be taken after a review of the situation, he maintained.

The primary and secondary health secretary briefed that 1,632 new cases were reported and 36 patients died from the corona during the last 24 hours and this number was also reported on June 24, 2020. Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid, chief secretary, IG police, administrative secretaries, Lahore commissioner and medical experts also attended the meeting while military officials and commissioners participated in it through video link.

Funds for different projects approved : Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has approved development projects in various districts of the province to provide better facilities to the masses.

In this regard, a meeting of Cabinet Standing Committee on Finance and Development chaired by Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht approved funds for the projects, said a handout issued here on Friday. During the next financial year, the scholarship amount will be increased to Rs 834 million.

Meanwhile, the meeting decided to gradually construct rainwater storage tanks in Lahore at 10 different points and approved in-principle to construct water storage facilities on Kashmir Road, Sheranwala Gate and near Qaddafi Stadium at a cost of Rs 1.85 billion. Similarly, the meeting approved immediate release of Rs2 billion for roads’ repair in different districts.

Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, while congratulating Sadiq Sanjrani on winning the election of Senate chairman, termed his victory the success of democracy and transparency. The CM said the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) was badly defeated in the election of Senate chairman.

He said the senators elected Sadiq Sanjrani on the call of their conscience and strengthened the democratic norms. It has been proved that in the end, truth prevails and lies face defeat, he said.

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