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Masses cooperation inevitable against corona: minister

LAHORE:The Punjab government has decided to submit recommendations to the National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) for allowing outdoor dining in restaurants under SOPs.

The decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid at Civil Secretariat here on Wednesday. The meeting reviewed the corona pandemic situation, medical facilities and oxygen supply in hospitals, implementation of SOPs and other measures. Addressing the meeting, Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said there is a threat of increase in corona cases in next few days if precautionary measures are not taken. She said due to non-implementation of SOPs, the second wave of corona pandemic could not be completely overcome and the third wave started which is proving more dangerous. She said cooperation of people is inevitable for controlling the epidemic, adding that citizens should make it a habit to wear masks and keep social distance to protect themselves and others.

She directed a comprehensive epidemic control strategy be formulated by analysing the data on the corona virus situation. She said supply of medicines and oxygen is being ensured and the best medical facilities for corona patients are being provided in hospitals. The Punjab chief secretary said the government is aware of the problems being faced by business community due to lockdown and relaxation of restrictions would be recommended to provide relief to traders. He said recommendations would be made to the NCOC to allow outdoor dining under SOPs in restaurants in the province. The chief secretary also directed the officers to take steps to raise public awareness about the importance of precautionary measures and vaccination. The meeting was briefed that the administrative officers are working in the field to ensure implementation of SOPs in markets, restaurants and other public places and 400 shops and 16 restaurants were sealed for violation the other day.

Meanwhile, speaking at a Cabinet Committee meeting at Civil Secretariat, Dr Yasmin Rashid directed the healthcare department to enhance dengue surveillance testing in labs. The minister and Punjab chief secretary reviewed the preparations of dengue prevention. Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare shared progress measures taken to control dengue spread. The departments concerned presented their respective measures.

The health minister said, “Surveillance testing must be scaled up in the entire province. Commissioners and deputy commissioners must personally monitor dashboard of dengue statistics. All government hospitals have adequate stock of medicines available. Commissioners and deputy commissioners must get active. Dengue will be kept under control and larvacidal activities must continue. Coordination must be strengthened among line departments for effective epidemic response. The implementation on DEAG recommendations must be ensured.” I appeal to people to keep their homes and offices clean. Rains can cause increase in number of cases.

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