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Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has approved to set up field hospital of one thousand beds capacity, here at Expo Centre and directed the Commissioner Lahore Division to take immediate steps in this regard.
The CM also announced funds worth around Rs 8 billion for the health department and PDMA. Pursuant to his instructions, the finance department has released the funds on an emergent basis.
A ministerial committee has also been constituted to extend cooperation to the Balochistan government and to set up a quarantine facility in Taftaan. The Punjab government will immediately provide one billion rupees to the Balochistan government.
The chief minister also constituted a committee to solve the problems of doctors and other health professionals. He also announced to solve the economic problems of daily wage employees and added that provision of salaries to daily wage employees will be continued and they will not be left alone in this difficult situation. He stated that the telemedicine program has been started in medical colleges.
While announcing to set up Chief Minister's Fund, Usman Buzdar appealed to the philanthropists to generously donate and assured that every penny will be spent for overcoming the coronavirus.
The CM further said that identification of 880 beds has been completed in eight hotels of the provincial metropolis to utilize them in case of need. Work has been started to establish quarantine centres in hotels of other major cities and provincial ministers have also been assigned duties in different districts.
Sardar Usman Buzdar said that the federal government will be approached for taking steps to give relief to the people. He said that pilgrims coming from Taftaan will be provided with every facility in quarantine centres of Punjab. He added that 1250 pilgrims have reached to the quarantine centre at labour complex in Multan and told that quarantine centres are also being set up in Gujrat, Faisalabad and Taxila. Similarly, floors will be reserved for the treatment of coronavirus patients in private hospitals. So far, coronavirus has been confirmed in 96 patients in Punjab, he added.
The CM directed to immediately provide masks and other material to hospitals and disclosed that SOPs have been devised for home-based isolation and a collective mechanism will also be devised in consultation with the federal government. He approved to recruit retired doctors and other staff through walk-in-interviews and added that the Punjab government will recruit them on an emergency basis for the treatment of coronavirus patients. He also directed that there should be no shortage in the supply of food items.
The CM chaired the meeting of the cabinet committee on coronavirus at his office on Friday to review the steps being taken for overcoming the coronavirus and pondered over different steps to secure the lives of the people. The meeting also reviewed the proposal of air-lifting pilgrims from Iran.
Provincial Ministers Dr Yasmin Rashid, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Hashim Jawan Bakht, Muhammad Akhtar Malik, Mussarat Jamshed MPA, Chief Secretary, IGP, SMBR, ACS (Home) and others attended the meeting.
Moreover, Pakistan's batsman Fakhar Zaman has appreciated the efforts of the Punjab government in its fight against coronavirus.
In a video message, Fakhar Zaman said the Punjab government had made excellent arrangements for awareness of the masses in regard to coronavirus. "We are united against this deadly virus which is affecting the entire world. We can win this fight against coronavirus by taking the maximum and effective preventive measures," he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020