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Two provinces -Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Sunday submitted reports before Supreme Court about the measures undertaken by the provincial governments to contain coronavirus.
Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed has taken his first suo motu notice on the situation arising out of the coronavirus pandemic and the steps being taken by the federal government to prevent the outbreak.
A five-member larger bench, headed by the Chief Justice, would hear the case today (Monday) in the Supreme Court.
The Punjab government, in its report submitted to the apex court by Secretary Implementation and Coordination on behalf of the Chief Secretary, informed the Supreme Court that the district headquarters hospitals across Punjab have only 130 ventilators.
The report further stated that the provincial government has purchased 100 more ventilators and the delivery of these ventilators is expected by Mary 11, 2020.
About the labs and the capacity of tests, the Punjab government informed the apex court that at present seven labs are working in the province with a total capacity of 2100 tests per day while the government is working on establishing five more labs in Rawalpindi, Faisalabab, D G Khan, Bahawalpur and Waziriabad which will be functional within two weeks.
It further stated that personal protective equipments (PPEs) kits are distributed to hospitals and districts health authorities as per requirement in conformance with the SOPs.
About the operational status of the OPDs of public and private hospitals in the province, it was informed that directives have been issued to these hospitals to ensure provision of services in the OPDs by following strict precautionary measures.
The court was further informed that a monitoring committee for infection prevention and control has been constituted to visit hospitals to assess whether infection prevention and control guidelines are being implemented.
The Punjab government further informed the apex court that new prisoners arriving in different jails of the province are put in quarantine centres for two weeks wile directions have been issued to field formations have been issued to identify suitable locations for establishing sub jails in each district in order to reduce overcrowding in the jails.
It was further informed that through the emergency cash assistance programme, 2.5 million vulnerable and most affe3cted families in Punjab will be given cash assistance of Rs 12000 each.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government also submitted its report to the apex court, saying that the total numbers of functional ventilators in the public sector hospitals are 402 while 82 more are in the pipeline. Whereas, it stated that the private sector hospitals have a total of 179 ventilators, taking the total number of ventilators in the province to 581.
The report stated that quarantine centres have been set up for 1225 people in the province while more quarantine centres have been proposed for 400 people in Jamrud.
It was informed that that provincial government is transporting Pakistani citizens from Torkham border to quarantine centres in protocol vehicles. The provincial government informed the court that the government has allocated Rs 5.65 billion to 942245 deserving families under the emergency assistance programme.
Currently, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is conducting 734 tests on a daily basis while four more laboratories across the province will be established to increase the capacity of tests to 2000 per day, the report added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020