Provincial Minister for Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Cooperatives Raja Basharat has said that schools and colleges are being opened for the 9th to 12th classes from January 18. However, the Health department has expressed concern that if SOPs are not fully implemented in educational institutions, could increase the rate of the epidemic, so a review meeting would be held on February 8 after the schools open. He was addressing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corona at the Chief Minister's House under his chairmanship on Thursday. Provincial Minister for Health Dr. Yasmeen Rashid, Special Assistant to CM for Information Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Minister for Education Murad Ras, Minister for Higher Education Raja Yasir Humayun, Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal, Chief Secretary Punjab, Secretary Primary Health, Secretary Specialized Health and secretaries of other relevant departments were also present. Briefing on the current status of the pandemic, Secretary of Primary Health told that the number of new Corona patients had increased since last week while the rate of new patients in the province had averaged 5 per cent in the last one month. The briefing further said that the average rate in Lahore remained 10%, in Rawalpindi 7% and in Faisalabad 5% during last month. The committee took a special look at the Corona pandemic with reference to the opening of educational institutions from next week. Raja Basharat said that the recommendations of Education and Health Departments would be sent to the federal government for further considerations. He said that it was a matter of great concern that majority of the people were still not implementing SOPs. Raja Basharat said that if schools, colleges, markets, bazaars and marriage halls are to be kept open then everyone should follow SOPs. The Law Minister directed the Information Department and the Health Department to conduct large-scale awareness campaign against corona in educational institutions in particular and among the common public in general.
Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid said on Tuesday that Punjab government has taken revolutionary steps for provision of healthcare services to people. The Minister was addressing participants and media at a Roadshow organized by the Punjab health Foundation at Emerson College Multan. Present on the occasion were Additional Chief Secretary South Punjab Zahid Akhtar Zaman, Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department Barrister Nabeel Awan, Secretary Health South Punjab Ajmal Bhatti, MD Punjab Health Foundation Dr. Kiran Khurshid, Members Punjab Assembly Qasim Khan, Wasif Mazhar, Mohammad Salim, Tariq Abdullah, Ejaz Hassan Janjua, Chairman PHA Multan, Professor Javed Chaudhry and large number of local notables. She said that all the 22 million families of Punjab shall be provided Sehat Sahulat cards by the end of the year 2021. Private sector shall be facilitated with provision of loans. She said Nawaz Sharif was declared an absconder by the Court and he must come back to the country as per his commitment and face legal proceedings. The Health Minister said, “Within the current fiscal year, Sehat Sahulat Cards shall be distributed among all families in Sahiwal and Dera Ghazi Khan Divisions. So far 42 per cent coverage has been provided in these two Divisions. We have allocated Rs. 40 billion for facilitation through private sector and development projects are underway at full pace in South Punjab. In Dera Ghazi Khan, work is ongoing at Cardiology Hospital. Funds shall be released soon for the expansion project of Multan Institute of Cardiology. Providing top quality healthcare services to every citizen is the responsibility of the government. Sehat Sahulat Progam is a large program and its initial cost is around Rs. 40 billion. Phase-wise, entire population shall be provided health coverage. Last year, the government had earmarked Rs. 14 billion for free diagnosis and treatment facilities for Corona Pandemic. The Pandemic situation has been comparatively better in Punjab and the reason is timely measures to increase beds and ventilators in Punjab hospitals.”
Dr. Yasmin Rashid further said, “There were many development projects which got affected and were delayed due to Corona Pandemic. The federal government has promised to grant us additional support of Rs. 20 to 22 billion to complete them in time. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar want to provide best possible healthcare services to people of the province. Development work at Nishter-II Multan, Cardiology Hospital Dera Ghazi Khan, 200 bedded hospital at Rajanpur and Mother and Child Hospital at Bahawalnagar are underway at full pace. Through Punjab Health Foundation, loans are being provided to health professionals so that they can make good quality livelihood. The limit of loan amount has been increased with easy conditions. The government shall facilitate and encourage private doctors registered with Pakistan Medical Association. We will face all health challenges collectively as people are with us.” The Health Minister said the Parliamentarians attending this event shall spread the message of free healthcare services in their constituencies. “I salute our doctors, nurses and healthcare staff for rendering immense services during the Corona Pandemic. All leading countries of the world have appreciated Prime Minister for effectively leading the response during the Corona Pandemic. I appreciate MD Punjab Health Foundation Dr. Kiran Khurshid for organizing a successful Roadshow. The Punjab Health Foundation has been providing loans to healthcare professionals for the last two decades. Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted us to lay extra focus on Human Resource and the PHF has been mobilized for this very purpose. So far more than 32,000 healthcare have been hired purely on merit which include 500 male nurses and 400 pharmacists.” The Health Minister also visited the site of the Nishter Hospital where Vice-Chancellor apprised her of the progress on development work. Later responding to queries of the journalists, the Health Minister said that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was declared an absconder by the court. He must come back and face his cases. His bail extension was to be given according to his medical reports. She added had the government received his reports in time, the medical board would have assessed them properly. She added his ‘guarantor was still with us’. Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Barrister Nabeel Awan said that next one year was the crucial outcome of health reforms. He said the government shall ensure provision of Universal Health coverage to all families in Punjab. He added this was an ideal opportunity for the private sector to grow. Additional Chief Secretary South Punjab Zahid Akhtar Zaman said that Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid had provided fresh life to Punjab Health Foundation. The holding of a Roadshow and inauguration of different development schemes were historical milestones. Earlier, in her remarks, MD Punjab Health Foundation Dr. Kiran Khurshid welcomed the Health Minister and paid tribute to her for providing a number for facilities to healthcare professionals.
A high level meeting held under the chair of Minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jahanian Gardezi for “Model Villages Program” in Punjab. The salient features and draft project for establishing model villages were reviewed in the meeting. Secretary Agriculture Punjab Asad ur Rehman Gillani, Dr. Abid Mehmood, Dr. Anjam Ali, Malik Muhammad Akram, Ghulam Siddique, Muhammad Rafique Akhtar, Aamir Hameed and Afaq Tiwana were also present in the meeting. Head of Finance Development of Habib Bank Aamir Hameed gave a detailed briefing with regard to providing goods and services to the farmers in Punjab. While addressing the meeting, Provincial Minister for Agriculture Syed Hussain Jehanian Gardezi said that there is a need to start a rural development program for the economic prosperity of the farmers. Under this agreement, a multi-relationship will be created between Habib Bank Ltd., farmers and government. He said that a successful village model program would be introduced for the farmers by providing technology, credit and commerce facility. The basic aim of the project is to provide professional support in the social sector to the farmers. The Minister said that a new system would be initiated to provide better services to the farmers with the collaboration of Irrigation, Forests, Fisheries, Education and Health Department. By virtue of which per acre production besides income of cultivators will also be increased. Secretary Agriculture Asad ur Rehman Gillani said that Agriculture Department has the data of registered farmers which is more valid then the passbook. Agriculture Department is ensuring transparency in the provision of subsidy and interest-free loans to the farmers, he added.
Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar has resumed official responsibilities after recovery from corona and chaired different meetings on Monday besides holding meetings with ministers and high officials. Talking on the occasions, the CM emphasised that the journey of public service will be accelerated and development schemes will be completed in time to facilitate the people. He stressed that no conspiracy will be allowed to destabilize Pakistan adding that politically dud PDM has died a natural death. Nobody is interested in the politics of anarchy as people want a solution to their problems and the PTI government will continue its struggle for developing Pakistan as a modern and prosperous country with renewed vigour and zeal, concluded the CM.
Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar chaired a meeting at his office on Monday to review cleanliness arrangements of the provincial metropolis. The meeting also deliberated over the selection of new contractors for removing garbage. The LWMC chairman and managing director informed that 20 thousand ton solid waste has been disposed of while the remaining five thousand ton garbage will be removed soon. An interim cleanliness plan has also been devised till the selection of the new contractors, they added. The CM directed that best cleanliness arrangements be ensured adding that he found an unsatisfactory cleanliness situation during a round of the city. The Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) and the administration should hold a daily meeting to continuously monitor the implementation of the cleanliness plan, he directed. No stone should be left unturned to immediately remove five thousand ton garbage from the city and zero-waste operation should be ensured as no leniency will be tolerated, he stressed. Usman Buzdar maintained the historic city of Lahore is the heart of Pakistan and midnight oil should be burnt for its cleanliness so that the citizens may not face any difficulty. Provision of a neat and clean atmosphere to the citizens is the responsibility of the government and the LWMC board should take a final decision about the new cleanliness system, he further directed. The provincial government will extend full support to the board as enough delay has occurred and there is no room for any further procrastination. Similarly, modern technology should be used for dealing with landfill sites issues, he added. Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan, secretaries of local govt. and information and culture departments, Commissioner and DC Lahore and others attended the meeting.