PESHAWAR: Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said the provincial government was taking action beyond its means to provide maximum relief to all sectors affected by the current coronavirus situation.
Speaking to a delegation from the Wedding Hall Owners Association here on Tuesday, he said that almost all sectors were affected by the pandemic and the wedding hall industry.
An official statement indicated that the financial issues faced by the owners and workers of the wedding halls and issues related to the possible opening of wedding halls under the appropriate SOPs were discussed at the meeting .
The delegation demanded the opening of wedding halls subject to the implementation of appropriate SOPs, taking into account the financial problems encountered by the owners and thousands of workers.
He also demanded that the wedding halls also be reduced in the electricity bills, as for the other commercial units.
Government spokesperson says smart lock is applied in 235 regions of the province
The chief minister said that the government faces two different challenges at the same time. He said that, on the one hand, the government was making considerable efforts to contain the pandemic epidemic and, on the other hand, that it was taking measures to protect the population against hunger and famine. He said that the government was making every effort to maintain a balance between the two.
The chief minister said that in the new budget, the provincial government had provided maximum relief to all sectors, including the wedding hall industry, in provincial taxes.
He assured the delegation that his real request for lower electricity bills would be considered by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
With regard to the possible opening of wedding halls as part of the appropriate SOPs, the Chief Minister has ordered the formation of a group led by Provincial Minister Sultan Khan to develop SOPs for this purpose.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Ajmal Wazir said smart lock had been put in place in 235 parts of the province to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Informing reporters, he said smart locks have been enforced in areas with high caseloads. He said that the number of people infected with Covid-19 in all areas subject to Smart Lock was 3,130. He said 640,125 people were confined to their homes due to movement restrictions.
Wazir said 2,746 houses were isolated in the affected areas. He said that Covid-19 patients are currently on treatment in 241 hospitals across the province where all services are available to them.
He said rumors were spreading about the lack of space in hospitals but that there was no truth in these reports. He said Lady Reading Hospital currently has a total of 75 ventilators, 44 of which were for coronavirus patients and 22 of whom were busy.
Wazir said 93 beds and 21 ventilators were reserved for coronavirus patients, of which 78 beds and 15 ventilators were occupied at the Khyber University Hospital while 144 beds and 25 ventilators were reserved for the Hayatabad medical complex where 122 beds and 23 fans were occupied.
Wazir said that since April, 14,152 passengers had arrived at Peshawar Airport on 88 flights. He said the bodies of 58 Pakistanis from the Gulf countries had also been transported through Peshawar airport. He said that all passengers entering and leaving Peshawar airport were checked by thermal scanners.
Posted in Dawn, June 24, 2020
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