CM Buzdar allocates Rs10b for 2.5m families Directs to release all citizens arrested for violating Section 144; Asks Health Dept to increase testing capacity; Approves hiring of 10,000 police officers

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Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Tuesday has said that Rs 10 billion has been reserved for 2.5 million families being affected by the lockdown.
Addressing a press conference, CM Usman Buzdar said he has directed to release the people arrested for violating section 144. The government is taking every possible step to help the deserving families in the present situation.
The CM said he has issued directives to the health department to increase the capacity of testing in the province. He said administratively the situation is under control, we don’t need to panic.
He also said the medical staff rendering their services against coronavirus outbreak in the province, will be given an extra salary as bonus. Earlier, the chief minister directed the authorities to launch the programme soon, under which cash amounts would be distributed among the needy families. “Around 2,500,000 families will be distributed Rs 8000 in two-installments,” he had said adding that they would ensure that only deserving families benefit from the package.
He had said that the requests for availing the package would be received online and after verifying the details, the amount will be transferred to them via online transaction. CM Punjab had said that the relief package announced by the Punjab government is separate from the one announced by the federal government. He said he has directed the health department to increase the testing capacity in the province.
“Our cabinet is meeting daily to discuss the outbreak in the province,” Buzdar said while addressing a briefing. “We will meet with the delegation of Chinese doctors and listen to what they have to say,” Buzadar said, adding, they will release home quarantine SOPS after meeting with the doctors.
The Punjab chief minister assured the media they had everything under control. “We have a committee at the district level to ensure every hospital had protective gear for their medical staff.” The chief minister said doctors will get an extra month’s allowance.
Responding to a question about reports of tableeghi jamaat members being mishandled, Buzdar said he had asked the inspector general to ensure nothing of this sort happened and that all the correct SOPs were being followed.
Meanwhile Usman Buzdar approved the recruitment of police officers and ordered to immediately fill 10,000 vacant posts.
Chairing a meeting in Lahore, the chief minister ordered to purchase 500 more police mobiles on an immediate basis. He said that around 318 police vans would be purchased this year with a cost of Rs1.2 billion.
“As many as 47 police vans will be given to Punjab Highway Police this year with a cost of Rs200 million and around 21 vehicles would be purchased for Punjab Elite Force. He also directed to make 45 police stations immediately functional by completing the reconstruction work. Usman Buzdar said that government will take measures to make police stations public-friendly across Punjab.
Punjab Chief Minister also directed to undertake all necessary measures to bring stability in the prices of essential edibles, including flour.
He directed commissioners and deputy commissioners to launch crackdown on hoarders and illegal profiteers and take indiscriminate stern action against them.
The chief minister asserted that all administrative powers should be exercised to ensure provision of essential items to the people at fixed rates.