CM inaugurates open defecation-free project


Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar inaugurated open defecation-free project at his office on Thursday.
Addressing the ceremony, the chief minister said that this project directly relates to the health of the people as more than 13 per cent of citizens are deprived of the toilet facility. Meanwhile, 74 per cent of poor families are facing difficulties due to the lack of toilet facility. He informed that this project has been launched in collaboration with UNICEF in 1775 villages of Jhang, Chiniot, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Lodhran, Bhakkar, Khushab, DG Khan and Rajanpur.
These districts have been chosen after a survey and two lac toilets will be constructed in three years to facilitate more than 75 thousand families, he added. The chief minister maintained that cleanliness is half of the faith and this project is very important for maintaining public health. The Punjab government has also started the municipal services programme with an amount of Rs26 billion to provide facilities at grassroots.
This program is being implemented in consultation with elected representatives while DCs are monitoring the progress. We are thankful to UNICEF for this project, he added.
Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar met with anchorpersons, columnists and senior journalists on Thursday and apprised them about the steps being taken by the Punjab government to deal with the coronavirus. He stated that coronavirus has spread in more than 80 countries where 95 thousand people have been affected by it. The number of affectees in China is 80 thousand while more than 53 thousand patients have been recovered. Meanwhile, more than 3200 patients have lost their lives, he added. He told that number of coronavirus patients is five in Pakistan while no coronavirus case has been reported in Punjab. However, comprehensive SOPs are being implemented to deal with the coronavirus threat, he added.
The chief minister observed that media’s role is important for public sensitization adding that Punjab government started precautionary measures many days before reporting of coronavirus case in Pakistan. A cabinet committee has been constituted to keep a vigilant eye on a daily basis, he said. Similarly, Rs236 million have been released for the procurement of necessary equipment and high dependency units have been set up in the hospitals of central, north and south Punjab. Similarly, foreigners’ screening is being done at airports and other entry points, he added. Similarly, a working group has been constituted to take steps, he further said.
Replying to a question about southern Punjab secretariat, the chief minister said funds have been allocated in the budget for southern Punjab secretariat and a meeting has also been called in the CM Office. The Prime Minister Imran Khan will be given a briefing about the establishment of southern Punjab secretariat next week. He added that good relations exist with PML-Q in Punjab.
Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid said the screening of more than three thousand Chinese has been completed and the situation is normal in Punjab. Necessary arrangements have been made in hospitals and it is also imperative to create public awareness. Industries Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal said mask is not required for a healthy human being but essential for doctors and other hospital staff.

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