Punjab to clamp down on drugs black-marketeers, hoarders


On the direction of the Prime Minster Imran Khan and Punjab CM, Provincial Minister for Industries Mian Aslam Iqbal and Chief Secretary Punjab Jawwad Rafique Malik presided over a meeting in connection with launching a crackdown on those involved in black-marketing and hoarding of essential medicines.
Lahore Division Commissioner Saif Anjum, CCPO Zulfiqar Hameed and officers concerned attended the meeting while IG Shoaib Dastgir, divisional commissioners and regional police officers (RPOs) participated through video link.
The meeting decided to take ‘stringent measures’ to ensure supply and availability of essential drugs at reasonable prices.
Aslam Iqbal said that steps are being taken to provide the best medical facilities to the coronavirus patients.
He said that all public and private hospitals would be bound to implement the decision of the Punjab Healthcare Commission to freeze the charges for ventilators at the rates of February 2020.
It was decided that in view of the increasing cases of Covid-19, the federal government would be approached to procure 10,000 to 15,000 oxygen cylinders and the oxygen manufacturing companies would be exempted from power outages.
So far, the province has reported over 62,000 Covid-19 cases and 1,265 deaths. Infections are likely to spread rapidly in the next few weeks. Oxygen cylinders come in handy for patients who have trouble breathing as the virus affects lungs and makes it hard to breathe smoothly.
Oxygen cylinder-providing vehicles have also been allowed to operate round-the-clock. Moreover, the government will take strict action against those found involved in black marketing and hoarding medicines.
Hospitals have also been directed to abide by the Punjab Healthcare Commission’s instructions regarding quality of facilities and ventilator charges.
The meeting reviewed the situation in the locked down areas and issued instructions to strictly enforce restriction of wearing face masks throughout the province and take action in case of violation.
The CS also asked the administrative officers to prepare a record of sugar stocks in the province and submit a report within three days.