News

SC withdraws orders about opening markets on weekend

\\ Directs legislation on coronavirus eradication | Says NDMA doesn’t have licence to operate as per wish, it would be audited

June 8, 2020 04:41 PM


The Supreme Court withdrew its earlier orders regarding opening markets on weekend [Saturday and Sunday] and directed the government to take the issue of legislation for eradicating the coronavirus seriously, reported 24NewsHD TV channel Monday.

The government must ensure legislation on eliminating the virus and providing personal protection gear to the healthcare professionals, ordered the three-member bench.

About the legislation, the chief justice noted that why the Parliament could not work on the subject like the other institutions.

Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that work would be done according to law, not will, and the NDMA (National Disaster Management Authority) did not have a licence to operate as per wish, as he also expressed his displeasure over the lack of a national policy on the issue.

Everything associated with the NDMA would be audited, the chief justice observed and said they would see what different entities had done during the pandemic.

Why the documents related to the imported items are not on record, he questioned and promised to audit the provinces as well.

When asked about the details of the coronavirus tests conducted at government and private labs, the NDMA Member (Legal) informed the court that only the health ministry could provide such figures as their job was limited to providing equipment to laboratories.

In a response to two other queries, he responded that all the tests were being conducted free-of-cost and China gifted 100 ventilators while another 1,400 were purchased by the NDMA out which 300 had reached Pakistan.

During the hearing, the judges expressed sadness over the death of healthcare professionals and there could be no compensation for any human loss.

Hospitals running out of beds

Pakistan has recorded more than 100,000 cases of coronavirus as hospitals warned they are running out of beds to treat patients.

Doctors at several main hospitals in the Lahore told AFP they were running out of beds, ventilators and other vital equipment. "As the cases increase, more health care workers are also falling victim to the virus," said Farooq Sahil, a doctor at Services Hospital Lahore.

Khizer Hayat, chairman of the Young Doctors Association of Punjab, said facilities across the province needed help. "Hospitals are running out of beds; there aren't enough ventilators given to us," he told AFP.

In the southern port city of Karachi, health centres are turning away the sick, with a large sign near the entrance of the Indus hospital stating there was no room for coronavirus patients.

Asad Umar, who heads the national coronavirus task force, said Monday a package to relieve pressure on hospitals was being finalised and would include 1,000 new beds in major cities.

Pakistan's lockdown policy has been patchy at best, with Prime Minister Imran Khan reluctant to call a nationwide shutdown in order to protect the economy. "The crisis is unfolding now as we have ceased to observe isolation," said Sikander Ali Memon, who is leading Sindh province's anti-virus efforts.

In southwestern Balochistan province, government spokesman Liaqat Shahwani told AFP the situation was serious, and authorities were struggling to cope.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XpMCGt6uvA


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