SC gets briefing on Govt’s anti-virus combat steps

ISLAMABAD: A meeting at the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed was on Wednesday briefed over the federal government’s efforts to tackle coronavirus pandemic in the country, media reported.
According to a handout issued from the apex court, the meeting was also attended by Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin.
The government’s representatives who briefed the meeting included Special Assistant to PM on Health Dr Zafar Mirza, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) Lieutenant General Muhammad Afzal and SAPM on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar and Attorney General Khalid Jawed. Giving briefing on health affairs, Zafar Mirza said that the emergencies in all hospitals remain functional for 24-hours. “No private hospitals have been shut during the lockdown,” said Mirza while divulging details of the government’s policy to deal with the pandemic. He said that the private hospitals would function as per World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. “We are training the health staffers on daily basis to treat the virus,” he said.
The chief justice asked regarding the closure of hospitals’ OPDs, testing capacity for coronavirus and preventive equipment provided to the medics. The NDMA chief said that they were taking steps to improve the testing capacity and ventilators, masks and other preventive material was being provided to hospitals. Shedding light on government’s relief package, Dr Sania Nishtar said that overall 12 million families would be provided with Rs 12,000 each using bio-metric system to provide a relief to them during lockdown due to the pandemic.
Moreover, In the light of the Supreme Court orders, the government on Wednesday decided to resume the normal services at hospitals and open the dispensaries in Islamabad.
The OPD (outdoor patients department) and other services at the hospitals, including the Polyclinic, would be opened gradually.
Similarly, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government followed the apex court’s directives about reopening the OPDs at all hospitals due to the problems faced by the people. However, social distancing would be ensured at the health facilities.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed earlier this week had observed that all the hospitals and clinics should remain functional. Criticising the decision to shut the hospitals and their OPDs as well as dispensaries in Islamabad for other patients to focus on those infected by coronavirus, the chief justice said nothing had been done practically as only meeting, meeting was being played. “Protecting the people’s rights is our responsibility,” he added
What kind of medical emergency has been imposed when even the private hospitals and clinics are shut, he remarked. The chief justice had passed these remarks while heading a five-member bench which was hearing a petition against the high courts’ orders to release the prisoners.
According to 24NewsHD, the hepatitis, TB and diabetes clinics have been shut because of which the patients are left clueless.
Moreover, the vaccination of children is also stopped after the closure of immunisation centres.