Punjab Govt Ignored Its Own Health Dept’s Warning Against Easing Coronavirus Lockdown
It has been revealed that Punjab Health Department’s summary of the coronavirus situation in the country from May 15 in which it had warned that 670,000 people could be infected with the virus in Lahore alone was brushed under the carpet by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. The Punjab government went ahead with the decision to lift the coronavirus restrictions despite its own health department’s advice to impose a complete lockdown in the province for 15 days.
Secretary Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department Capt (r) Muhammad Usman has confirmed that the summary was forwarded to the CM on May 15. It based its findings on the samples collected from coronavirus hotspots, private residences and offices in the provincial capital.
Social media users have reacted to the development saying that the government sat on this important piece of information, thereby endangering lives.
Hey guys! Did you know that the PTI / IK / Buzdar govt had been sitting on this info for nearly 15 days now while they kept opening everything up? The state policy was literally to let people die. ENOUGH. pic.twitter.com/ccZ0aQLJrq
— Kala Kawa (@kaalakawaa) June 1, 2020
Numbers indicate that random testing and smart sampling results of the coronavirus positive people in Lahore alone had reached up to 670,800.
However, the Covid-19 website launched by the federal government shows a different set of data. According to the website, confirmed cases of coronavirus in Lahore are 26,240 only, while 7,091 people have been recovered and some 497 deaths have occurred.
The Punjab Department of Health document sighed by the Secretary of Health, Captain Muhammad Usman claims that ‘complete lockdown is the need of this hour, for at least four weeks’ from May 15, which should have accounted to a lockdown till June 12.
However, the Punjab government has further announced ease in the lockdown on May 30. Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said that the parks will be reopened along with malls and shopping centers.
Planning Minister Asad Umar has also given a green signal to the reopening of marriage halls with a limited number of guests as he suggested in a meeting on May 31 that people should learn to ‘live with the pandemic’.