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Rs6bn released by Balochistan govt to mitigate Covid-19 impact on economy


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QUETTA: The Balochistan government has released Rs6 billion to mitigate the impact of coronavirus on provincial economy which has rendered thousands of people jobless.

Speaking at a press conference here, Balochistan government spokesman Liaquat Shah­wani said the provincial government had released the money from its own resources to provide relief to the people who had lost their jobs, especially daily wage workers, due to coronavirus.

He said ration distribution am­ong jobless labourers and other deserving people had continued in all districts of Baloch­istan. “Ration has been distributed among 238,000 people so far through deputy commissioners,” he said, adding that the government was making all-out efforts to reach the deserving poor people at their doorsteps to give them relief.

Mr Shahwani said the situation was under control in the province, but new Covid-19 cases were on the rise. He said most of the cases had been reported from Quetta but the situation in 20 other districts was also not good.

He, however, said the government was taking maximum steps to prevent coronavirus from spreading in the province.

The spokesman said that more than 22,000 tests had so far been conducted in Balochistan. Out of them, 3,536 were positive, while 41 deaths had so far been reported in the province.

He said 44 per cent of total patients were young people, while women were 12pc. He said 91 patients were under treatment in Sheikh Zayed Hospital and Fatima Jinnah Chest Hospital and the condition of 18 of them was serious. More than 1,100 people had been allowed to go home after their full recovery, he added.

In reply to a question about preventive measures taken by the government against coronavirus, Mr Shahwani said 71 isolation centers had established by the government in the province.

He said the provincial government had been utilising all available resources to bring progressive changes in the health sector.

“Personal protection equipment, face masks, gloves and other necessary equipment are also available in bulk and even the government ensured food availability during this challenging time,” he said.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2020

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