Provincial government to grant 15-day leave to employees over 50, reduce prisoners’ sentences by two months
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government on Tuesday announced a series of measures designed to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus, including a reduction in prisoners’ sentences, mandatory leave for employees over 50, and cancellation of police leaves and training exercises.
Addressing a press conference a day after the province confirmed 15 cases of COVID-19, Adviser to the C.M. on Information Ajmal Wazir said the government’s focus was on protecting people from contracting the virus. “We are considering closing government offices. All employees aged 50 and above would be given 15-day mandatory leave; prisoners’ sentences would be reduced by two months; training exercises for police have been postponed and police officers have been asked to come back to duty; schools have also been shut,” he said.
Wazir said there was no need to panic but urged citizens to adopt preventative measures to protect them from the coronavirus. “Avoid going out, stay away from people who have a high temperature and wash your hands,” he said, adding that the province had not yet reported any case of community spread and all the confirmed patients were pilgrims who had been released from quarantine in Taftan after spending two weeks there upon their return from Iran.
Referring to the 250 pilgrims that are set to return to their homes in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa today, the adviser to the C.M. said quarantine facilities had been established at the Gomal Medical College in Dera Ismail Khan. Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has directed for adequate provision of groceries and other amenities for all those quarantined, he added.
Wazir said the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government was meeting with local ulema and attempting to bring them onboard for a comprehensive plan to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the province. He said the government was “closely monitoring the situation” and would not hesitate to make decisions that were in the best interests of the people.