Here are the headlines from SAMAA TV’s 3pm bulletin.
According to law, the federal government has the authority to give orders to provinces. All provinces are obliged to follow orders of the Centre, a written notice of the coronavirus suo moto case from the Supreme Court stated. All the provinces, including Islamabad and Gilgit-Baltistan, have been ordered to submit a report.
The government is extensively working on drafting a comprehensive plan to battle the novel coronavirus and provide relief to people in the upcoming days, Prime Minister Imran Khan told his Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan. The PM told Awan to call a parliamentary session and advised residents to follow precautionary measures during Eid.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the World Economic Forum today. He will discuss measures taken by the government to fight the pandemic. The economic situation following lockdown, subsidies for the construction industry, performance of the Coronavirus National Command and Operation Centre and NDMA’s aid to provinces will also be discussed.
Pakistan is expected to receive relief of $2 billion on its loans from G20 countries, PM’s Advisor on Finance Hafeez Sheikh said in the Economic Coordination Committee.
Sindh has reported its highest one-day 1,117 cases in the last 24 hours. The total number of fatalities in the province reached 316 after 17 people succumbed to the virus in the last 24 hours. Karachi reported 813 cases. Of these 283 people are inmates in the Central Jail.
Gujranwala PTI MPA Shaheen Raza passed away from COVID-19 on Wednesday. She was admitted at the Mayo Hospital in Lahore. Punjab CM Usman Buzdar has expressed condolences and grief over her death.
As Eid approaches, prices of essential commodities such as fruits, vegetable and meat, across the country have sky-rocketed. The administration has failed to take action against the whole sellers, the residents claim.
The Sindh government has reopened malls in the province over orders of the Supreme Court. SOPs have to be strictly followed. People over 50 and children will not be allowed. Food court, salons and play areas inside the malls will remain closed.
Punjab has allowed malls and shopping plazas to be opened from 9am to 5pm. Restaurants, food stalls and play rides will stay closed. Restaurants will be opened after Eid. The dates will be decided later. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan have extended their smart lockdowns until May 31 and June 2 respectively.
Passenger trains have resumed operations across the country after two months. Thirty trains have been scheduled from multiple cities. The first trains, the Pakistan Express, left Rawalpindi for Karachi and Lahore Wednesday morning. The first train from Karachi to Peshawar, the Awam Express, left at 10am. Seats can only be booked online and only 60% of the seats can be booked. Passengers have been asked to bring masks, sanitiser, soap and gloves with them.
A deadlock remains between the Punjab government and transporters. Public transport owners have decided not to resume service before Eid. Transporters in Karachi have complained of suffering massive losses due to lockdown. They have said that if the government doesn’t contact them soon, they will be forced to come out on the roads.
The weather in all provinces of the country has become hot and dry. In Karachi, the temperature is expected to rise above 39 degrees Celsius.