Courts to be functional despite coronavirus

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ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Thursday chaired a meeting of National Judicial Policy Making Committee (NJPMC) where it was decided against shutting countrywide courts despite rising number of coronavirus cases.

The meeting decided that the courts across the country would remain open and follow all standard operating procedures (SOPs) aimed at tackling the spread of virus. “We will not shatter the hopes of masses who look towards the judiciary for dispensing justice,” the meeting decided.

However, it said the chief justices of the high courts were authorized to take decisions on their own keeping in view the ground realities. The apex court judge Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan was appointed as the focal person to coordinate with the lower courts keeping in view the developing situation.

“The high courts will also appoint their focal persons,” the decision said adding that all high court would be bound to follow the SOPs devised to deal with the virus. Punjab Health Minister Yasmin Rashid on Thursday confirmed that 45 new coronavirus cases have been detected in the province.

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid while addressing a press conference announced that overall tally of cases in Punjab has climbed to 78 after 45 more tested positive for COVID-19.

Balochistan on Thursday also reported 22 more coronavirus cases, taking Pakistan’s tally of such patients t0 377. According to Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani, all patients being placed in isolation centre.

A total of 252 tests of the individuals kept in Quetta quarantine centre were conducted from which 16 individuals have tested positive thus far. With the 22 new cases, the overall provincial tally has reached 45.

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