Short-sleeved shirts prohibited in parks, public places

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LAHORE: The Punjab government on Thursday took important decisions including strict measures against those who continuously violate dengue fever SOPs and banning the wearing of short-sleeved shirts in parks and public places as part of the measures of dengue fever control.

The decisions were taken at a meeting co-chaired by Punjab’s Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Care (P&SHD), Dr. Akhtar Malik and Chief Secretary Abdullah Khan Sumbal, at the Civil Secretariat on Thursday.

The meeting reviewed the strategy to contain the spread of dengue fever and discussed a proposal to impose heavy fines for larval detection. Other decisions included launching a special campaign to raise public awareness, holding seminars at educational institutions, displaying banners on buildings under construction, and accelerating community mobilization.

Expressing concern over the increase in dengue fever cases in Gujranwala, the provincial minister instructed the commissioner and deputy commissioner to take immediate action. He said all commissioners and deputy commissioners should monitor dengue activities themselves. He added that the next 15 days are very important in terms of dengue fever control and that the health department field teams should intensify indoor and outdoor surveillance, in addition to submitting a daily report on misting and slaughter of larvae at hot spots.

Chief Secretary Abdullah Sumbal has ordered officers to show no leniency in the violation of dengue fever SOPs and to step up the crackdown in high-risk districts. He said collective efforts must be continued to eradicate dengue fever. The Secretary of Primary and Secondary Health Care, Dr. Irshad Ahmed gave a detailed briefing at the meeting. He said the dengue expert team had visited high-risk districts including Rawalpindi and reassessed the micro-plans. This year, 5,981 confirmed dengue fever cases and eight deaths have been reported. 158 people were arrested and 778 cases were recorded in different cities for violation of dengue SOPs.

Secretaries of relevant departments and health officials attended the meeting while all divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners participated via video link.

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