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Pakistan Coast Guards screened 4,256 fishermen for COVID-19, governor told


The Pakistan Cost Guards (PCG) have so far conducted screening of 4,256 fishermen who had been fishing in the open sea in 284 boats along the Pakistani coastline to detect the cases of the novel coronavirus among them.

The information to this effect was provided to Sindh Governor Imran Ismail on Monday as he met PCG Director General (DG) Brig Saqib Qamar at the Governor House.

The PCG DG informed the governor that after the screening, four suspected cases of coronavirus among the fishermen were referred to a hospital in Gwadar.

He said 20 small and big boats and 600 personnel of the coast guards had been active to prevent the spread of coronavirus among the fishermen communities. Brig Qamar told the governor that the coast guards had also distributed rations among 730 families of fishermen in view of their hardships due to the lockdown regime.

He said fishermen associated with small-scale fisheries had been allowed to do fishing activities up to five nautical miles through the use of small fishing boats in view of their economic hardships due to the lockdown. Speaking on the occasion, Ismail lauded the services of the PCG in distributing rations among the poor fishermen communities.

He said the state institutions like the coast guards had an important role to play in preventing the spread of coronavirus among the people. He also appreciated the services of the PCG against illegal activities through maritime routes including smuggling.

Restaurant industry

The restaurant industry has been facing serious troubles in paying salaries to their employees owing to the continuing financial losses they have been incurring due to the lockdown in Sindh over the past 15 days.

A delegation of the All Pakistan Restaurants’ Association told this to the governor as they called on him at the Governor House. Various issues related to the eateries and their employees due to the lockdown regime came under discussion during the meeting.

The delegation informed the governor about the problems of hotels and eateries associated with the hospitality industry as businesses had been completely shut over the past two weeks to slow the spread of COVID-19 among the masses.

Ismail said the lockdown regime in the province had been extended by the government till April 14 as the government wanted to ensure social distancing and avoid crowding to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

He said the present government had been fully aware of the issues of the business community in the current scenario of the lockdown as it had gradually started taking steps to overcome the present challenging scenario.

The governor said he would contact the relevant institutions to let them know about the pressing issues of the hotels and restaurants. He said he would try his best that such issues were resolved as soon as possible. The delegation comprised Zubair Baweja, Shaukat Ali, Waqar Azeem, Azhar Sultan, Masood Kalia, Mansoor Baweja, and Saeed Qureshi.

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