Friday, May 27, 2022

Coronavirus response: SC asks govt to remove Dr Zafar Mirza as SAPM on Health


ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday asked the federal government to remove Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza from his post, ARY News reported.

The apex court while hearing a suo motu case related to the situation arising out of the coronavirus crisis, has expressed displeasure over the performance of Dr Zafar Mirza in dealing with coronavirus pandemic and ordered the government to remove him.

A five-member larger bench of the apex court — headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Gulzar Ahmed — was hearing the case.

During the hearing, the CJP, while expressing anger said the top court is not satisfied with the performance of Zafar Mirza as a health advisor.

The CJP asked Attorney General Pakistan about ongoing inquiry against Dr Zafar Mirza by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

To which, the attorney general informed the court that FIA is investigating him over masks issue which was sent to China with the approval of the government.

“Removing Zafar Mirza from post at this point will not be suitable for the country as it will create more crisis amid coronavirus pandemic,” the attorney general told the court.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Friday took first suo motu notice over ‘insufficient facilities’ in the country to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.

CJP Justice Gulzar issued notices to the attorney general, health secretary and interior secretary. Besides, the chief justice also summoned all the chief secretaries and advocate generals of the four provinces.

It must be noted that SC had earlier expressed displeasure over steps taken by authorities to combat the COVID-19 in the country.

The Supreme Court also ordered to set up proper quarantine centers at Taftan, Chaman and Torkham borders for coronavirus patients.

Hearing a case pertaining to the closure of OPDs and availability of facilities amid coronavirus pandemic, the apex court ordered the federal government to establish quarantine facilities at all three borders within one month.

In a report submitted to the apex court on Saturday, the government informed CJP Ahmed that an emergency had been declared in the border areas of Balochistan with Iran, with additional staff deployed at border crossings.

The court was informed that 207 hospitals in all major cities and 154 districts across Pakistan had been identified for isolation of suspected patients of the coronavirus.

As of April 13, confirmed coronavirus cases reached 5,374 in the country as 93 people have died from the infection till to date, according to the national dashboard.

According to the available statistics, 336 cases have been reported in the country during the last 24 hours.

Punjab has the highest number of infections up to 2,594, 1,411 in Sindh, 744 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), 230 in Balochistan, 224 in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), 131 in Islamabad and 40 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.


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