AHORE: The Punjab health department was “ready to tackle the coronavirus”, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said Tuesday, reiterating that the provincial government had neither imposed a lockdown nor a curfew.

The chief minister was addressing a news conference via video link with senior members of the provincial cabinet. In response to a question, CM Buzdar said that hospitals across the province were ready to deal with the pandemic.

“Our health department is ready to tackle the coronavirus,” he said. “We have issued directives to the health department to purchase the equipment needed to battle the coronavirus.”

Buzdar announced that the local elections across the province had been delayed for nine months owing to the pandemic. He said the government was focused on ensuring the poor were looked after as long as the pandemic lasted.

“I want to make it clear that this is not a curfew or a lockdown, as you can read in the notification,” he said. “We want to make sure the poor and the daily wage earners are looked after.”

In response to a question about mosques being open throughout the province, he said the government has issued advisories for mosques and places of worship earlier.