LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Sardar Usman Buzdar on Thursday chaired an important meeting at the Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department regarding the steps that the Punjab government has taken to deal with the threat of coronavirus.
Provincial Ministers Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Samiullah Chaudhary, Dr Muhammad Akhtar Malik, Hashim Jawan Bakhat, Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) Mussarat Jamshed Cheema, health secretary, ACS (Home) and others attended the meeting.
The Primary and Secondary Healthcare secretary informed the meeting that 82,000 cases had surfaced around the world, including 78,000 in China whereas 33,000 patients had recovered.
The chief minister directed effective monitoring and vigilance of different entry points, adding that additional staff of the health department had been deputed at airports for passengers’ screening but strict monitoring of entry points was also essential.
He said that a cabinet committee, comprised of all stakeholders to review steps after monitoring the situation on a daily basis, would be constituted immediately.
The Punjab CM also approved the immediate procurement of equipment needed to handle the virus, adding that Rs236 million had been released by the Punjab government for this purpose. “A coronavirus diagnostic facility is available in Punjab,” he added.
The meeting also decided to launch a vigorous awareness campaign within the next few hours.
Further, the chief minister said that an isolation ward of 75 beds had been set up at Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) while another isolation unit of 35 beds was set up in Mayo Hospital.
Similarly, an isolation ward has been established in Services Hospital and such wards were being set up at hospitals in northern and southern Punjab.
The CM then directed that a report on the implementation of his decisions be submitted within 24 hours to the CM Office. “The situation is normal in Punjab but we would have to remain fully vigilant,” he observed.
Further, he asked the line departments to complete their preparations for dealing with any possible situation and ensure that the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) standard of procedures (SOPs) are implemented.