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Health

APP
January 29, 2020

Health ministry forms technical core committee to monitor coronavirus

Health

APP
Wed, Jan 29, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Wednesday constituted a technical core committee to regularly monitor the situation and make immediate plans to prevent the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

According to an official of the ministry, tasks have been assigned to the core committee, which included Federal Secretary Health Allah Baksh Malik, Executive Director National Institute of Health (NIH) Prof Maj Gen Aamer Ikram, Parliamentary Secretary for Health Dr Nousheen Hamid and representatives from concerned departments.

Dr Mirza said the NIH has already issued an advisory and alert on coronavirus to all provincial health departments and specially points of entries at all airports and ground crossings in the country.

He said the advisory was issued keeping in view the recent coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan city of China and its impact on the globe.

He said the purpose of this advisory was to alert and sensitize the health staff all over the country to remain vigilant about any suspected cases coming from affected areas of China and for early detection of suspected cases of coronavirus infection.

He said the NIH has activated its Emergency Operations Center to monitor the international dynamics of disease and coordination with Central Health Establishment (CHE), World Health Organizations (WHO) and provincial health departments for national prevention and control.

He said directions have been issued to NIH’s virology lab to develop a real time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) capacity for coronavirus as early as possible.

The official said the NIH has developed health education and information material for healthcare staff, passengers and general public as well.

He said the federal health ministry has established contact with all provincial chief ministers, provincial health departments and relevant ministries including Interior dealing with immigration, Aviation Division and National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) to ensure there is seamless coordination and that our efforts are synergized, timely and effective.

He said Dr Zafar Mirza is personally monitoring the situation and holding meeting every 48 hours with heads of hospitals, health institutions and all relevant departments to review the situation and take necessary measures for optimal level of preparedness and mitigation in case of any suspected case.

He said a helpline in this regard will be functional soon for sharing information on the disease and to respond to queries.