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February 10, 2020

Coronavirus quarantine facility gets operational

Islamabad

February 10, 2020

Rawalpindi : The Punjab health department in coordination with district administration has made a quarantine facility operational here at Rawalpindi Institute of Urology (RIU) in town to prevent the spread of infection caused by 2019 novel Coronavirus however the facility has received not a single person to be quarantined till Sunday, in the first 24 hours of its inception.

Medically, a quarantine is restriction on the movement of people and goods in some cases intended to prevent the spread of disease or pests preventing the movement of those who may have been exposed to a communicable disease and suspected of carrying some infectious or contagious disease, but do not have a confirmed medical diagnosis. It is a strict isolation imposed upon ships, persons, animals, or plants on arrival at a port or place from infected areas.

Initially a 50-bed quarantine facility has been made operational at RIU that is still under construction and is not operational on the subject of receiving any kind of patients, said Medical Superintendent at RIU Dr. Khalid Randhawa while talking to ‘The News’ on Sunday.

He said on Friday night, the RIU placed 50 beds for keeping persons reaching here in town from infected areas of the world and the facility got operational on Saturday. The facility would keep travelers reaching here from infected areas and who have not completed quarantine period in any other country for 10 to 40 days in quarantine, he said.

He said the RIU has been selected for establishment of quarantine facility as it is not exposed to general patients or public. The RIU would arrange staff from the three teaching hospitals in town, he said.

The facility would be used to keep patients under observation only and in case of finding any patient positive for coronavirus, the patient would be moved to Benazir Bhutto Hospital that has been designated as the specialized healthcare facility to deal with coronavirus cases in northern part of the country.

It is important that cruise ships have been quarantined around the world after spread of coronavirus to as many as 25 countries including Diamond Princess, quarantined for over two weeks off the coast of Japan, in Yokohama, the World Dream quarantined in Hong Kong and the Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas in New Jersey in the US. There have been reports that the number of patients being tested positive for coronavirus illness on the ships is on the rise.

Experts believe that in case of keeping travelers at RIU reaching here from infected areas, strict isolation is needed otherwise any infected traveler may cause spread of the disease in the country.

We have planned to keep travelers in strict isolation but still we are expecting that many a persons may leave the facility against medical advice (LAMA), said Dr. Randhawa while responding to a query.

It is important that the virus named 2019-nCoV that was identified in Wuhan city, Hubei Province of China on 9th January 2020 with more than 200 confirmed human infections and at least two deaths has so far claimed over 750 lives while well over 35000 patients have been confirmed positive around the globe.