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February 14, 2020

Haj Complex to be turned into quarantine facility

Islamabad

February 14, 2020

Islamabad : While there is no confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus in Pakistan thus far, the country is still taking measures to fortify preparedness to counter the viral infection in case of an outbreak. With the approval of the Prime Minister, the Haj Complex in Rawalpindi has been designated for the establishment of a quarantine facility in line with recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza shared this information as chair of the Emergency Core Group meeting for Novel Coronavirus preparedness and response here on Thursday.

Isolation wards have been established in major designated hospitals across the country and all necessary arrangements at the quarantine facility are now in place with support of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the National Disaster Management Authority, Dr. Zafar said, thanking both the Ministry and NDMA for completing all arrangements at the facility in the shortest possible time.

The meeting was told that the National Action Plan to ensure preparedness and response against Novel Coronavirus is being implemented in coordination with all stakeholders and all required steps are being taken to protect people from the virus. “There is so far no case of the disease in Pakistan as strict vigilance is being maintained at airports with screening of incoming travelers and their follow-up by dedicated public health teams and airport health authorities.Under the National Action Plan, and in line with WHO Guidelines and international best practices, both isolation facilities at designated hospitals and quarantine arrangements are an essential requirement to meet any eventuality,” added Dr. Zafar.

The SAPM assured the public that the government would pay utmost importance to their protection, guided by the science of public health. “We are working round the clock and maintaining high vigilance to counter the public health challenge posed by this pandemic,” he said, while expressing satisfaction over complete recovery of the four Pakistani students in China who were infected by the virus. “They have been discharged from the hospital after full recovery,” he added.