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March 19, 2020

South Punjab facing coronavirus pandemic

Top Story

March 19, 2020

LAHORE: South Punjab is on the verge of falling to coronavirus pandemic as 14 persons test positive out of 194 screened for the virus in Dera Ghazi Khan.

Talking to The News, Nasim Sadiq commissioner of DG Khan, confirmed that 829 pilgrims under the leadership of 64 ‘salars’/heads were quarantined in DG Khan at three different places. Among them 268 are women, 64 children and the rest are men. One ‘salar’ was leading 25 to 30 pilgrims. These pilgrims came from Iran viaTaftan border and were quarantined in Ghazi University, Chakar University and PTDC. Tests of 42 persons were conducted on March 15. Five contracted corona virus and were shifted to Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital in Muzaffargarh. Tests of 48 pilgrims were conducted on March 17 while 104 tests were conducted Wednesday, whose results are awaited. Results of 34 people were found negative, DG Khan Commissioner said.

Safety kits have been provided to all the doctors. In case of emergency, he said they have gathered all details of available ventilators in public and private hospitals. “Similarly, if certain ventilators are out of order, we have made arrangements to repair all essential equipment accordingly,” he added. However, he said none of the coronavirus patients had died nor required to be put on a ventilator so far.

He said the health department had deputed four doctors including two female doctors to look after them and provide treatment to the suspected and confirmed virus patients at these health facilities. “The doctors’ shifts change after every three hours,” he added.

Silwat Saeed Special Secretary Specialised Healthcare and Medical Education Department (SHC&ME) said “the pilgrims will complete 14 days at quarantine, if symptoms appear in the patients, they will be sent to a hospital, where they would get treatment. For this purpose, master trainers like Dr Ahmed Nadeem AMS Services Hospital Lahore, Dr Tabish SMO Services Hospital, Dr Tahir Raza PG trainee service and Dr Naz Akram PG trainee Service Hospital were sent to DG Khan, where they imparted training to the doctors.

Young Doctors Association’s DG Khan President Dr Nauman Chaudhry said waste of infected corona patients was being disposed of in medical colony of DG Khan. Incinerator was not working. The waste could be burnt outside the city or mountainous areas. It could be harmful for the residents of DG Khan as it was transported through the city and burnt in the open in a residential colony.

The federal government, provinces and all stakeholders have been working on war-footing for safety and well-being of people of Pakistan. All resources are mobilised and measures taken for preventive and mitigation. According to federal government, 247 coronavirus cases are conformed.