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March 22, 2020

11 confirmed coronavirus patients in twin cities hospitals

Islamabad

March 22, 2020

Islamabad : As many as 11 patients confirmed positive for disease caused by 2019 novel coronavirus, COVID-19 have been undergoing treatment at the two public sector hospitals in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi but still majority of people in the region are not willing to adopt precautionary measures seriously.

Data collected by ‘The News’ on Saturday reveals that a total of nine patients confirmed positive for COVID-19 have been undergoing treatment at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) while two confirmed patients have already been discharged after complete cure according to hospital sources.

Another two confirmed patients of COVID-19 have been undergoing treatment at Corona Management Centre established at Rawalpindi Institute of Urology in Rawalpindi including one patient who had reached Pakistan from Dubai two days back and the other from United Kingdom. The CMC at RIU received one confirmed patient of COVID-19 from Benazir Bhutto Hospital yesterday (Friday) and the other from District Headquarters Hospital Jhelum today (Saturday), said Medical Superintendent at RIU Dr. Khalid Randhawa while talking to ‘The News’ on Saturday.

The patient referred by BBH who belongs to District Buner in Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa province reached Pakistan from Dubai and the patient referred by DHQ Hospital Jhelum reached Pakistan from UK, he said. He added both the patients are stable and are not in need of ventilator support. In the federal capital, the samples of suspected patients are being sent through PIMS only at least at the time to National Institute of Health for confirmation and to date, a total of 11 confirmed patients of COVID-19 have received treatment at PIMS of which two have been discharged.

The Executive Director at PIMS Dr. Ansar Maqsood informed ‘The News’ that PIMS is sending samples of suspects to NIH though Chughtai Lab (private laboratory) and AFIP have also been sending samples to NIH for confirmation. Dr. Ansar who is reluctant to give exact number of confirmed patients undergoing treatment at PIMS while talking to ‘The News’ added the PIMS deals with COVID-19 suspects reaching hospital through government channels like the suspects reaching hospital from airport after screening.

To date, we have received well over 1,000 persons but all of them were not requiring confirmation tests, he said. The hospital is sending 10 to 15 samples daily to the NIH on average for confirmatory tests, he said. Referring to the Daily Situation Report on COVID-19 updated once after every 24 hours by Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination Field Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Division (FEDSD), National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, he said the ministry itself is disseminating information about COVID-19 cases.

He added so far the COVID-19 has not claimed any life at PIMS which is a good omen. It is time to give people courage instead of creating panic, he said.

Giving a much positive message, Dr. Ansar said the hospitals may not close their departments including OPDs though it is time to sensitize people on the issue. Individuals should not visit hospitals unless they are in dire need of it. Also many attendants are not needed with a patient in any department and individuals should not come out of homes unnecessarily, he said. He said people should follow the protocol of self-isolation and quarantine themselves at home if needed to avoid huge damage being caused by COVID-19 in a number of countries severely hit by coronavirus.

On the other hand, it is important that a significant proportion of residents in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi are not following precautionary measures seriously as almost all markets particularly in Rawalpindi are operating as per routine.