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March 25, 2020

Over 600 tested positive for COVID-19 in last five days across the country

Islamabad

March 25, 2020

Rawalpindi : The disease caused by 2019 novel coronavirus, COVID-19 has been registering a continuous spread across the country at least for the last five days as on Thursday, March 19, the number of confirmed patients in Pakistan just crossed the figure of 300 while on Tuesday, well over 900 patients have been tested positive for COVID-19.

Even 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 was showing the confirmed number of COVID-19 patients across Pakistan as 887 at its dashboard on Tuesday afternoon. The number on the dashboard was 302 on March 19.

Till filing of this report, the number of confirmed patients of COVID-19 crossed the figure of 920 on Tuesday evening and the population of the town has become under a lockdown.

The concerned government authorities and institutions that according to many health experts were not as serious in taking precautionary measures five days back as they are today (on Tuesday) have put 80 per cent of the country’s population under lockdown, in all provinces on Tuesday but many health experts believe that still a lot is to be done including measures to sensitize public.

The most important thing is to develop quarantine and isolation facilities following the model that China adopted keeping the suspects and confirmed patients in complete isolation away from the congested areas of the cities, said a top level expert serving at Rawalpindi Medical University and allied hospitals in town.

Pleading anonymity, he like many other health experts said people should be informed of the healthcare facilities designated specifically for dealing with coronavirus cases and no suspect should visit any other hospital.

People must be informed that in this region of the Punjab province, Benazir Bhutto Hospital and Corona Management Centre at Rawalpindi Institute of Urology have been designated as the specialized healthcare facilities to deal with COVID-19 cases including suspects and confirmed ones while Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in the federal capital is the only healthcare facility serving the purpose.

Intermingling of suspected and confirmed patients with common patients increases the risk of further spread of the disease and hence they must be separated from other patients, said the experts. They say the designated facilities should develop separate setups for COVOD-19 cases even when they are suspected instead of accommodating them at the space being used by other patients.

Certain measures must be taken to convince people that they must avoid visiting healthcare facilities unless and until they develop certain signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and the government should launch effective awareness campaigns for that, experts say.

It is important that the health department has established a number of quarantine facilities in city areas with an approach to concert these into isolation units if needed. Experts say that isolation units and even the treatment centres to manage COVID-19 cases should be developed outside cities where exposure of other patients is not possible to confirmed patients.

Experts believe that there should not be allowed any attendant with the confirmed patient corona management facilities as the attendant may cause spread of the infection while roaming between home and the healthcare facility.