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June 30, 2020

CEAG research shows animals not carriers of coronavirus

Top Story

June 30, 2020

LAHORE: Ahead of Eidul Azha, Corona Expert Advisory Group (CEAG) has conducted coronavirus tests on animals for research and found no evidence about animals as supposed carriers of coronavirus.

While announcing the arrangements for Eidul Azha on Monday, the CEAG experts said that cattle markets would be set up 15 days before the Eid, but marketing in cities, especially densely populated areas, is not allowed. Dr Jamshed Saqib said face-masks for animal markets visitors would be mandatory. Medical camps would be obligatory to establish in every cattle market, all standard operating procedures (SOPs) would be advertised in the local language of every place and the temperature of every individual will be checked at the entrance gates.

He said the district government and the health department would play a cooperative role in implementation of all these standard operating procedures (SOPs). “Older people and children will be strictly banned from entering the cattle market,” he added. CEAG Chairman Prof Dr Mahmood Shaukat said that the advisory group would soon update the public about SOPs, and those related to sacrifice, about Eidul Azha. He said it is our common responsibility to comply with all the SOPs. He advised people to avoid gathering on religious festivals, avoid embracing each other on Eid and don’t visit populated places. About fake news, rumours and misconceptions about COVID-19, Dr Mahmood said whenever a pandemic or disaster hits, many ambiguities surface and create panic in general public. In these situations, he said, the media could play a very important preventive role to clear such a wave of uncertainties and misinformation.

One of such hoaxes was that with the start of summer, coronavirus would automatically be eliminated due to the intensity of heat. “The gradual decline in corona cases is not due to increased heat and start of summer, but a result of precautions and social distancing,” he added.

He said that recent researches rejected usefulness of ‘sana makki’, rather confirmed its adverse effects on human health. In many cases, he said, patients show signs of severe diarrhoea, while it could be fatal for patients with high blood pressure and diabetes. He said the recent researches have shown that people started abusing all kinds of vitamins and supplements at once, which was quite a harmful practice. The vitamins, zincand folic acid are part of our daily diet and have a key role in boosting our immune system. However, he said, the steroids are a double-edged sword, not in any case a cure for coronavirus. “The steroids reduce some complications, but their unnecessary use can be fatal,” he added.

He also stressed the need to update knowledge about health issues and use of protective equipments. “Many people use N-95 masks even in public places, whereas the use of N-95 masks is only necessary for certain people,” he added.

Rafia Haider said that although we have a testing capacity of 12,000 per day, the number of testing has decreased. “The main reason for the decreasing number of tests is change in our strategy i.e. we stopped testing asymptomatic patients and en bloc inbound flights, while the condition of two negative PCR tests was relaxed and hospital burden had also been reduced a lot. “The elimination of test condition has reduced the number of tests as well,” she said, adding that otherwise our testing capacity is mounting day by day and further capacity of 1,000 tests will be immediately added to our testing capacity of 12,000 per day.