LAHORE: A special team of the Punjab Health Department is set to leave for India within the next few days to finalise matters with the neighbouring country’s authorities for importing medicines and chemicals to counter the dengue virus, The Express Tribune has learnt.
On the instructions of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the health secretary contacted the Indian high commissioner and worked out a plan to go to India to ensure that the medicines are in accordance with the standards of the World Health Organization.
Machines which separate platelets from blood are also being imported from Germany, an official told The Express Tribune.
However, a member of the Special Emergency Committee, set up for eradication of dengue, said that there were no specific medicines for treating dengue virus, adding that anti-mosquito sprays and chemicals were being imported from India.
“Mosquitoes that carry the virus have become resistant to certain sprays. A spray of specific composition is effective against them which we are importing from India,” the member, who is also a doctor, said on condition of anonymity.
Additionally, an 11-member team of Sri Lankan experts, comprising epidemiologists and public health experts, will reach Lahore today to provide technical assistance to the Punjab government.
CM Shahbaz Sharif, while presiding over a meeting to review measures against dengue on Tuesday, said that a special committee comprising assembly members should negotiate for providing diagnostic facilities to dengue patients in private laboratories at reasonable charges. Sharif added that stern action will be taken against those involved in taking advantage of the outbreak through price hikes of mosquito repellants.
Meanwhile, Secretary Health Punjab Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan while briefing the media said that the number of dengue cases in Punjab has reached 4,327. He added that in the last 24 hours, 499 fresh cases have been reported, adding that no death has so far been reported.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2011.
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