QUETTA: Balochistan Health Department has established isolation wards in all district headquarters (DHQs) hospitals of the province to treat any possible patient of novel coronavirus in the wake of spread of the disease in neighbouring Iran and confirmation of the first two cases in Pakistan.
“The provincial government has set up four-bed isolation wards in all the DHQs hospitals. Necessary equipment and medicines are also being supplied to these wards in order to curb the fatal virus,” said Dr Faheem Afridi, director general health, while speaking with journalists on Thursday.
The official rejected the “rumours” being spread on social media regarding presence of coronavirus cases in Balochistan and Quetta and said not a single person has tested positive in Balochistan.
However, he said, the government has declared high-alert in order to handle any emergency-like situation. “Doctors and paramedics have been directed to ensure presence in their districts while screening is being carried out at Taftan, Panjgur and Chaman [border crossings],” he said.
Dr Afridi urged people who recently traveled to Iran, China or Afghanistan to get their medical tests conducted from nearest health centers.
As novel coronavirus threatens to become a global pandemic, Pakistan confirmed its first two cases of the deadly contagion – medically named COVID-19 – on Wednesday night with the de facto federal health minister reassuring people “there is no need to panic”.
“I can confirm first two cases of coronavirus in Pakistan. Both cases are being taken care of according to clinical standard protocols and both of them are stable,” Dr Zafar Mirza, the special assistant to the prime minister on National Health Services, wrote on his official Twitter handle.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2020.