PESHAWAR: The provincial government on Tuesday announced that it has shut all outpatient departments (OPDs) at the teaching and district headquarters hospitals and other related services across the province from today (Wednesday). This closure will remain in effect until April 13.
In a notification on Tuesday, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) health department directed all teaching and district headquarters (DHQs) hospital to close their OPDs and additional services.
Moreover, they were directed to establish a system at the entrances of the hospitals for separating patients visiting health facilities. The administrations were also directed to enhance emergency services.
Meanwhile, the provincial health department on Tuesday said that most of the 253 Covid-19 patients in the province were locally transmitted.
Providing a segregated update, K-P Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra said 188 cases in the province relate to people returning from foreign countries or from other parts of the country, while 65 cases relate to returnees from the Taftan border quarantine centre.
In a statement on microblogging network Twitter, Jhagra said they have separated indigenous cases and people from abroad for better understanding, adding that greater insight with data could help them plan better.
CM briefed on efforts against Covid-19
K-P Chief Minister Mahmood Khan on Tuesday presided over a meeting held to review the emerging situation due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the province and to decide on a future course of action.
The chief minister was informed that decisions taken in the last meeting of the provincial cabinet regarding social distancing to control the outbreak of corona pandemic are being fully implemented across the province.
The meeting told that at least 215 quarantine centres have been set up across the province, of which 24 centres are active at the moment.
Medical tests for a majority of Iran-returned pilgrims, quarantined at Darazinda area of DI Khan, have been reported as clear and they are now being sent to their homes to live in quarantine for next two weeks, he was informed.
The meeting decided to provide free, ration packages to families of those kept at government quarantine facilities.
The meeting was further informed that a risk allowance for frontline healthcare and rescue workers is being prepared by the K-P finance department and will be announced soon.
The meeting also reviewed arrangements for people expected to cross over when the Torkham border is reopened, apart from those arriving on international flights at the Bacha Khan International Airport (BKIA).
The chief minister was informed that testing capacity for Covid-19 in the province has increased from 100 to 300 per day, and is expected to increase up to 500 within the next few days.
As many as 215 quarantine centres, 554 high dependency units and 2,400 isolation beds have been arranged for Covid-19 patients across the province, the meeting was briefed.
The number of ventilators available in public sector hospitals of the province has doubled as well.
The forum was further informed that at least 15,000 volunteers have been identified by the health department and the district administrations for inclusion in rapid response teams.
Hayatabad lockdown ends
The Peshawar district administration on Tuesday has cleared 80 houses in the Hayatabad area of the provincial capital which had been placed under a lockdown, in the wake the pandemic.
Life there regained some semblance of normalcy after around 15 days.
Police had sealed the house of a coronavirus patient and adjoining areas in Hayatabad after he was tested positive. The area has been cleared and police officers have been withdrawn.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2020.