LAHORE: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid said on Wednesday that several more areas of Lahore are being placed under complete lockdown for a week to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
She said while addressing a press conference that important areas, including Gulberg, Model Town, Garden Town, Faisal Town, DHA, Gulshan Ravi and Walled City, will be sealed for one week.
Dr Rashid said Punjab government was following the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO) regrading the treatment of coronavirus patients and burial of victims.
She said the government wants to protect the interest of people and the economy and it would not tolerate any hurdle in this s committed to protecting common people and the economy.
She said the decision regarding reopening educational institutions would be taken after comprehensive consultations and review of all aspects related to the issue.
The minister said patients who had recovered from coronavirus should donate plasma as a noble service.
She said there had been at least 69,536 coronavirus cases in the province, including 34,708 in Lahore.
She said around 20,000 patients had recovered from the disease in the province.
The health minister said 738 patients of the disease were under treatment in public and private hospitals in the city and the government was providing them best possible health facilities.
She said 60 ventilators and 250 beds for Covid-19 patients were free in hospitals in the city.
She said the government had increased diagnostic test facilities in the hospitals on the instructions of the prime minister and chief minister.
The minister said the government had prepared a 10-day to counter the pandemic and it was now bringing good results.
She said that situation regarding spread of coronavirus is under control in Punjab and the government is also sealing posh areas of Lahore under the lockdown. She said it was the responsibility of the nation to follow the preventive standard operating procedures (SOPs) announced by the government.
She said violations of the lockdown had been seen in markets and it was a duty of the people follow the government’s instructions to defeat coronavirus.
The minister said
She said milk shops, bakeries, medical stores and other essential services would not be closed in the sealed areas.
She said doctors were struggling hard for treatment of patients but some elements were spreading rumours.
She said the government is also taking measures against other diseases and medical services are continuing in the wards and outpatient departments of hospitals.
The minister said some people were selling their plasma and the government would soon introduce a law against the practice.
She said the government had established a plasma centre at the King Edward Medical University and Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute.
She appreciated the role of religious scholars regarding awareness about the pandemic and said the government had given relaxation in restrictions for burial of the victims to facilitate the people. One member of the family is allowed to attend the funeral.
The minister said capacity of the isolation wards had been increased and more facilities would be provided in the hospitals of the province.
About 30 per cent beds for coronavirus patients were available in the hospitals and the government was making arrangements for the future, she added.
The minister claimed that the number of new coronavirus cases had decreased because of steps taken by the government.
She said the number of beds and oxygen cylinders had also been increased in the hospitals in Multan, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad and other big cities.
She said three PCR machines donated by the WHO had been given to the Jinnah Hospital, Quaid-e-Azam Hospital and Shaikh Zayed Hospital.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 25th, 2020.