At the directives of Dr. Zafar Mirza, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health, the Ministry of National Health Services has set up an emergency operations cell after the outbreak of Coronavirus in Wuhan, China.
Fearing the transmission of Coronavirus into the country, Dr. Mirza summoned an emergency meeting to discuss the preparedness and response of the health ministry to deal with the disease.
Dr. Zafar Mirza has directed the airport and seaport health services authority to conduct checkups of all travelers coming to Pakistan from Wuhan at all entry points. Since 41 flights from China land in Pakistan each week, Dr. Zafar ordered to undertake quarantine arrangements and strengthen health desks at entry points.
The Special Assistant has requested masses to not heed rumors as the health ministry is consistently monitoring the situation. The health ministry is in close contact with the Chinese Embassy and will provide regular updates to the public.
Dr. Zafar Mirza said
The health ministry has formally written to all provincial administrations to ensure necessary arrangements are in place to deal with any situation. National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is taken on board to assist the provinces in case any unwanted situation arises.
NIH on High Alert
Executive Director of National Institute of Health (NIH), Prof. Maj. Gen. (R) Aamer Ikram, said that NIH has placed the emergency operations center on high alert.
The emergency operations center is coordinating with the World Health Organization (WHO), Central Health Establishment (CHE), and provincial health departments to monitor the international dynamics of Coronavirus. The virology lab at NIH is also enhancing its real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) capacity.
Besides, NIH has developed information and educational material on Coronavirus to raise awareness among the healthcare practitioners, passengers, and the general public.
In the coming week, NIH officials will visit airports and seaports to review the quarantine and preventive measures. NIH has ensured to extend maximum assistance to healthcare staff working at entry points of the country.