Prime Minister Imran Khan has advised the countrymen to exercise extra caution during the preparations for upcoming Eid-ul-Azha to avert a resurgence of the coronavirus as the curve was on a flattening trend in the country.
“I appeal to my people not to do again what they did on previous Eid (Eidul Fitr). Any public gathering reasons the spread of the virus and puts pressure on hospitals, doctors and nurses besides causing deaths,” the prime minister remarked talking to media persons after inaugurating the first-ever Isolation Hospital and Infections Treatment Centre here.
He was accompanied by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz, Special Assistant on Information and Broadcasting Asim Saleem Bajwa while Chairman National Disaster Management Authority Lt. Gen. Muhammad Afzal and Brigadier Asim of the Authority briefed him on the project.
Spread over 40-Kanal land, the 250-bed pre-fabricated facility is fully equipped to combat COVID-19 pandemic providing all modern facilities including five Intensive Care Units, ventilators, nurse calling system as well as maiden E-ICU facility to allow doctors from abroad to treat the patients through telemedicine.
The Chinese government had provided $4 million for the construction of the facility.
The prime minister said that the effective measures collectively taken by the provinces as advised by the NCOC, had amazingly led to the flattening of the coronavirus curve even before the projected time frame.
He said as the infection rate was on a downward trend, it could also surge again if the people showed negligence and violated the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
“I appeal the people to celebrate this Eid with simplicity. The SOPs have been formulated for the Eid. Just for sake of national economy and well being of old-aged people and already ailing people, it is essential to observe Eid with simplicity,” the prime minister said who earlier visited different sections of the hospitals after unveiling its plaque.
He lauded the tremendous work by the NDMA for completion of the facility in record 100 days period despite the lockdown impeding the movement of the people and transportation of material.
He said that the completion of such specialized hospitals manifested the political will of the government to carry out the challenging task in difficult times.
The COVID-combat facility has been opened at a time when the tally of recovered patients stood at 145,311 with 90,554 active cases and 4,983 deaths so far. Out of 24, 333 tests conducted during the last 24 hours, 3,359 tested positive while 61 succumbed to the pathogen.
In his remarks, the NDMA chairman thanked the governments of Pakistan and China, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Yao Jing for extending their full cooperation to complete the mega task.
During the briefing, the prime minister was told that the hospital would be operated through public-private philanthropic partnerships for an interim period of up to December 2020 and it will cost around Rs. 300 million.
The hospital is equipped with five ICUs, isolation wards, 95 oxygenated beds besides being equipped with CCTV cameras, lab information and nurse calling systems.