Hospitals rush to combat Congo scare, set up isolation wards

Khawar Khan

KARACHI: Hospitals in Karachi have begun implementing measures to be better prepared to deal with the deadly Congo virus, which has already claimed 19 victims in Pakistan this year.

Ministry of Health has set up ‘isolation wards’ at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Civil Hospital and Jinnah Hospital following the death of a Congo virus patient at Jinnah Hospital on Friday.

Doctors and paramedical staff who had attended to the patient at the hospital are also being observed and monitored for possible signs of the virus, according to Jinnah Hospital deputy director Dr Javed Jamali.

Discussing preventative measures against the tick-borne Congo virus, he said that according to medical experts bathing sacrificial animals in chlorine-mixed water removes the ticks, if any.

According to Senior Director Health Services Dr Muhammad Ali Abbasi, an isolation ward containing 40 beds has been established at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. Doctors and hospital staff have also been issued instructions to protect themselves against the virus, he said.

Meanwhile Balochistan’s Department of Veterinary Affairs, in a bid to counter the Congo scare, has issued an alert under which spraying of cattle is underway with help from Quetta administration.

Spraying is also underway at cattle markets in Peshawar ahead of Eid-ul-Azha as part of precautionary measures against the virus.

Animals being brought to the cattle markets are also being inspected for the virus.