Saturday Feb 29, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has called for an important high-level meeting on Saturday at the National Institute of Health (NIH) related to tackling a possible spread of the coronavirus in the country.
According to an official document, provincial health representatives will also be part of the meeting via video link. The health officials will be briefed about steps taken to combat the spread of the pandemic.
These steps include measures taken on the western border with Afghanistan and Iran, as well as the protocols being adopted at different airports across the country to scan for possible cases.
Health officials will also be briefed about thermal scanning and medical teams deployed in areas to deal with possible cases of virus across the country in major public and private hospitals.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa home secretary will apprise the federal government, via video link, of the measures put in place by the provincial authorities to stem the spread of the virus.
More than 2,700 people have died in China since the outbreak began in December last year. More than 78,000 cases have been confirmed inside of mainland China.
Earlier this week, Pakistan reported its first two cases of coronavirus. The first case was reported from Karachi, in a 22-year-old who had recently returned from Iran.
The 22-year-old's condition had reportedly started to deteriorate on February 18 and he underwent a hijama — or cupping therapy — at a local health centre in the Iranian city of Mashhad. After that, he suffered from a headache.
He had arrived in Karachi on February 20, indicating that there were chances that the thermal screening machines at the airports for those entering the country may not have worked after all.
The other coronavirus patient was a resident of Islamabad who had been admitted to the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) where he was being treated, his condition being stable and improving.