Yasmin Rashid says Punjab much better prepared to battle second wave of coronavirus

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Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid in a meeting. Photo Courtesy: Jang/File
  • Punjab Health Minister emphasised that patients showing moderate to severe symptoms must visit hospitals instead of home treatment.
  • The quality and accuracy of testing at public and private labs are being continuously monitored
  • Rashid also highlighted that services are improving at public-sector facilities

LAHORE: Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has said that Punjab is much better prepared to fight off the second wave of coronavirus due to lessons learned during the first wave of the deadly pandemic, The News reported on Thursday.

Speaking as chief guest at a seminar on the Importance of Diagnostics in Corona Prevention and Future Challenges at a local hotel, the provincial minister said: “Punjab has spent Rs14 billion on corona pandemic so far. The Protocols are being continuously revised and updated according to guidelines of the National Command Operation Centre (NCOC).”

She also emphasised that patients showing moderate to severe symptoms must visit hospitals instead of seeking home treatment.

Steps for enhancing testing capacity and measures to control the spread of the virus came under discussion as well. The participants were all praise for Punjab over its performance against the coronavirus pandemic under the leadership of Dr Yasmin Rashid.

Lauding the organisers for hosting the event, the minister said: “Coronavirus pandemic has affected the world economy beyond estimates. Punjab government allocated enough resources to fight the pandemic and set up 18 BSL-3 Labs in the Public Sector.”

The 19th BSL-3 Lab is being established in Rahim Yar Khan and the testing capacity has been increased from 400 tests per day to 22,000 tests during the pandemic. 

Read more: Health cards for 45% of Punjab by June end, says Yasmin Rashid

This helped expand the Contact Tracing programme, she said, adding that during the first wave, the Corona Expert Advisory Group was instrumental in controlling the Pandemic in the first wave.

Testing private, public labs closely being monitored

Rashid went on to add that the quality and accuracy of testing at public and private labs are being continuously monitored.

“The pandemic situation is much better in Pakistan than in many other countries of the world. The spread of the virus is being monitored across the province through smart lockdowns.”

“Due to policies of the government, the economy and coronavirus prevention go together and all-out efforts were made to minimise effects on employments,” Rashid highlighted.

The minister said that all stakeholders must work together to control the pandemic. Coronavirus vaccine shall be available through uniform policy very soon in Pakistan, she added.

More than 10,000 oxygenated beds are available in Punjab along with ventilators. Improving health facilities for the public is the government’s first priority. Services are improving at public sector facilities, she added.

“We are endeavouring to improve healthcare services according to the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar,” she concluded.

Chairman Corona Expert Advisory Group Dr Mehmud Shaukat, Dean Institute of Public Health Dr Zarfishn Tahir, World Health Organisation representative Dr Jamshed, Dr Javed Hayat, Brig (Retd) Dr Hameed, Dr Faiz from Karachi, Dr Asif Ali from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa among others attended the event via video link.



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