Mirza confirms two new coronavirus cases from Pakistan

APP42-29 ISLAMABAD: February 29 - Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Health Dr. Zafar Mirza jointly addressing a press conference at NIH. APP photo by Saleem Rana

ISLAMABAD, Feb 29 (APP):Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza on Saturday confirmed report of two more cases of coronavirus in Pakistan, bringing the country’s total infections to four.

“I can confirm two new cases of coronavirus disease which were diagnosed today in Pakistan- one in Sindh and other from federal area,” Dr Zafar Mirza said while addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.

Dr Mirza said “These patients are being handled according to clinical protocols while contact tracing has started and we will make sure all concerned are taken well care off.”

He said that national and provincial leaders met today at National Institute of Health (NIH) for a marathon coordination meeting to further ramp up the national effort to combat coronavirus.

“We took action to scale up measures and coordinate across all levels and with all stakeholders.”

He said that important decisions were made in the meeting regarding return of Pakistani Zaireen from Iran. He added a mechanism for return of these Zaireen has been developed and their process of return has been started.

He said that the meeting also discussed the need and requirements of medical staff in hospitals in case of any untoward situation and important decision were also made in this regard.

He said that it was decided that fresh medical staff will be deployed or recruited in these hospitals of the country where there is such shortage. He added some hospitals have been allocated for coronavirus.

He said that a three-member committee has been constituted for public awareness about coronavirus with one member each from Ministry of National Health Services, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and ISPR.

He once again appealed the media to avoid sharing personal details of patients. He said that there is no need to panic as things are under control.

He said “In present situation we need to focus on prevention and showing of responsibility.” In case of any suspected coronavirus patient with having disease symptoms, information should be shared immediately with the health officials, doctors or direct to Health Ministry’s helpline number 1166.

He said that the government has made all necessary arrangements to have check on suspected coronavirus patients and its further spread. He said that those citizens with having travel history of Iran and China and having coronovirus disease symptoms should contact to the medical experts.

Dr Zafar Mirza said effective screening mechanism has been adopted at all Points of Entry (POE) to have check on coronavirus patients. He said that proper screening mechanism was also developed at all airports besides availability of personal protection equipment kits for health staff and regular surveillance.

He expressed the hope that due to better health strategy there is no chance of outbreak of disease in Pakistan. He added during last one month the federal government has taken several steps and adopted standard operating procedure (SOP) about the disease.

He said that due to such steps Pakistan is the last country in the region where coronavirus case was reported very late when cases were reported in all neighboring countries included China, Iran, Afghanistan and India.