10,000 policemen deputed for Chinese security ‘vulnerable’ to coronavirus

Updated January 28, 2020

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More than 10,000 personnel of the Punjab police deputed for the security of nearly 4,000 Chinese experts at various sites of CPEC across the province have been declared vulnerable to coronavirus. — Photo courtesy Punjab Police Facebook/File
More than 10,000 personnel of the Punjab police deputed for the security of nearly 4,000 Chinese experts at various sites of CPEC across the province have been declared vulnerable to coronavirus. — Photo courtesy Punjab Police Facebook/File

LAHORE: More than 10,000 personnel of the Punjab police deputed for the security of nearly 4,000 Chinese experts at various sites of CPEC across the province have been declared vulnerable to coronavirus.

Special Protection Unit (SPU) Director/DIG Umer Sheikh in a letter to Inspector General of Punjab Police Shoaib Dastgir has sought medical advice and logistic support for over 10,000 police personnel of the unit guarding Chinese engineers and experts across the province. He stated that the SPU is unit of Punjab police responsible for providing security to the foreigners, especially Chinese nationals across the province.

“As the Chinese move in and out on daily basis in Pakistan it may also spread in our country and our constabulary,” reads the letter of the SPU DIG.

He sought help of the IGP submitting that the Director General Health Services Punjab may be contacted for medical assistance and treatment to the personnel of the SPU in case of resurgence of the coronavirus case.

SPU director seeks medical advice

The DIG further said that the DG Health should also be asked to update the Punjab police about the treatment centres to refer or shift any suspected patient of coronavirus.

In a related development, the World Health Organization (WHO) has provided nearly 100 kits to the DG Health Services Punjab for the purpose of collecting samples of the suspected coronavirus patients.

According to the standard operating procedure, the samples shall be dispatched to the National Institute of Health Sciences (NIH) Islamabad for testing.

Following the high alert, the Punjab government has declared four teaching hospitals as focal institutions for the admission and treatment of suspected coronavirus patients.

The institutions identified are Services Hospital Lahore, Nisthar Hospital Multan, Benazir Bhutto Hospital Rawalpindi and Allama Iqbal Memorial Hospital Sialkot.

The instructions have been issued to all the respective officials, heads of the government hospitals including vice chancellors, principals and medical superintendents besides health authorities to refer or shift suspected patients of coronavirus to these [health] facilities only.

An official said a health team sealed rented house in Ghaziabad Lahore of the Chinese national admitted to the Services Hospital as suspected case of coronavirus as a preventive measure.

He said the team was also trying to reach out to his immediate contacts including locals and his fellows whom he had met recently besides taking his travel history details in order to screen them also for the virus.

Taking more steps, the DG Health Punjab office provided special gowns to the focal hospitals for the doctors and other staff deputed to attend and treat the suspected patients.

Published in Dawn, January 28th, 2020