PESHAWAR: The health department tested 10 persons with travel history to China during the past 14 days and found them unsuspecting for coronavirus as a new suspected patient was admitted to hospital with symptoms of the virus on Monday.
Those with travel record to neighbouring China did not show any symptoms of the virus, said a report.
It said that eighth suspected patient of the province was hospitalised at Lady Reading Hospital after he presented symptoms along with record of visiting China. LRH has reserved 24 beds for suspected patients.
So far, seven samples from the province have tested negative at National Institute of Health Islamabad and the result of fresh suspected patient was awaited, said the situation report prepared by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa directorate-general of health services regarding the virus that originated in China.The NIH has tested samples taken from 48 persons from all the provinces but there was no confirmed case in Pakistan.
The report said that high vigilance measures were taken to ensure access to all those people, who visited China during the last fortnight.
At present there was no threat but efforts were underway to extend screening to all suspected people and further strengthen work at the airports.
New suspected patient admitted to LRH
It said that robust screening of suspected cases of coronavirsu continued at Bacha Khan International Airport where 1,364 persons arriving in seven flights underwent the screening and allowed to go after no signs were found.
The report said that government allocated 894 beds for suspected patients at the public and private sector hospitals in each and every district.
Allocation of beds and staff continued for isolation of any suspected cases across the province.
Field epidemiologists are ready to start interventions and trace any suspected case for more investigations.
The report said that the number of globally confirmed cases of coronavirsu reached 37,558 with 813 deaths recorded so far.
It said that enhanced standard for infection control was ordered in healthcare facilities for prevention. All protocols were followed regarding isolation, case reporting and transportation, it added.
The report said that public awareness was significant.
People should be asked to avoid close contact with patients suffering from acute respiratory infection.
In case of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing, they should seek medical care to prevent further complications.
Frequent hand washing, especially after direct, contact with ill people or their environment, while those having symptoms of acute respiratory infection should cover their coughing and sneezing with disposable tissue and wash hands immediately afterwards.
“If you don’t have a tissue, then cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands,” said the report. It cautioned against frequent travel and visiting crowds to prevent infection.
Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2020