Suspected patients of coronavirus to be quarantined at Haj complex

Published February 14, 2020
SAPM on health says no cases have tested positive in Pakistan so far. — DawnNewsTV/File
SAPM on health says no cases have tested positive in Pakistan so far. — DawnNewsTV/File

ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to designate the Haj Complex in Rawalpindi to quarantine the suspected patients of novel coronavirus landing at the Islamabad airport.

This was announced by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza on Thursday. He said the place had been designated with the approval of the prime minister and support of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

Chairing a meeting of the emergency core group for the coronavirus preparedness and response, Mr Mirza claimed that the National Action Plan against the deadly virus was being implemented and isolation wards for its patients had been established across the country.

He said no case of coronavirus had so far been reported in Pakistan, adding that strict vigilance was being maintained at all airports where dedicated public health teams and airport health officials screen people arriving in the country from abroad.

He said measures were being taken against the deadly virus under the National Action Plan and in line with the World Health Organisation’s guidelines. Both isolation facilities at designated hospitals and quarantine arrangements were essential requirements to meet any eventuality, he added.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resources was informed by the officials of the ministries of foreign affairs and overseas Pakistanis that around 100 million people had been hit by novel coronavirus in China.

They said that only two cities in China had been declared most sensitive.

“There are 1,000 Pakistani students in the two cities. Moreover, there are nationals of 125 countries in China, but only 25 countries have called for evacuation of their citizens from the country. Countries like Bangladesh and Nepal have not called for evacuation of their citizens from China,” the meeting was told.

The meeting, chaired by Senator Hilalur Rehman, was informed that China had quarantined people in both the cities due to which they could not move out of them.

It was also informed that the Pakistani Embassy in China was in contact with every Pakistani and it was making it sure that they receive edible items and other facilities without any interruption.

Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Sassui Palijo expressed concern over the absence of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfikar Ali Bukhari from the meeting.

“He should have attended the meeting as the whole nation, especially parents of Pakistani students in China, is very much concerned,” she said.

Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt suggested that Pakistan should not look at other countries for bringing their children back from China.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2020

Opinion

Big win, bigger challenges
19 Sep 2021

Big win, bigger challenges

Pakistan should be smug. It is not. There are a number of likely scenarios that must be the source of its unease.
Power of stays
19 Sep 2021

Power of stays

Great power means no one dare ask you questions.
Local decay
18 Sep 2021

Local decay

The set-up in Sindh exercises total control over LG functions.

Editorial

Talking to the Taliban
Updated 19 Sep 2021

Talking to the Taliban

PRIME Minister Imran Khan has announced that he has started a dialogue with the Taliban for the formation of a...
19 Sep 2021

New Zealand’s departure

THERE was chaos and despair when New Zealand decided to call off their tour of Pakistan barely minutes before the...
19 Sep 2021

Crucial polio campaign

THE national vaccination campaign that kicked off in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday is being described by experts as...
Blinken’s remarks
Updated 18 Sep 2021

Blinken’s remarks

The US establishment cannot scapegoat Pakistan for two decades of bad policy in Afghanistan.
18 Sep 2021

Worrying survey

THE findings of the Labour Force Survey 2018-19 indicate that some important headline trends have already taken or...
18 Sep 2021

Special needs

THE fact that only 3,653 children with special needs, out of some 300,000 in Sindh, are registered with the...