PESHAWAR: The Covid-19 Clinical Management Group started developing guidelines for care providers, precautions for general public and manual for training of staff as 18 new cases were recorded in the province on Thursday, bringing the tally to 141.

The Covid-19 Clinical Management Group (CCMG) is devising strategy for the effective management, treatment of the patients as well as guidelines on the isolation of the suspected ones to ensure their survival and safeguard people from being infected.

“Videos messages are being prepared about safety measures for community as well as the healthcare staffers on how to attend the patients, take their samples and transport to the lab in safe manner,” Prof Mohammad Noor Wazir, chairman of CCMG, told Dawn.

The independent monitoring unit (IMU) of the health department will be given a checklist to ensure availability of the required facilities in the hospitals dealing with patients.

CCMG chief says video messages being recorded for community and health workers

He said that there were messages in the shape of videos and pamphlets for the people to adopt in homes as they were required to remain homebound, avoid outings and practices hand-washing and other hygiene practices.

“We have developed proforma for the hospitals and quarantine centres to ensure best practices and achieve the desired results. About 400 ventilators have been procured by health department that will be supplied to district hospitals where training will be provided for its usage,” said Prof Noor.

He said that video conferences were also part of their mandate to train the healthcare professionals and people. “The best option to stay safe is that the people must stay home,” he added.

Another member of CCMG said it was becoming dangerous as people with no symptoms tested positive. “We need to change our behaviour and tradition and do away with the habit of handshakes and hugging and restrict ourselves to only saying Salam,” he added.

He said that they needed to focus on the contacts of the confirmed patients and ensure that the virus did not transmit to the population.

The people, who had returned from Umra or the endemic countries, should be screened thoroughly along with the ones living in their neighbourhoods as preventive measure, he said.

“The government has to search the contacts of the confirmed patients because they can spell disaster,” said the member of CCMG.

A resident of Karak, who arrived from UK to attend funeral of his mother, is now lying at the dedicated ICU at Lady Reading Hospital. “He must have hugged many but there is no clue about the number of people he had been in contact with,” he said

Three others are admitted in Mardan. They belonged to Manga village in Mardan that recorded the highest number of patients so far.

“After closing the borders and all passenger flights, the asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic cases are the main source of transmission now. Until and unless we restrain them to their homes, they are going to spread the virus,” he said.

Our correspondent from Shangla adds: A patient belonging to Makhozi area of Puran tehsil tested positive of coronavirus on Thursday.

Deputy Commissioner Imran Hussain Ranjha confirmed the first coronavirus case in the district and said that the patient had returned from Lahore through Mardan.

He said that condition of the patient, who was isolated at tehsil headquarters hospital in Puran, was stable. However, his family members, wife and children were also quarantined.

Mr Ranjha said that the village was sealed and medical teams were collecting samples of the family and relatives of the patient.

Published in Dawn, March 27th, 2020