Prime Minister Imran Khan being briefed during his visit to the operation theatre complex of the Cantonment General Hospital in Rawalpindi on Wednesday. — White Star
Prime Minister Imran Khan being briefed during his visit to the operation theatre complex of the Cantonment General Hospital in Rawalpindi on Wednesday. — White Star

RAWALPINDI: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said the government was continuously monitoring and analysing coronavirus (Covid-19) trends to determine accurate rate of spike in coming days.

He was addressing the inauguration ceremony of the upgraded 500-bed Cantonment General Hospital in Rawalpindi Saddar.

He praised China for providing medical equipment and expertise to meet the challenges of Covid-19.

“After controlling coronavirus challenge in its country, China immediately came to Pakistan with medical assistance. At present, we are receiving all equipment from China,” he said.

The prime minister said the demand of healthcare equipments had increased worldwide after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

Inaugurates upgraded 500-bed Cantonment General Hospital in Saddar

He also praised the role of medical professionals fighting the coronavirus in the front line.

Prime Minister Imran Khan assured doctors and paramedics that the government would provide them protective equipment. He said the Command and Control Centre for Coronavirus had set the priority to provide safety material to the front line medical staff especially in emergency and intensive care unit (ICU).

“We have already dispatched the equipment to the hospitals and where it has not reached as yet, it will be sent there in a day or two,” he said.

He said the nation stood by their health professionals as their fight with the coronavirus had not been over as yet.

“Apart from their safety, we are thinking to give them incentives,” he said.

He said there were few fatalities in Pakistan as compared to other parts of the world but the government was working to save people’s lives.

He said the government had started taking preventive measures ever since first coronavirus case had surfaced in China in January, besides working on a mechanism to deal with the looming challenge.

However, he said the healthcare system had been neglected in the past. He said that before 70s, the healthcare system was the best. He said that he and his sisters were born in government hospitals because at that time they were in a better condition.

“We are working to improve the condition of neglected sector,” he said.

The prime minister visited different sections of the hospital along with Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, former health minister Amir Mehmood Kiani, Defence Secretary retired Lt-Gen Ikramul Haq, Military Lands and Cantonments Director General Major General Hasnaat Aamir Gilani.

Earlier, a detailed briefing about the facilities at the upgraded hospital was given to Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Meanwhile, PML-N spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the project for upgradation of Cantonment General Hospital was launched during the tenure of PML-N for which an amount of Rs570 million was released.

Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi had begun the project on the request of the then PML-N MNA Malik Abrar, she said.

Published in Dawn, April 2nd, 2020