PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has made wearing face mask mandatory for entry to offices as the province recorded 21 deaths due to coronavirus and 517 new cases of the infectious disease on Thursday.
The provincial tally of fatalities due to the pandemic reached 521 while number of cases stood at 11,890, a report by health department said.
As cases and deaths due to the virus kept increasing for the past few days, the government made wearing face mask compulsory in government offices.
Lady Reading Hospital has decided to start limited OPDs for semi-emergency patients with strict adherence to social distancing measures and related SOPs from Monday.
A notification issued on Thursday said that it was notified in the best public interest that no person would be allowed to enter any government office without wearing a face mask in order to stem infection of coronavirus.
21 deaths and 517 new cases of coronavirus recorded in KP
The order issued by the administration department also instructed the line departments to display banners bearing the text “no mask, no entry”, at the entrance of offices. The notification circulated to administrative secretaries said that it was applicable to all the departments with immediate effect.
Of the newly died persons due to the pandemic, nine belonged to Peshawar where number of deaths reached 283, the highest by any district in the province as well as in the country.
The provincial capital also detected 249 new patients, raising the count of its overall cases to 4423. Swat, the second highly endemic district after Peshawar, recorded three deaths, making number of people passed away due to the infection 50 so far.
Swat has also recorded 1,125 infected patients, the second highest number of cases after Peshawar. It detected 60 new patients during the last 24 hours, according to the report, which said that 26 more patients were diagnosed as Covid-19 positive in Abbottabad where total cases reached 364.
Abbottabad, the hardest-hit district in Hazara division, has so far registered 18 deaths due to the pandemic including two more during the last 24 hours.
The number of people passed away due to Covid-19 reached 18 with two new deaths and patients tally became 326 with detection of virus in 26 more people, said the report. It said that 71 more patients recovered from the pandemic, making the total number of recovered patients from the ailment 3,221.
Meanwhile, LRH, where OPD remained closed for the last two months due to Covid-19 pandemic, has decided to start examining semi-emergency patients in open space. However, normal patients will not be entertained at the hospital.
The decision to resume OPD was made in a meeting wherein after open discussion, it was concluded that about 30 patients would be examined per day. One specialty will hold OPD per day during which patients as well as hospital staff will adhere to precautionary measures to prevent Covid-19 infection.
Prof Suleiman Khan, the medical director of the hospital, made the decision after taking suggestions from heads of specialties, said the hospital spokesman. Triage in the hospital would continue at the hospital to see suspected Covid-19 patients as per protocol, he added.
The spokesman said that needy patients other than emergencies would be given medical treatment. Services for critically-ill and injured patients would continue at the accidents and emergency department as usual, he added.
Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2020