Minor girl, pulmonologist succumb to Covid

Updated June 30, 2020

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First virus-related death of child in Punjab; CEAG to evolve Eid SOPs. — Reuters/File
First virus-related death of child in Punjab; CEAG to evolve Eid SOPs. — Reuters/File

LAHORE: A minor girl and a pulmonologist died of Covid-19 at the Institute of Child Health/Children’s Hospital and Mayo Hospital, respectively here on Monday.

Eleven-year-old Maryam was the first child who lost her life due to the coronavirus in Punjab so far. She was brought from Okara to the Children’s Hospital after she tested positive for the virus, dean Prof Dr Masood Sadiq told Dawn.

He said the girl was bought with co-morbidities. “She was diagnosed with chronic liver disease”, Dr Sadiq said adding that Maryam had also undergone liver surgery.

Her health was already compromised due to the liver disease and she succumbed to the virus, he said.

“The Covid-19 caused by acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS- CoV-2) has also been reported in children”, the dean said.

While declaring it first death of a child, he said so far 37 children suffering from Covid-19 have been discharged from the hospital while eight others are under treatment.

First virus-related death of child in Punjab; CEAG to evolve Eid SOPs

Mayo Hospital Medical Superintendent (MS) Dr Tahir Khalil said Prof Khalid Chaudhry was a senior pulmonologist and head of the department at the Gujranwala Medical College.

He said he was brought on June 9 to the Mayo Hospital after he tested positive for the virus. Prof Khalid was also a patient of diabetes, cardiac and high blood pressure, he said adding that he was treated with anti-viral drug but could not survive despite all efforts at the intensive care unit.

Meanwhile, talking to media here on Monday, the health department officials and medical experts made it clear that the increased heat or hot weather has nothing to do with the elimination of Covid-19 in Pakistan.

They said the gradual decline in cases would be due to precautions and social distancing.

They further said the use of “Sana Muckey” has adverse effects on human health and in many cases, patients suffered from acute diarrhoea.

The frequent use of “Sana Muckey” can be fatal for patients with high blood pressure and diabetes.

No recent researches found [any] usefulness of “Sana Muckey”. The medical experts suggested care in using all kinds of vitamins and supplements.

Similarly, steroids are a ‘double-edged sword’, not in any case it cured corona. Of course, they reduce some complications, but their unnecessary use can be fatal.

A member of the Corona Experts Advisory Group and member of the World Health Organization, Dr Jamshed Ahmad, said cattle markets should be set up 15 days before Eid.

“Markets should not be allowed in the city and densely populated areas. Masks should be mandatory and be checked on entrances and exits of each market”, he said.

All SOPs will be advertised in the local language and the temperature of every individual will be checked at the entrance gates, he further said.

The district government and the health department will play a cooperative role in implementation of SOPs.

To a question, the CEAG member said the coronavirus is being tested on animals only for research purpose.

“There is no evidence that they are the supposed carriers of coronavirus,” Dr Jamshed Ahmad said.

Another CEAG member Mrs Rafia Haider said testing capacity for Covid-19 is increasing with every passing day in Punjab.

“Currently we have the testing capacity of 12,000 which is to be increased by 1,000 in days to come”, she said.

About recent decline in tests in Punjab, she said the main reason was that the department had changed strategy. “We are not testing asymptomatic patients, the condition of two negative PCR tests has been relaxed, testing of flights stopped and hospital burden has been reduced.”

CEAG convener Prof Dr Mahmood Shaukat said the advisory group would soon update the public about the Eid SOPs.

Published in Dawn, June 30th, 2020