ISLAMABAD: The National Institute of Health (NIH) has advised health authorities to declare high alert due to possibility of rapid spread of seven diseases including Covid-19 during winter season.
In an advisory called Seasonal Awareness and Alert Letter (Saal) it has been informed that the diseases such as Covid-19, Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever virus, dengue fever, diphtheria, pertussis, seasonal flu and extensively drug-resistant (XDR) typhoid can spread rapidly during October to February.
According to a statement issued by the NIH, the main purpose of SAAL is to alert all health authorities and professionals concerned at all levels for timely and efficient response to the outbreaks/epidemics.
In the letter, NIH has warned that the diseases can spread rapidly during the season. It has also informed them about national and international public health events like Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/AIDS as national while Ebola Virus Disease which may be a threat for any of the country or region in future.
“On the basis of last five-year data, NIH recommends for all federal, provincial and district health departments to keep a continuous surveillance and watch on the anticipated seasonal public health threats and taking of all preventive or curative measures in this context,” it states.
Due to ongoing pandemic situation of Covid-19, NIH is facilitating testing and capacity building services for all educational, economic, administrative and local institutions at Islamabad along with technical advice and support.
To facilitate the stakeholders, the requisite technical guidelines and awareness material regarding infectious diseases are also available at the NIH website: www.nih.org.pk.
Prime Minister Imarn Khan, during current week, warned about the spike of the Covid-19 during winter season.
Later, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that the restaurants and marriage halls had become a hub of the Covid-19.
He had appealed to the masses to strictly follow the guidelines to avoid the deadly virus.
According to the data released by National Command and Operation Centre for Covid-19 on Wednesday, the number of active cases was 8,528.
Moreover there were 79 ventilators, out of 1912 vents allocated for Covid-19, in use across the country. There was no patient on vent in AJK and Balochistan.
Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2020