ISLAMABAD, 28 February 202 – Mudasser Chudhary:
With the confirmation of the first coronavirus patient at Pakistan Institute of Medial Sciences (Pims), face masks have disappeared from the markets due to high demand.
A Pakistani citizen tested positive for coronavirus on Wednesday and was shifted to the isolation ward of Pims. In a notification, the deputycommissioner said following the confirmation of two coronavirus cases in Pakistan, shopkeepers and vendors were advised to ensure the availability of masks.
A doctor at Pims, requesting not to be quoted, said around 15 citizens reached the hospital on Thursday fearing that they were suffering from coronavirus.
“We told them that they should not panic as every person, having flu, does not have coronavirus. Currently, four patients are admitted to the hospital out of which one is confirmed and the rest are
suspect cases,” he said.
Meanwhile, Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Hamza Shafqaat has imposed Section 144 to check overpricing of masks.
On the other hand, Pakistan Young Pharmacist Association has written a letter to the Supreme Court chief justice to take suo motu notice of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan’s (Drap) decision of allowing export of respiratory masks.
On Jan 30, Drap had imposed a ban on export of masks and other equipment, but on Feb 8 five companies were allowed to export.
“It is a fact that there is panic among residents of the twin cities and on Thursday I got a number of calls in which people inquired whether it was alright for them to go watch Pakistan Super League match. I told them that they should go to the stadium. I also told them that they should not panic even if they do not get masks. Those who want to wear masks, at any cost, can make their own masks by following a number of videos available on social media,” NIH Executive Director Dr Ikram said.
Meanwhile, Rawalpindi Medical University (RMU) has already completed training of 30 doctors, nurses and paramedical staff to run
quarantine in Rawalpindi Institute of Urology and Kidney Centre.
For the management of patients, a 20-bed ward and six-bed High Dependency Unit had been established in BBH and it was declared the focal hospital to deal with coronavirus patients.
Experts informed the staff about the virus and said in Pakistan, the virus will not spread through animals but through human to human contact.