National Action Plan for coronavirus Prevention, Management Developed

Senate leader Syed Shibli Faraz said on Friday that the prevention and management of the National Coronavirus Action Plan (COVID-19) had been established, adding that up until this date, only two cases had been identified.

Responding to point raised by the Opposition, the leader of the House said one of the cases was reported from Karachi and other one from Islamabad but both the patients were in stable condition. More than 120 samples have been tested since February 1st, he added.

Shibli Faraz said the government was on alert mode over possible spread of Novel Coronavirus from China, Iran and other COVID-19 affected countries.

A high level multi-sectoral national task force of International Health Regulation (IHR) 2005 was convened on Jan 20 to review the state of preparedness and identify gaps in the country for different core capacities of IHR.

  • Special counters have been established at all the major International Airports of Pakistan at arrivals terminal where health declaration forms with travel history to china, Iran or other COVID-19 affected country and their contact details of all travelers were being enforced for identification of the suspected passengers by health officials and providing risk communication.
  • Hospitals in all the major cities of Pakistan have been identified for isolation of suspected patients and isolation room/wards have been established.
  • Diagnostic facilities have been made available at NIH and at Peshawar, Quetta, Karachi and Lahore.
  • Public Health Emergency Operation Centre has been activated under the umbrella of Ministry of NHSRC for reviewing the situation on daily basis, risk assessment and follow-up of the case.
  • Public awareness message have been developed and aired Health helpline for COVID-19 was being established. Dedicated staff was following up with passengers through dedicated telephonic mechanism on regular basis.

He said necessary kits have also been provided besides training of technical staff for provincial public health lab, Quetta. Provision of thermal scanners, if required for these areas was under consideration, he added.

Shibli Faraz said mobile molecular and diagnostic lab was available at NIH to be deployed if required. Capacity building of the different cadres of staff on Rapid Response, Contact Tracing, Risk Communication, he, said.

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