LAHORE - The health department has put hospitals in Punjab on alert in the wake of the law and order situation created by religious parties’ protests in the city and other parts of the province.

In a circular issued by Health Secretary Saqib Zafar, all medical institutions have been directed to ensure presence of doctors and support staff round the clock. “Ensure availability of security staff, medicines, IV fluids, vaccines, anti-sera, surgical and non-surgical disposables,” reads the circular.  Zafar also directed ensuring functioning of all operation theatres and availability of well-equipped ambulances. “Hospital authorities shall ensure coordination with Rescue 1122 and respective district administrations,” the notification said.

Zafar also issued guidelines for prevention and control of smog. He directed heads of teaching institutions and attached hospitals to make arrangements for saving people from hazards of smog.

“Smog is yellowish or blackish fog formed mainly by a mixture of pollutants in the atmosphere which consists of fine particles and ground level ozone,” reads the circular.

It was further advised to set up smog counters, isolation rooms and HDUs in the hospitals besides displaying banners/streamers (with name and contact number of focal persons. “Distribute masks and educational material to the visitors and hold awareness walks and conduct seminars with patronization of public representative eminent society members and hospital staff,” the secretary said.