LAHORE             -         On the direction of Cabinet Committee, an important meeting presided over by Chief Secretary Punjab Jawwad Rafique Malik was held to review the clinical trial of drug Actemra for use by seriously-ill COVID-19 patients in the province.

Additional Chief Secretary Home Momin Agha, Secretary Specialized Healthcare Nabil Awan, Commissioner Lahore Saif Anjum, CCPO Lahore Zulfiqar Hameed, Corona Expert Advisory Group Chairman Prof Mahmood Shaukat, Member Prof Javed Hayat, CEO Mayo Hospital Prof Asad Aslam Khan, Director Punjab Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) Dr Tazeen Zia and officers concerned attended the meeting.

The health experts informed the Chief Secretary that the initial trial of drug Actemra had been conducted at PKLI, Mayo, and Services Hospital and the medicine showed positive results, which are further being evaluated. They said the drug could only be given to critically-ill patients with specific symptoms on the advice of doctors whereas ordinary coronavirus patients would not be allowed to use it.

The experts further said that recommendations on the use of the drug would be submitted to the Cabinet Committee and after final approval, it could be administered to critical patients with specific symptoms on the prescription of doctors.

The Chief Secretary said that all possible assistance would be provided to the experts for the clinical trial.

The meeting also reviewed, in detail, the situation of coronavirus and implementation of SOPs for its prevention.

The Chief Secretary directed all administrative and police officers to ensure that precautionary measures be implemented in the bazaars and shopping malls, saying that no compromise could be made on this important matter as “protection of public health and precious human lives is our prime responsibility”.

The Chief Secretary appealed to the people to extend full cooperation to the administration and law enforcement agencies in implementing the SOPs so that this deadly epidemic could be controlled.