LAHORE - Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar on Tuesday made telephonic contacts with Governors of Balochistan, KPK, and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and offered to establish corona telemedincine centres in their provinces. The Governor also contacted President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) for the purpose.

According to details, the Governor telephoned AJK President Masood Ahmed Khan, Balochistan Governor Justice (R) Amanullah Khan, Khyber Pakhtoon Khuwah (KPK) Governor Shah Farman, and GB Governor Raja Jalal Hussain and apprised them about setting up of corona telemedicine helpline centers in Punjab as well as medical and awareness facilities being provided to people from these centers.

During his telephonic conversations, the Governor said that corona telemedicine centre had proved very effective in Punjab and around 70,000 individuals had so far been taken medical advice/guidance from these centers and their number was increasing day by day. He further told them that the telemedicine centers, where doctors were available for their guidance 24/7, also reduced public rush substantially in hospitals. He offered to set up corona telemedicine centers in Balochistan, KPK, Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK. He said doctors from Punjab would also impart free training to staff of telemedicine centers in their provinces.

Meanwhile, the Governor also inaugurated BSL-Lab at Corona Testing Centre, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS). Vice Chancellor Dr. Nasim Ahmed briefed Punjab Governor about the lab and said that this testing laboratory was the first of its kind in Pakistan where 300 to 400 corona tests could be conducted daily.

Governor inaugurates

new BSL-3 Lab at UVAS

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar inaugurated a new state-of-the-art Bio-safety Level-3 (BSL-3) ‘Laboratory for Emerging Pathogens’ at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) here on Tuesday.

The Department of Microbiology of UVAS in collaboration with Pirbright Institute UK, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council UK and Zoonosis and Emerging Livestock Systems UK established the lab for research on and diagnosis of emerging pathogens, including coronavirus.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony, the Governor who is also Chancellor of the the university, said that testing of COVID-19 was the first and foremost requirement to understand its spread, epidemiology and treatment. Since, coronavirus was a novel virus, its testing facility must fulfill all scientific guidelines of safety, he stressed.

The governor appreciated the UVAS Vice Chancellor and his team for establishing the much-needed laboratory. He said that he was glad to see vice-chancellors of all universities to play leadership role in the time of coronavirus pandemic. He assured the UVAS of his full support for further enhancing the scope of the laboratory. He also spoke about the importance of telemedicine and its benefits for health experts and general public. “Coronavirus is a big challenge and we will meet this challenge with collective efforts,” he added.

UVAS VC Prof Dr Nasim Ahmad said: “Ever since, the closure of institutions due to coronavirus pandemic, we have been busy in developing hybrid system of teaching and learning based on a combination of online and offline communication with the students.” He said the UVAS had initiated tele-veterinary services to provide clinical guidance to pet and other animal owners. He said the BSL-3 would conduct training and research in the area of emerging pathogens under one health, adding that the laboratory was equipped with modern gadgets and would also conduct diagnosis of coronavirus.

With the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, the UVAS established the lab on fast track basis, he added. The UVAS was working on a plan to start a video messaging programme on coronavirus with the slogan “Corona Say Darna Nahi, Samajhna Hai,” he added.