ISLAMABAD - Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services (NHS) on Wednesday stressed the government to provide all possible facilities to Pakistani students stuck in China.

A meeting of the Senate health body was held here under the chair of Senator Ghous Muhammad Niazi to discuss the public importance issues of outbreak of coronavirus, promotion of senior doctors’ cases at Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (Pims), homeopathic amendment bill and roles and functions of Drugs Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap)

The meeting was also attended by Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Health Dr. Zafar Mirza and secretary National Health Services (NHS) Dr. Allah Bakhsh Malik.

Briefing the latest situation of coronavirus in country and Pakistan nationals stuck in China, SAPM on health Dr. Zafar Mirza said that the government had asked Chinese authorities to shift the virus patients far from the block of Pakistani students.

“Pakistani students in a medical university of China raised concerns after few patients of the virus were shifted close to their block. Patients were shifted due to shortage of beds and Pakistani students were worried that it could infect them with virus as well. There were around two dozen Pakistani students in that block and they were safe, however they have expressed concerns on this,” the SAPM added.

He said that no case of the virus had been confirmed in the country and the diagnostic kits had tested 57 cases as negative. Dr. Zafar said that there were 620 students in Wuhan, and they were very upset over spread of the virus and the government was in regular contact with them. He said that the Chinese government had not allowed evacuation from Hubei and the government and its embassy in China was taking all measures to look after Pakistan nationals in Wuhan, China.

He said that flight operation to China had not been suspended but few flights were being controlled while direct and indirect both flights to Pakistan were being monitored.

He said that border with China was closed till March 31, and all 19 entry, exit points were strictly being monitored.

“All four Pakistan nationals infected with virus are also improving. So far 625 Chinese students are enrolled in International Islamic University (IIU) and the government,” he said, adding that under an agreement with the Chinese government no traveller could return Pakistan without passing a 14 days incubation period.

Senators Bahramand Tangi, Azam Swati and Mehar Taj, taking part in the discussion, said that families of the students were very disturbed and the government must take all measures for better health of students.

Senator Tangi said that reports were being received that Pakistani students in China were in difficult situation and the embassy was also not taking appropriate measures for them.

Senator Usman Kakar added that parents of the children were worried and the government should take measures to bring them back home.