LAHORE - The Punjab government has set up first swine flu diagnostic laboratory in the City at the Institute of Public Health, Jail Road, which will work in collaboration with the biological laboratory of the Punjab University to conduct tests of samples of swine flu suspects without delay. This decision has been taken to save lives of a number of swine flu suspects, which are increasing day by day due to non-availability of testing facilities and labs in the City. The lab will collect blood and swab samples of the swine flu suspects from all public and private hospitals and will provide tests reports free of cost. Bacteriologist Dr Zarfishaan has been appointed head of the swine flu diagnostic lab and sample collection center at Birdwood Road near Met office on Jail Road in the premises of Institute of Public Health. It is pertinent to mention that swine flu victim, Iftikhar Ahmad, a physiotherapist died of swine flu virus on December 7 due to delay in the diagnosis. His blood and swab samples were sent to NIH, Islamabad, for reports but the same were received late and he died. On the request of Punjab government, biological lab of the Punjab University agreed to conduct tests of swine flu suspects free of cost. The samples will be collected and sent to the PU labs by swine flu labs of the Punjab government. Bacteriologist Dr Zarfishaan will coordinate with the medical superintendents of all public and privates hospitals for monitoring swine suspects and collecting their samples for delivering reports immediately. The labs have been set up to save lives of about 31 swine flu suspects in Lahore which were at the risk of losing their lives due to delay in diagnosis by the labs of National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, which was earlier the only center for testing swine flu financed and run by World Health Organisation (WHO). Later, four suspects were identified in Ittifaq Hospital and their samples were also sent to NIH, Islamabad. Dr Mubashir Attique Azhar, Director Communicable Disease Control (CDC) Punjab told The Nation the swine flu laboratory had been set up in the City on the direction of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif who took prompt action to save lives of people due to delay factor involved in getting diagnosis reports from Islamabad. The CDC Director told The Nation an urgent meeting of medical superintendents of public and privates hospitals was held here on Monday in the office of DG Health to review the swine flu control measures and for ensuing better coordination for collecting samples of swine flu suspects for early diagnosis. He said the meeting concluded there was no risk of further spread of swine flu in the City because medicines for treatment of swine flu were provided to all public and private hospitals while disguises and testing facilities have also been made available. Dr Mubashir said Miss Virginia, an ICU in charge nurse at Nawaz Sharif Social Security Hospital, who was confirmed swine flu positive, was out of the danger and taking medicines for treatment of swine flu, namely Tami Flu tablets. He said each teaching hospital had been provided 2,000 Tami Flu tablets, and each district headquarter hospital had been given 1,000 tablets by the WHO and Punjab health department. Besides, all private hospitals have also been provided about 200 tablets for free treatment of swine flu patients/suspects. He said isolation wards had been made in hospitals of the City for keeping swine flu suspects away from rest of the patient so that spread of the virus may be controlled. The Communicable Disease Control department has distributed pamphlets and posters in all hospitals for guidance and awareness of public about swine flu virus and its preventive measures. Dr Mubashir said the federal government had been requested to get vaccine for swine flu which would be brought from abroad soon.