Rawalpindi-Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid on Saturday has made the Coronavirus Management Centre in Rawalpindi Institute of Urology and Transplant (RIUT) functional besides inaugurating 100-bed facility for COVID-19 patients.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Capt (R) Anwaar Ul Haq, MS RIUT Dr Nausheen Mehboob, health experts and senior and junior doctors of allied hospitals were also present on the occasion.

Dr Yasmin Rashid, while talking to media men here at RIUT, said that the Corona Centre was again established after an increase in the number of coronavirus patients and thus to facilitate patients by providing treatment in a safe and secure environment.   

She said the second wave of COVID-19 has come and in last 24 hours claimed lives of 7 people affecting 48 others in Rawalpindi.    

She claimed Lahore has the highest number of Corona cases, followed by Rawalpindi, Multan and Faisalabad. The minister said that as many as 35 members of para-medical staff of the hospitals were tested positive and are returning to work after recovery. 

“RIUT para-medical staff was well-trained and they would handle the patients effectively,” she commented.

Dr Yasmin Rashid stressed the need to adopt safety measures and said that the people should wear face masks and maintain social distancing amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the province.  

She said that the people should stay at their homes and only go outside for urgent work. She said that SOPs had been issued for the safety of the people.  

“Two vaccines are coming up. Cold trial of Pfizer vaccine is difficult and is being discussed while the clinical trials for the Chinese vaccine were underway in Pakistan,” said the minister.  

She said that if the trials become successful, Pakistan would be the first country where this vaccine will be used.

The provincial minister said that the government was fully aware about the 2nd wave of coronavirus and preparations had been made in this regard. She said that as many as 2,400 ventilators and 10,000 oxygen fixed beds across the province to provide emergency treatment to the patients.  

To a question about PML-N chief and former premier Nawaz Sharif, Dr. Yasmin Rashid said that his health seemed alright as he was making speech every day, adding that he should return to the country, appear before the court and answer its questions.  

The minister said that there was no report regarding the issue of platelets of former prime minister received yet which means that the issue had been resolved.  

In reply to the question about Punjab government’s report on Nawaz Sharif’s health, the minister said, “Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he had confidence in his minister, so I have no problem.”  

To a question about the facilitating the health department officials in COVID-19 pandemic, the minister said that the doctors and para medical who performed duties in COVID-19 wards had already been given additional salaries and Punjab government allocated fund to distribute money among the families of those who lost their lives in hospitals during work.  

Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rahid said that the government accorded full respect to doctors, nurses and other medical health staff who worked hard during pandemic as front line warriors.