Karachi            -         Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar Tuesday said that laboratory at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital would be functional by next week and the people would be tested free-of-cost.

He said this while talking to Senior Director Medical Services Dr Beerbal Gainani who was briefing him. Akhtar said that corona ward was also being established at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital where 48 men and 26 children could be admitted at a time. National Disaster Management Authority would bear all expenses of the ward admonishment.

The mayor said that laboratory at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital had been non-functional since long now it would be equipped with modern technologies so that people could be tested for COVID-19 as well. He said the people of Karachi were facing hardships as the hospitals were out of space owing to huge number of coronavirus cases and the KMC’s hospitals could be used in these circumstances. “There are space at KMC hospitals and corona ward could be established there,” he added.

Akhtar was of the view that besides isolation ward, ICUs and HDU ward were also being established at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

Briefing the Mayor, Senior Director Medical Services Dr Beerbal Gainani said that a team of Provincial Disaster Management Authority also visited Abbasi Shaheed Hospital along with Vice Principal Karachi Medical and Dental College Dr Khalid Ashrafi, Medical Superintendent Abbasi Shaheed Hospital Dr Nadeem Rajput, Professor of Medicines Dr Aneela Altaf and Senior Director Coordination Masood Alam.

The team reviewed measures and decided to make the ward functional by next week and the provincial government would be asked to provide kits. The mayor was briefed that feasibility report had been sent to Provoncial Disaster Management Authority and hopefully the ward would be functional by next week.

The hospital caters areas of Nazimabad, North Nazimabad, Liaquatabad, Federal B area, Karimabad, Sharifabad, Sakhi Hassan, Buffer Zone and other areas of three districts Central, East and West.

The mayor was also informed that OPD of Abbasi Shaheed Hospital had been opened with standard operating procedures and the patients as well as doctors and paramedics are strictly asked to follow the SOPs.

Akhtar directed Medical and Health Services Department to take every possible measures to serve the masses in these difficult times and treat the people despite having limited resources. He also paid tribute to the doctors and other paramedics who are combating from the front line.

Anti-tobacco activists thank centre for

retaining tobacco tax

Society for Protection of Rights of the Child (SPARC), held an online “Post-Budget briefing session on tobacco taxation” on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.

Anti-tobacco activists have thanked to Mr. Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan for retaining the taxation on tobacco products in federal annual budget 2020-21 despite the pressure from big tobacco industry. The activists have also put forward their recommendations for future to save millions of lives from harms of tobacco.

Every year tobacco industry tries to manipulate policymakers in order to fill its coffers at expense of lives of more than 170,000 people who die due to diseases caused and aggravated by usage of tobacco products.

Kashif Mirza Manager Media and Communications SPARC thanked the government to not buy in to the deceptive tactics of big tobacco industry and retain the taxation cap on tobacco products. He further mentioned that due to increase in inflation and hike in dollar prices, the prices of basic goods for living have increased whereas, the prices of tobacco products are still the same.

They should have increased as well. Heavy taxation on tobacco products will not only reduce the tobacco consumption and its accessibility but will also keep the minors off from tobacco.

Haris Jadoon Civil Society member stated that government should have considered the growing inflation rate while finalizing the taxes on tobacco products for fiscal year 2021-22.

Mr, Maqsood Bhatti Senior Journalist, stated that the country is facing a severe shortage of funds to combat the health and poverty crisis. The increase in taxation and Federal Excise Duty (FED) leads to more funds available for health and contributes to clean and healthy environment for future generations.

Shumaila Muzzamil Human Rights Activist says every year tobacco industry tries to manipulate policymakers in order to fill its coffers at expense of lives of more than 170,000 people who die due to diseases caused and aggravated by usage of tobacco products

According to the activists, hike in prices is a much-needed course of action required to save lives, along with strict implementation of laws regarding graphic health warnings, promotion and advertising bans, and smoke-free places.