ISLAMABAD-The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday handed over Personal Protection Kit to government in support of preparedness activities for the prevention of Coronavirus (COVID-19), said the statement.

The WHO stated that the Personal Protection Kit is a part of the WHO’s global support to countries for preparedness activities for combating Coronavirus (COVID-19) and it was handed over to Executive Director-National Institute of Health (NIH) Prof. Dr. Aamer Ikram.

The kit included disposable examination gloves, heavy duty gloves, surgical gloves face mask (n95), goggles, hand sanitisers, and safety boxes for safe disposal.

WHO Representative in Pakistan Dr. Palitha Mahipala handed over assortment of Personal Protection Kit to NIH Head Prof. Dr. Aamer Ikram, in a ceremony held in NIH and appreciated role of NIH in effectively preparing and making necessary arrangements for the prevention of Coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan.

The WHO representatives in Pakistan also visited the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) to view measures put in place to strengthen case management of COVID-19.

During visit, the WHO representative discussed the medical management and isolation arrangements made by the hospital management for potential importation of a Coronavirus case.

The PIMS being one of the largest public hospitals situated in Islamabad, caters for the medical needs of a large population within and outside the capital city of Pakistan. The WHO team visited the isolation rooms especially identified and equipped to house suspected cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The WHO team also looked into the facilities available and made a note of the additional requirements for infection prevention and control and the case management for ensuring efficient and requisite availability of medical services in the isolation rooms.

Dr. Palitha Mahipala appreciated round-the-clock services of the PIMS staff at the isolation wards and reiterated continued support of WHO to the hospital administration.

The statement said that strengthening of hospitals in responding and catering for the medical requirements, efficiently and effectively, of people in a country is of prime importance.

It becomes even more crucial, especially at the time when a country might be facing an outbreak of a disease, or is preparing to prevent the spread of outbreak.

Laying strong foundation of hospitals with state-of-the-art medical facilities and systems will ensure timely response to the medial needs of people, thus preventing spread of infectious diseases as well.

It said that the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Wuhan city in China, has alerted the health officials in Pakistan to take stringent prevention measures to ensure that the country is fully equipped and has systems in place to deal with the suspected cases of Coronavirus, if it enters the country. The WHO, alongside the Government of Pakistan has been diligently working on streamlining the preparedness and response plan on COVID-19.

In this connection, the WHO teams along with senior officials of Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination (MoNHSR&C) are also visiting hospitals, airports, and important public places to review the preparedness measures taken by the concerned authorities in the twin cities (Rawalpindi/Islamabad) to effectively respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19).