LAHORE          -              Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid has said that so far lab results have confirmed 78 people as positive for coronavirus.

Addressing a press conference after chairing the Cabinet Committee meeting at the Chief Minister Secretariat on Thursday, she said that condition of four patients under treatment at Mayo Hospital was out of danger.

Flanked by MPA Musarrat Jamshed Cheema and Additional Secretary Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Asif Tufail, the minister said that out of 78 confirmed patients, 60 had travelled recently to Iran and the remaining came from other countries. “Given the scale of the pandemic in the rest of the world, we have made preparations in advance to combat the spread of the virus. We are also developing a field hospital for 1,000 patients”, she said

The minister said there were three types of patients; patients with no symptoms, mild symptoms and with severe symptoms. “We are providing care to all three kinds of patients. In Dera Ghazi Khan the patients with mild and sever symptoms are kept in Tayyeb Erdogan Hospital and in Lahore, the Mayo hospital is providing treatment. The North Ward at Mayo Hospital has been reserved for COVID19 patients. We have reserved more than 500 beds in teaching hospitals and 300 bed at DHQ Hospitals for isolation”, she said.

“The Government is working in close collaboration with the private laboratories. The test cost of COVID-19 is Rs. 7,900 which the government is providing free of cost. We are working with private labs including Shaukat Khanum Lab, which is providing free tests to us. The Government is trying to contain the virus through various steps. China was able to respond after more than a hundred thousand patients. We were able to see their reaction and learn from them”, she said.  The Minister further said, “We have currently 736 visitors who came from Iran and another batch of 1,200 travellers is coming. Further, In the next three weeks another 3,000 students and 2,000 travellers are coming back from the affected areas. Iran has also requested us to call back Pakistani students”, she said.

Telemedicine Department at KEMU to provide medical advice

Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid inaugurated Telemedicine Department at King Edward Medical University (KEMU), on Thursday, that will provide medical advice from morning 8am to 8pm.

The health minister informed that 12 consultants had been deputed to provide medical advice to patients. “People can take advice on diseases including COVID-19 from experts through skype and mobile. Expert advice on medicine, surgery, paediatrics, orthopaedics, pulmonology, ENT and other diseases is also available”, the minister said.

Praising Prof Khalid Masood Gondal for making the unit functional within just 10 hours, Dr Yasmin Rashid said that the Telemedicine Department would provide expert advice to the public in medical emergencies like corona pandemic.

KEMU Vice Chancellor Prof Khalid Masood Gondal, CEO Mayo Hospital Prof Asad Aslam Khan, Dr Tahir Khalil, Prof Bilqis Shabbir, Prof Dil Awez, Prof Asghar Naqi, Prof Rana Arshad, Prof Ejaz Hussain, Dr Fawad Karim, Tariq Irfan and Prof Haroon Hamid were also present.