Islamabad - The government still has to trace and test above 2500 people for novel corona virus (COVID-19) who travelled abroad in other countries, The Nation learnt on Friday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) representative in Pakistan Dr. Palitha Mahipala briefing media on the COVID-19 situation in Pakistan said that 9168 travelers had gone to other countries and have been recognized.  He added that out of gone travelers 7854 have been traced. 

The difference shows that 2714 travelers still need to be traced. Dr. Palitha Mahipala also told The Nation that around 3000 kits of COVID-19 have been provided to Pakistan and it will increase the support also if required.

According to the government’s official dashboard of COVID-19, 457 cases have been confirmed with 03 deaths. In last 24 hours 145 COVID-19 positive cases and a death was reported.

The official data show that the number of cases in Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) have increased to 10, in Sindh the number of cases were 238, Baluchistan 81, Punjab 83 Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 23 and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) 21.

WHO Representative Dr. Palitha Mahipala briefing on Pakistan said that total number of suspects were 10364 and 3410 tests have been done. On hospitals he informed that 208 hospitals in country have been designated with 1071 beds for COVID19.

National action plan to deal with coronavirus: WHO

He said that 13 labs are working in country including a mobile lab at Taftan border. WHO representative said that designated medical facilities in Punjab are 41, Sindh 33, Baluchistan 20; KP 94, GB 15 and AJK are 05.

On the government response on COVID-19 outbreak he said that it has a unified response while WHO by 10th of January has set its guidelines in relation to screening, quarantine, testing, lab facilities, communication, risk communication, and it was handed over to the ministries in health and provinces.

He added that the ministry in response also notified different technical working groups to prevent the COVID-19 situation.

He said that different committees were also set up covering the areas of coordination, surveillance, screening, isolation, diagnostic facilities and others with technical set-up.

“WHO has been coordinating with these committees to support the government,” he said.

He said that an emergency operation center has been activated at NIH.

“The National Security Committee (NSC) has elevated the risk to the highest level but the government response is also impressive,” he said.

 Dr. Palitha Mahipala about screening and surveillance on Point of Entries (POEs) said that all points were streamlined with coordination of all relevant ministries in federal and by provincial departments.

Talking about the government’s response on case management and infection control he said that the hospitals have been decided and isolation wards have been established and supplies have been provided.

On surveillance and contact tracing he said that relevant measures have been taken by the government.

He added that focal persons have been assigned by government at federal and provincial governments while adaption of the technical messages has been done.

Dr. Palitha Mahipala said that said that 13 labs have been given the kits and they have the capacity of doing the tests for COVID-19.  “Testing capacity has been expanded,” he said.

WHO Representative in Pakistan also said that a National Action Plan (NAP) has been also prepared to cope with COVID-19 situation and being implemented.

“We have given technical input to the NAP document,” he said.

He also added that WHO is also involved in training of the people, while surveillance is being strengthened using polio infrastructure in the country.

“WHO has been involved in infection, prevention, control, quarantine, logistics, risk communication and supporting the government,” he said.

Strategic Help Operation Room has been also established in WHO and working round the clock to facilitate government in preventing COVID-19.

He said that WHO has paid visits to all provinces and hospitals for support of the government and provided supplies also.

He said that in Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) in which Pakistan also falls has reported 21042 cases with total deaths 1314 fatality rate of 6.24.