Multan                  -               Punjab Minister for Health Dr Yasmeen Rashid disclosed on Tuesday the province had 4,277 confirmed COVID-19 cases, out of which 19 were in serious condition.

Addressing a news conference here at Circuit House, she added that 140 affected areas of the province were under complete lockdown these days to stop local transmission of the virus. She said that out of total 4277 cases, as many as 1,859 were either visitors from Iran (Shiite devotees) or members of the Tableeghi Jamaat. She claimed that doctors and patients were given good treatment at Nishtar Hospital.

She said that of the 27 doctors, three nurses and four paramedics of Nishtar Hospital who had tested positive for COVID-19, 26 doctors had now tested negative twice, while one was still under treatment. “He is in good health,” she added. She said that a total of 47 coronavirus patients were currently being treated at Nishtar Hospital, out of which 30 had tested positive, 16 were suspected while one negative.

She disclosed that 3,608 coronavirus detection tests were conducted at Nishtar Hospital, while a level-111 lab had also become functional at the hospital today (Tuesday). “It will enhance the testing capacity,” she added.  The minister claimed that all necessary equipment was available at Nishtar Hospital and no ventilator was shifted from this hospital to any other health facility. “Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital has its own 35 ventilators, which are currently being operated by doctors at Nishtar,” she told media.

She claimed that all doctors of Nishtar Hospital had been given N95 masks.  She added that initially Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) was supplied to Erdogan hospital, but now the Nishtar Hospital staff had also been given this protective gear. She claimed that the stock of protective equipment at Nishtar Hospital was sufficient for the next two weeks. Dr Yasmin disclosed that Nishtar Hospital had 2,082 corona test kits.

She said that mass testing would be done only in those areas where coronavirus patients were mostly concentrated. She advised elderly people not to come out of their homes and use mask in case they had to move out. The minister claimed that Pakistan was currently conducting more tests than India. She added that isolation space for 4,000 persons had been arranged in Punjab.

She said that only those persons were being tested who either had symptoms or travel history. She said that the members of both Young Doctors Association (YDA) and Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) were employees of hospitals and their issues were to be addressed by the heads of their institutions. She said that the country was passing through a very tough time and doing strike was not an appreciable act at this stage.