LAHORE            -         Punjab Health Department on Monday declared an alert for the government hospitals during the month of Muharram.

In a circular, the health department has cancelled leaves of doctors, nurses, paramedics and other staff of government hospitals. Provincial health authorities have also directed teaching hospital administrations to take necessary steps to meet any emergency situation and ensure availability of life-saving medicines and keeping operation theaters in working condition. The staff of hospitals’ emergency departments have been directed to remain alert until 10th of Muharram (Yom-e-Ashur).

The hospitals have also been instructed to keep additional staff on duty in emergency departments on 9th and 10th of Muharram. Punjab health department had also issued the Standard Operating Procedures aimed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during the Muharram gatherings and processions. Medical professionals and authorities had voiced fears against a second wave of the novel coronavirus as the government reopened businesses and various sectors after decline in cases.

“Activities involving gathering of people during Moharram like Majalis, rallies, Zuljinnah and Alam processions, etc., are prone to close contact, surface sharing and environmental contamination with COVID-19 infection. Thus, abiding by preventive measures and strict compliance of SOPs is very important during all events of Moharram,” the official notification read. It also added a list of the SOPs to assist in curbing the spread of the virus. The preventive measures included ensuring proper handwashing, wearing masks, respiratory etiquettes, social distancing, avoiding physical contact, cleanliness and disinfection and self-protection.

Meanwhile, Punjab reported 55 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, taking the total number of confirmed cases across the province to 96,233.

According to Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, no death related to the contagion was reported in the province for the third straight day. As many as 874,784 samples have been tested for the presence of Covid-19 thus far. Whereas, the number of people recuperating from the infection has surged to 91,161.