Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza on Thursday said all the required medical equipment and coronavirus (COVOD-19) treatment items for health professionals and patients would be made available by April 5.

Dr Mirza, in a televised briefing, said the supply of personal protection equipment (PPE) kits and other medical devices for health professionals working at intensive care units of various hospitals for the corona patients’ treatment was in process.

With the addition of those items in health system, the condition of designated hospitals would further improve and the patients would get better services while doctors would have more protected atmosphere, he added.

He said the coronavirus caseload in Pakistan had reached 1,102 with 102 new cases reported during the last 24 hours. Total eight deaths had been reported from the disease so far while five patients were still in critical condition.

He said 21 patients had been recovered while 417 cases were reported from Sindh, 223 from Punjab, 121 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 131 from Balochistan, 25 from Islamabad Capital Territory, 84 from Gilgit Baltistan and one from Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

He said as many 575 confirmed patients were admitted in various hospitals, 570 of them were stable.

He said during the last 24 hours around 73,000 telephone calls had been received at the Ministry of National Health Services’ Helpline 1166. Keeping in view the burden on existing helpline system, the government had decided to improve its capacity to serve maximum number of people.

Dr Mirza said total 6,589 people, who were shifted from Taftan, were living in different quarantine centres in the provinces. Around 24% of them were tested positive, while the remaining, who were tested negative, would be allowed to go to their homes.

He expressed the hope that the government’s strict measures would help control the further spread of coronavirus in the country.

He added that the government had included infectious disease expert Dr Faisal Sultan in its health team against the coronavirus as focal point.

He said it had been planned to start training of the healthcare staff and workers, who were busy in the treatment of coronavirus patients or to be appointed for the purpose.

He once again advised the citizens to avoid unnecessary movement outside home and adopt all preventive measures, including staying at home, avoid shaking hands, washing hands for 20 seconds and social distancing.