Multan-At least two suspected patients of Coronavirus have been detected in Multan and both of them were shifted to isolation ward set up at Nishtar Hospital, The Nation has learnt.

Health sources disclosed that one of the patients was a Chinese national and the other a Pakistani. Both of them were brought to the hospital on suspicion of infection caused by the deadly virus. Sources further revealed that the blood samples of both of them were sent to National Institute of Health (NIH) Islamabad from where the health authorities dispatched the samples to Hong Kong. “The samples have been sent to Hong Kong due to non-availability of Coronavirus testing facility in Pakistan. We hope that the reports will be received within 48 hours,” sources added.

Talking to media, Dr. Anjum Naveed Jamal, head of Pulmonology Department, Nishtar Hospital, said that both the patients were recovering fast. “Keeping in view the pace of their recovery, we hope that they are not infected by the deadly virus. However, they have been shifted to the isolation ward as a preventive measure,” he added.

Health sources further disclosed that the screening of six Chinese workers, who are working on CPEC projects and living in China Camp in Multan, and nine other Pakistanis assisting them had been carried out. Meanwhile, the health department in Multan had been put on high alert and an isolation ward in Nishtar Hospital was made functional.

APP ADDS: Passengers at Multan International Airport are being screened through thermal scanner round-the-clock in the wake of Coronavirus by doctors and paramedics.

Airport Manager Mubarik Shah said that passengers arriving through international and domestic flights were being examined to check their body temperature. If the temperature is above 98.4 C, the passenger is recommended for further examination by the health officials, he said adding that over a dozen staffers were performing duty in this connection and the authorities were ready to provide more health employees if need arises. A doctor is available at every airport to deal with an urgency of any passenger, he said and added that Director Health Services Dr Wasim Ramzi had visited airport to check arrangements for scanning a couple of days ago and issued directions to health staffers for the purpose.

NEW MACHINE: The mechanical boll-picking machine, manufactured by Central Cotton Research Institute (CCRI) Multan, could help not only eliminate pink bollworms but also save over one billion dollars annually. The machine can enhance per acre yield by three maunds, said CCRI Director Zahid Chaudhry while talking to APP here. Dr Zahid said experiments showed that Larvae of pink bollworm remains inside the dried or unripe cotton bolls after the last picking, which, if not tackled, could cause harm to the next cotton crop.

He recalled that cotton farmers had to suffer big losses few years ago due to pink bollworm. It caused reduction of one million cotton bales, and in financial terms, the sector suffered loss of one billion dollars.

He said that the CCRI Multan was endeavoring to incorporate mechanized farming keeping in view the future demand. He said that the mechanical boll picker could be operated by any tractor, adding that it spreads cotton bolls and expose them to the sunlight that kills pink bollworm and its larvae. It can also enhance per acre production by three maunds provided plant population is in accordance with the set standard and every plant has at least three bolls, on an average.

FOOD POINTS SEALED: The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) sealed two food shops on charges of selling expired goods and poor cleanliness arrangements here on Monday.

According to sources, the PFA teams inspected 160 food shops and sealed two eateries including Rehan Food Products and Ghosia Foods for unhygienic condition, presence of mouse and expired food items.