ISLAMABAD                    -                   The National Institute of Health (NIH) on Friday tested two doctors, including one from a government-run federal capital hospital, as positive of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The documents available with The Nation confirmed that NIH received samples of both medical professionals on Thursday and their tests are being considered positive.

The documents said that one doctor diagnosed positive of COVID-19 was from Federal Government Services (FGS) Polyclinic and the other was from District Headquarter Hospital Sargodha.

According to the documents, the FGS Polyclinic doctor is male while the District Headquarter Hospital Sargodha hospital doctor is a female.

The NIH documents also said that both doctors had shown symptoms of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director (ED) of FGS Polyclinic has put the hospital on high alert. The notification issued in this regard said “with reference to Office of the District Magistrate, Islamabad Capital Territory, Islamabad letter No.1 (135)-HC (G)/2020-370 dated 22-03-2020, with immediate effect and till further orders”.

It said that in the wake of rapid increase in number of patients suffering from Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the country, it may be kept at high level alert, so that any untoward situation may be avoided.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the federal city with addition of two more patients surged to 27.  The NIH Daily Situation Report (DSR) on the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) said that in last 24 hours, 151 patients were tested for COVID-19.

It also said that number of admitted positive cases has increased to 12 while still two patients have been discharged. The report also said that total cases tested in ICT are 712.

Media coordinator PIMS Dr.WaseemKhawaja talking to The Nation said that after closure of Outdoor Patient Department (OPD) at PIMS the hospital administration has strengthened the new emergency and isolation ward capacity.

He said that the medical officers in other departments have been designated in new emergency and isolation wards to increase the strength of doctors.

PIMS media coordinator also said that hospital administration is providing all possible facilities and equipping them with Personal Protection Equipment.

He also said that ShaheedZulfiqar Ali Bhutto Medical University (SZABMU) has also started telemedicine system to provide healthcare to patients in this situation.

He said a telemedicine Centre has been established at SZABMU/PIMS where anyone can be directly connected to a doctor for concerns and advice regarding Corona.

The centre will initially be functional from 9am to 9pm starting from 26th March 2020 and will later provide round the clock services. The UAN is 0304 111 2101

Meanwhile, Pakistan Islamic Medical Association (PIMA) also launched a telemedicine project named “PIMA healthline” to provide health and medical consultation to people at their homes in current scenario. 

Coordinator of PIMA healthline, Dr AtifHafeez, said that the facility is being provided through telephone and WhatsApp initially. For this purposes, PIMA has introduced three phone numbers on which people can call and seek medical advice from general practitioners, who would initially be available for 12 hours a day. 

Dr AtifHafeez said that they had received hundreds of call from people who could not go outside while OPDs at most of the public hospitals were closed.

So far 42 consultants including ENT specialists, paediatricians, gynaecologists, general surgeons, neurologists, gastroenterologists, cardiologists, international medicine experts, eye specialists, pulmonologists, psychiatrists and diabetologists associated with PIMA had volunteered their services.

People in need of medical advice can call on 0315-5550911 (9:00 am to 1:00 pm) 0316-6660912 (1:00 pm to 5:00 pm) and 0317-7770913 (5:00 pm to 9:00 pm) to seek medical advice.