Islamabad - Surprise visits by high officials of the ministry of national health services, regulations and coordination, the coordinating body for international health regulations, are under way in different parts of the country.

During the current week, the director general of the ministry Dr Assad Hafeez visited Karachi and Lahore airports, major gateways to Pakistan which cater to majority of outgoing and incoming travellers. The director general under orders of the minister for NHSR&C inspected the arrangements made by health staff to counter spread of Ebola virus in the arrival area to identify and separate travellers arriving from, originating or transiting from affected countries of West Africa including facilities of isolation rooms as per WHO guidelines, facilities to shift and quarantine those patients as per international best practices. The airport health staffs were asked to enhance vigilance at the airports. The director general also reviewed plans and areas identified areas identified for strengthening. Provincial governments were requested to strengthen isolation facilities in tertiary care hospitals. Provinces were also requested to ensure provision of vaccine al all airports, seaports and land crossings, besides developing educational material for information of travellers.

The airport managers were asked to hold regular meetings of the focus groups constituted for the purpose.