LAHORE - Three more coronavirus patients lost their lives on Monday, taking the death toll in the province to nine.

Two patients succumbed to coronavirus in Rawalpindi while one patient expired in Lahore.

Kausar Parven (55) and Abdul Aziz (70) died in Rawalpindi while Muhammad Akbar (42) breathed his last at Mayo Hospital, Lahore.

Kausar Parven had recently returned from Saudi Arabia. She was hospitalized due to COVID on March 27.

Abdul Aziz was hospitalized on March 28 after testing positive for the deadly virus. He had recently returned from England.

Muhammad Akbar, a resident of Okara, was brought to the Mayo Hospital in critical condition where he breathed his last.

Mayo Hospital Chief Executive Officer Prof Asad Aslam Khan said that the COVID-19 patient was carrying multiple complications. He was suffering from neurological and psychological disorders, the CEO said.

As many as 45 new COVID-19 patients were reported from across the province on Monday, taking the number of confirmed cases to 638. So far nine patients had succumbed to the deadly virus in the province of which four died in Lahore, three in Rawalpindi and one each in Faisalabad and Rahim Yar Khan.

Five patients had also recovered from the COVID-19. As per corona monitoring room at Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, 291 corona patients were pilgrims. These were under treatment at quarantine facilities in Dera Ghazi Khan (207), Multan (80) and Faisalabad (04). As many as 126 patients were under treatment in Lahore, 62 in Gujrat, 40 in Rawalpindi, 28 in Jhelum, 27 in Raiwind, 13 in Nankana Sahib, 11 in Gujranwala, nine in Faisalabad, five each in DG Khan and Hafizabad, four in Mandi Bahauddin, three in Mianwali, two each in Multan, Vehari, Rahim Yar Khan and Sargodha and one each in Narowal, Attock, Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, Kasur and Khushab.

As per the spokesperson, all patients were getting treatment at isolation wards. He said that serious patients were immediately shifted to High Dependency Units. He urged people to stay at home, frequently wash hands and use hand sanitizer. He advised social distancing, precautionary measures while attending sick family members.

Meanwhile, Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid paid rich tributes to healthcare professionals serving COVID-19 patients.

She was delivering a lecture to around 400 doctors, nurses and paramedical staff who were being trained to deal with the Corona patients. Also present at the occasion were CEO Mayo Hospital Professor Asad Aslam Khan, Principal Services Institute of Medical Sciences Prof Mehmud Ayaz, DG Rescue 1122 Rizwan Naseer and other officials.

The Minister said around 2,000 staff members were being specifically hired for Expo Center and were being given special training. “The Field Hospital at Expo Center will not only serve the patients, it also serve as a platform for research on the subject. The doctors serving at this time of trial are real heroes. The entire leadership of the country and the people are looking towards doctors to steer the nation out of these difficult times,” the minister said.

Dr. Yasmin said that the government had added 500 beds at the Mayo Hospital and had also requested Shaukat Khanam Hospital to reserve beds for COVID-19 patients. She said that three dedicated centers had been set up in Lahore for treatment and the remuneration package had been doubled for doctors serving there. She further said, “All the doctors, are now praying for the staff serving as the frontline workers against the Pandemic. If I had a thousand lives, I would have sacrificed them for the country.”

The Minister also said that the government had the mandate of serving the marginalized and the downtrodden.