Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid said here on Wednesday that Punjab is much better prepared to battle the second wave of Corona Pandemic due to lessons learnt in the first wave. She was speaking as chief guest at a seminar on Importance of Diagnostics in Corona Prevention and Future Challenges at a local hotel. Present on the occasion were Chairman Corona Expert Advisory Group Dr. Mehmud Shaukat, Dean Institute of Public Health Dr. Zarfishn Tahir, World Health Organization representative Dr. Jamshed, Dr. Javed Hayat, Brig (Retd) Dr. Hameed, Dr. Faiz from Karachi, Dr. Asif Ali from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Dr. Zaman from National Institute of Health, Dr. Romana, Professor Zahid Latif whereas a number of other experts joined via video link.
Steps for enhancing testing capacity and measures to control the spread of virus came under discussion as well. The participants were all praise for Punjab over its performance against Corona Pandemic under the leadership of Dr. Yasmin Rashid. The Health Minister appreciated the organizers for holding an important event.
The Health Minister said, “Corona Pandemic has affected the world economy beyond estimates. Punjab government allocated enough resources to fight the Pandemic and set up 18 BSL-3 Labs in Public Sector. The 19th BSL 3 Lab is being established in Rahim Yar Khan and the testing capacity has been increased from 400 tests per day to 22,000 tests during the Pandemic. This helped expand Contact Tracing program. During the first wave, the Corona Expert Advisory Group was instrumental in controlling the Pandemic in the first wave. Patients showing moderate to severe symptoms must visit hospitals instead of home treatment. Punjab has spent Rs. 14 billion on Corona Pandemic so far. The Protocols are being continuously revised and updated according to guidelines of the NCOC.”
Dr. Yasmin Rashid further said, “The quality and accuracy of testing at public and private labs is being continuously monitored. The Pandemic situation is much better in Pakistan than many other countries of the world. The spread of the virus is being monitored across the province through smart lockdowns. Due to policies of the government, the economy and Corona prevention go together and all out efforts were made to minimize affects on employments. All stakeholders must work together to control the Pandemic. Corona vaccine shall be available through uniform policy very soon in Pakistan. More than 10,000 Oxygenated beds are available in Punjab along with ventilators. Improving health facilities for public is our first priority. Services are improving at public sector facilities. We are endeavoring to improve healthcare services according to vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.”