ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafar Mirza on Friday said steps were being taken on war footings under the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure safety from coronavirus.
Chairing a meeting of the Emergency Core Committee on Coronavirus in Islamabad, he said the committee and the Emergency Operation Cell, established at Ministry of Health, were monitoring the situation regarding the disease.
The special assistant said the federation and the provinces were alert to deal with coronavirus. He said he had requested all the provinces to allocate separate wards in hospitals for possible coronavirus cases.
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He said Health Establishment was ensuring trained practical screening system at airports.
Addressing the Senate session on Friday, Leader of the House Senator Shibli Faraz said Pakistan expressed solidarity with the people and government of China in this hour of trial.
He said the government was trying its level best to ensure the safety of Pakistani nationals in China. He said Pakistani embassy was constantly in touch with the Pakistani community and the situation was being closely monitored.
He said the government was taking several precautionary measures with regard to coronavirus.
The United States has advised its people not to fly to China in the first major response to the World Health Organization’s announcement of a global emergency over the spread of coronavirus, as the Chinese authorities raised the toll to 213 deaths and nearly 10,000 infections Friday.
The State Department raised the alert to the highest level, telling its citizens not to travel to China due to an epidemic that has now spread to over 20 nations.
Hours earlier, after crisis talks in Geneva, the WHO, which faced criticism for initially downplaying the threat of the virus, revised its risk assessment.
“Our main concern is the virus ‘ potential to spread to countries with weaker health systems,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.