Govt to equip frontline doctors, paramedics with protective gear on priority: PM


RAWALPINDI, April 01 (APP):Prime Minister Imran Khan  Wednesday assured doctors and paramedics in the country working at frontline in fighting Coronavirus and other severe health challenges to get protective material for their safety in vulnerable environment.

Addressing doctors and healthcare staff here at Cantonment General Hospital (CGH), the prime minister said protective gear would be provided on priority to those working at the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and dealing patients with contagious diseases.

The prime minister said the decision was taken by Command and Control Centre to ensure provision of shielding material to frontline medical staff for their own safety.

He mentioned that Pakistan was fortunate to receive necessary medical equipment and expertise from China on priority as the world braced the gravity of Covid-19 challenge.

The prime minister, who inaugurated the up-gradation of the 500-bed hospital with modern medical facilities in the heart of Saddar, Rawalpindi, said entire nation and the government stood with its medical workers for their readiness to handle difficult health situations.

“We will fully support you – our doctors, nurses and paramedic staff, and the nation acknowledges your efforts,” he said.

Imran Khan said the government started taking preventive measures in the country since the first Coronavirus case surfaced in China this January, besides  working on the mechanism on how to deal with the looming challenge.

He feared spike of Coronavirus cases in the country, however said continuous monitoring and data analysis was underway to determine the accurate rate of spread of infection.

He regretted that healthcare had never been a priority in last 70 years, adding that his government would take every step to bring improvement to this neglected area.

The prime minister along with Railways minister Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed, member of National Assembly Amir Mehmood Kiani and the CGH officials visited different sections of the hospital including the Operation theatres, CT (computerized tomography) Scan area and the Corona ICU.

The prime minister was briefed that the hospital had constituted a Corona Response Team with a specific plan in place to deal with emergency.

A separate ICU and isolation ward has been established besides setting up of seven dispensaries in slum areas to detect persons with symptoms of the infectious disease.

The prime minister was also apprised that operation theatres had the facility of live telecast of surgeries, usually for the purpose of distant advisory opinion from physicians and as educational activity for medical students.

Administrator CGH Brigadier (retd) Imran ul Haq told APP that upgradation of the hospital would cater to 1.5 million population of Rawalpindi for treatment of different diseases.

The Corona ICU has 30 beds, while a 50-bed separate Corona ward comprising 25 beds each for male and female patients, has been made operational, he said.

He mentioned that the renovation of hospital also included separate facility for children coming for routine vaccination to protect them from contracting other diseases.

Health Consultant CGH Colonel (retd) Shoaib said that a controlled environment with regulation of filtered air was maintained in ICUs, with beds equipped with air-curtain patient isolators.

Chief Engineer CGH Atiq ur Rehman apprised that the floors of wards had been lined with anti-microbial sheet to control potential sources of germs and bacteria.