PESHAWAR - The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa gov­ernment has made all the neces­sary arrangements to deal with COVID-19 and standardised protocols have been issued to all the health service delivery out­lets to handle any possible case of Coronavirus in the province. No confirmed case has been de­tected yet in the province but an emergency has been declared in the province as precautionary measure.

This was told in a high-level meeting held here on Wednes­day with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair. The meeting re­view in detail the arrangements and preparedness of health de­partment to stop the possible outbreak of Coronavirus in the province. Besides provincial ministers Taimur Jhagra, Ak­bar Ayub, Shukat Yousafzai and Advisor to CM Ajmal Wazir, the meeting was attended by principal secretary to CM, sec­retary health, director general health services and other rel­evant high-ups. Secretary health briefed the meeting about the current situation, arrange­ments, challenges and other various aspects related to the Corona virus.

Regarding the major steps taken by the provincial govern­ment, it was told that standard­ized protocols for reporting and infection control have been de­veloped and issued training of service providers on case man­agement is underway, control room established at provincial level, regular daily zero report­ing started and laboratory for testing of Coronavirus fully op­erationalized.

Provincial govt releases Rs100m to health department to cater for emergency; isolation wards established at all districts level hospitals

It was further informed that provincial government has re­leased an amount of Rs100 mil­lion to the health department to cater for emergency nature of arrangements whereas the health department has setup isolation wards at all districts level hospitals and overall 983 beds both in public and private sector hospitals have been set aside for possible Coronavirus affected patients.

Furthermore, Rapid Response Units have been established in all the districts to deal with any exigency in an effective man­ner while line departments and autonomous bodies have been instructed to plan and execute activities pertaining to preparedness, prevention and control of COVID-19 as per their roles. “Staff members, and ambulance provided to ensure 24/7 screening at Peshawar Airport and additional staff and ambulance provided to ensure screening at Torkham border,” the secretary health informed the participants.

Expressing his satisfaction on the overall arrangements and preparedness, the chief minis­ter directed the concerned high-ups to further improve the pre­paredness level. He said though no case has been detected in the province but the provincial gov­ernment was fully prepared to cope with any unwanted situa­tion. The CM stressed upon the general public to avoid panic and to adopt preventive mea­sures at maximum level.

“Though the situation at the moment is completed satisfac­tory but if need arises then the provincial government is ready to take all steps and utilise all available resources to protect our people from the virus,” the chief minister remarked. He directed the concerned quar­ters to carry out a public health awareness campaign at mass level to educate the general public regarding Coronavirus.

Meanwhile, a high-level meet­ing to stop the coronavirus was held at Civil Secretariat Pesha­war. The meeting was presided over by Chief Secretary Kazim Niaz and attended by represen­tatives of Pak Army, Frontier Corps, and Frontier Constabu­lary, Provincial heads of Home Finance, Health and Relief De­partments. It was decided in the meeting that the health depart­ment would provide additional resources and HR to Joint Rapid Response Team in District Khy­ber immediately and compli­ance report be submitted to chief secretary.