ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) on Wednesday suspended biometric attendance of its staff in all departments after the admission of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in the hospital.

The hospital administration issued a notification in this regard urging all heads of the departments to arrange hand sanitisers in their departments as well.

The notification issued said that “as per recommendations of head of clinical departments in the meeting with the Executive Director on 04.03.2020, the bio-metric attendance in PIMS is hereby suspended with immediate effect and until further orders because of coronavirus.

However, all head of departments/incharges may ensure attendance and presence in their respective departments.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) requested parents not to take their children to shopping malls during these holidays and avoid crowds and gatherings to keep themselves safe from coronavirus.

Hand washing is an essential preventive measure, people having flu and cough should put on mask and should stay at home. They should also avoid crowds and gatherings.

It also said that healthy people need not to put on mask but they must stay at least one meter away from the people coughing or sneezing because this is a droplet infection and transmitted between people through close contact and droplets.

PMA urged people to play their due role for the prevention of spread of coronavirus by adopting all the required preventive measures, especially people having symptoms of flu and cough should quarantine themselves at home and avoid going into crowds and gatherings.

It said that according to information, 681 pilgrims had returned from Iran via Karachi and they have been quarantined for 14 days till 13-03-2020. They will also be tested for coronavirus and if someone found positive will be kept in isolation for treatment.