LAHORE – The menace of measles continued to haunt Lahorites as one more patient died at a hospital on Tuesday, taking the death toll till today to 11. Muhammad Babar, 2, breathed his last at Mayo Hospital.

As many as 20 more patients were admitted to different hospitals in the City on Tuesday, taking the overall tally to 553.

Out of 20 new patients, 04 were admitted to Mayo Hospital, 02 each to Children’s Hospital and Sir Ganga Ram Hospital and 01 to Services Hospital while 11 new patients were admitted to private healthcare centres in the City.

Briefing the media about prevailing situation and the government measures to overcome the menace at committee room of Health Department on Tuesday, Special Assistant to Punjab Chief Minister on Health Kh Salman Rafiq said that 2971 cases of measles have so far been reported from across the province. He said that steering committee of pediatricians was meeting on regular basis. He said that necessary arrangements have been made at government hospitals to provide treatment to measles patients.

Director General Health Dr Nisar Ahmed Cheema MMR injection has not been approved by the WHO for Pakistan. After recommendation of WHO, he said, the injection would be included in the EPI programme.

Provincial Chief UNICEF Dr Rana Mushtaq said that physical weak children were at greater risk of falling prey to measles. He appreciated government arrangements for controlling measles.

Increasing demand of measles vaccine has created its shortage not only at health centres but also at private pharmacies, adding to the hardships of parents.  Medical store owners admitted shortage of vaccine needed to be administered to children up to 15 months old, saying huge demand after measles outbreak has caused the drug to fly from shelves.