PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has imposed a state of emergency in the province amid fears of the deadly coronavirus spreading from China into Pakistan.
The KP ministry of relief, resettlement and rehabilitation on Tuesday afternoon released a statement stating that the state of emergency was declared in line with the directives of the federal health ministry.
“Since we [Pakistan] are a neighbor of coronavirus-hit China, there is lots of foreign travel between the two countries. This is why the relevant departments should ensure that safety precautions are in place,” it said.
“The relevant government departments should also take all the measures they can to control the spread of the virus in Pakistan. Initial measures to preempt the detection of the virus should also be in place,” it added.
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KP’s director-general of Health Services also released a statement saying that the Outpatient Department (OPD) of the Police Services Hospital (PSH) has been closed to cater to suspected cases of the virus in the province.
“The hospital has been designated to serve patients suspected of having contracted the coronavirus,” Deputy Medical Superintend of PSH, Aurangzeb Afridi.
“The OPD services in the hospital have been shut. The hospital is now being prepared to cater to suspected cases of the coronavirus,” he added.
Initially, a five-bed isolation ward has been setup at the hospital and the virus detection kits are also being provided to the hospital.
China’s top leadership on Monday admitted “shortcomings and difficulties” in its response to the coronavirus outbreak, as state media said a new hospital built at breakneck pace began receiving patients in the epicentre of the crisis.
Fifty-seven new deaths were confirmed on Monday — the single-biggest daily increase since the virus was detected late last year in the central city of Wuhan.
The death toll in China stands at over 400, exceeding the 349 mainland fatalities from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-03, which eventually killed nearly 800.