Pakistan's coronavirus cases shoot up to 52; First case in Lahore confirmed
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Despite a string of measures to combat the virus, the total number of coronavirus cases in the country shot up to 52 on Sunday.
As many as 21 cases have been reported in Karachi, 13 in Sukkur, eight in Balochistan, six in Islamabad, three in Gilgit Baltistan and one is reported in Lahore.
According to 24NewsHD television channel, the condition of two coronavirus patients at Islamabad’s PIMS hospital is very serious.
Lahore’s first case confirmed
Punjab Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid and Information Minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan have confirmed the first coronavirus patient being treated at Lahore’s Mayo Hospital.
پنجاب میں پہلا کرونا وائرس کا مریض سامنے آگیا ھے۔ دس مارچ کو برطانیہ سے پاکستان آیا ھے۔ اسے میو ہسپتال میں داخل کروا دیا گیا ھے اور اس کے تمام عزیزواقارب کے ٹیسٹ لیے گئے ہیں جو کہ اللہ پاک کے کرم سے نیگیٹو ہیں۔ اللہ پاک کے کرم سے مریض تندرستی اور بحالی کی طرف گامزن ھے— Fayaz ul Hassan Chohan (@Fayazchohanpti) March 15, 2020
According to the spokesperson of the Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department, the patient who had recently come from abroad was admitted to the hospital on Saturday night.
City42 television channel first broke the news after midnight on Saturday.
The 54-year-old virus patient, who came to Pakistan from the UK on March 10, was brought to the hospital after he showed symptoms of the coronavirus infection.
In addition, the authorities conducted tests on all the people who had been close to the patient, which all came out negative.
Section 144 imposed
The Punjab government has imposed Section 144 throughout the province barring gatherings of more than four people.
The ban which came into force with immediate effect will be effective for three weeks.
The notification in this regard was issued by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Momin Agha.
MS Services Hospital removed
Services Hospital Lahore Medical Superintendent Dr Saleem Shehzad Cheema was removed from his post on Sunday for his mishandling of the coronavirus situation.
Services Hospital was designated by the Punjab Health Department as the focal hospital for coronavirus but the counter for patients was empty.
Dr Cheema has been told to report to the health department. Former Jinnah Hospital medical superintendent Dr Iftikhar Ahmed has replaced him.
The Punjab government has issued notifications about these changes. The health department says it received complaints against Dr Cheema.
People coming from Sheikhupura found that there were no facilities at the hospital. They said when they came to the hospital, doctors told them not to enter the wards and go to the coronavirus counter instead. They found that the counter was closed with a notice directing them elsewhere.
There are reportedly no testing facilities at Services Hospital. Patients say they are being directed to a private lab for testing. The notice also says they could visit the Health DG’s office.