Punjab declares “Medical Emergency” to contain corona pandemic

Punjab, Pakistan's largest province of 100 million plus, has declared a medical emergency to contain corona pandemic. Provinces of Sindh and Baluchistan have already shut down schools and colleges and restricted public gatherings. Coronavirus arrived in Pakistan via Iran where almost 200 have died so far, hundreds are stuck at Pak-Iran border in Baluchistan and are not allowed back into the country.

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The Punjab government declared a medical emergency on Thursday after 20 cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Pakistan this week.

Punjab Health Minister Yasmeen Rashid said “All the departments have to work together with the health department,” adding that “We need to take the coronavirus epidemic seriously. Precautionary measures such as unnecessarily touching face, shaking hands should be avoided”.

Further more, Dr Yasmeen Rashid added, “If an emergency has been declared, people need to take the situation seriously. Public gatherings need to be avoided.”

Read more: Coronavirus fear: India postpones major naval exercise

Pakistan’s tally of corona-virus reached 20 on Wednesday after Gigit-Baltistan reported its second corona virus case, a spokesperson for the GB government, Faizullah Firaq, said.

However, no confirm case of Corona virus has been reported in Punjab thus far.

Outbreak of Coronavirus in Pakistan and latest cases

Coronavirus reached Pakistan through neighboring Iran. A quarantine was created near Iran border. Two patients confirmed; one in Karachi and other in Islamabad. Nation in panic as masks’ price skyrocketed in Karachi. Schools and institutions closed in two provinces. Novel virus has been identified in more than 45 countries. Saudi closes Mecca for pilgrims.

As the novel coronavirus continues its spread across the globe, what does the designation mean to world healthcare systems as they try to rein in the deadly disease?

The World Health Organization has yet to declare the current outbreak, which originated in central China last month, a pandemic. It has indicated however that we should prepare ourselves for one.

The WHO defines a pandemic as a situation in which “the whole world’s population would likely be exposed to this infection and potentially a proportion of them fall sick,” said its emergencies director Michael Ryan.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that countries should be doing everything they could “to prepare for a potential pandemic”. “For the moment we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus and we are not witnessing large-scale deaths,” he said .

While the number of fresh cases in mainland China has slowed slightly in recent weeks, several other countries have seen infections mushroom.