Pakistan | News | WHO scales-up support to COVID-19 reference hospital in Islamabad as three more cases are confirmed in Pakistan

WHO scales-up support to COVID-19 reference hospital in Islamabad as three more cases are confirmed in Pakistan

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5 March 2020In light of the fifth COVID-19 case announced in Pakistan, the World Health Organization (WHO) in country is prioritizing the need for specialized health care for confirmed patients. Since January, WHO has supported over 20 COVID-19 reference hospitals across the country with various preparedness and response activities, including the distribution of medical equipment, awareness-raising materials and technical support.

One of these reference hospitals, the Pakistan Institute of Medical Services (PIMS) in Islamabad, has been receiving suspected cases and is treating two confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date. This week, the WHO Emergency Response Team, led by WHO Representative, Dr Palitha Mahipala, met with Dr Ansar Maqsood, the Executive Director of PIMS and his team. This meeting was held to review PIMS’ readiness for COVID-19 and additional support needed. During the visit, WHO Representative, Dr Mahipala, praised Dr Maqsood and his team for ensuring readiness for suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“I commend all the health workers for their dedication and hard work during this emergency. WHO is committed to inform and guide the response with the most up-to-date data and information,” Dr Mahipala added. 

WHO, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health in Pakistan, is focused on slowing the virus’ spread by identifying infected people with potential and confirmed infections and by tracing and monitoring the people they have come into contact with. WHO continues to support the COVID-19 response with support to over 20 reference facilities and the training of health workers to cater to the surge in incoming patients. In the coming days, WHO will scale-up its support to health facilities with more medical supplies, including personal protective equipment for health workers, as well as the continuous provision of technical support.

Globally, WHO, in close collaboration with leading health experts, has been providing interested stakeholders with up-to-date technical guidance and best practices to handle the outbreak of this new virus. In Pakistan, WHO has been working closely with national and provincial authorities and the medical community to apply this knowledge to the local context.

The Ministry of Health in Pakistan has also launched a telephone helpline to respond to the public’s queries and concerns on the virus. It is encouraging people to report to the Ministry of Health if they are showing symptoms of COVID-19 so that they can provide them with proper medical care.

Lastly, WHO continues to urge the public to obtain the latest information on COVID-19 from trusted sources such as health authorities and WHO. WHO also continues to stress that the public and national and provincial authorities follow and promote the recommended basic preventive and protective measures available for COVID-19.