In a quick and timely response to the global public health emergency of Novel Coronavirus (n-CoV), World Health Organization (WHO) Pakistan has provided necessary technical guidance, tools for screening along with laboratory support and management of cases at federal and provincial levels.
According to WHO, it has provided Infrared thermo guns which measures the temperature without touching the individual to identify suspected cases of corona virus.
“We are very much impressed and appreciate preparedness for n-CoV in Pakistan by GoP and MoH and WHO is continuously committed to support the GoP in responding to this public health emergency of international concern”, said Dr Palitha Mahipala, WHO Representative in Pakistan.
WHO has also provided personal protective equipment including surgical gloves, masks, hand sanitizers, gowns, goggles, liquid soap, and other supplies to the Directorate of Central Health Establishment in the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination. WHO has established a strategic health operations and communication (SHOC) room for emergency response.
In addition, WHO has also provided information materials like flyers and leaflets to raise the health awareness of the travelers and general masses about the prevention and control of corona virus has also been printed and disseminated.
WHO is also supporting establishment of Isolation wards by providing personal protective equipment and technical guidance at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) Islamabad, Services Hospital Lahore, Allama Iqbal Memorial Hospital Sialkot, Nishtar Hospital Multan, Benazir Shaheed Hospital Rawalpindi, Jinnah Post Graduate Medical University Karachi, Khyber Medical University (KMU) Peshawar, DHQ Hospital Gawadar and Sheikh Zahid Hospital Quetta.
WHO is collaborating with the Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination for the establishment of Health desks at the Ports of Entry (PoE) especially at Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Quetta airports to be equipped with skilled human resource and information material to provide information to the travelers about safety measures on how to protect themselves and others. Areas bordering with China will start screening once the border is open.
WHO is also facilitating acquisition of Lab testing material, PoE assessment for preparedness for case management, infection prevention and control along with surveillance.
A high-level committee with senior most inter-sectoral and provincial representation is also notified for a national executive oversight. The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated in the National Institute of Health, which is the focal point for IHR in Pakistan.
It was on 31 December 2019, the Chinese government informed WHO Country Office about cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China.