PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday assured doctors that his government was making all-out efforts to ensure their protection while they were battling the Covid-19 pandemic.
Talking to doctors during his visit to Hayatabad Medical Complex, Mr Khan said the nation stood by them while they were battling at the front line of the outbreak.
He said the government was doing its best to provide all kinds of protection to the paramedics; however, there was a massive pressure on international supply chains due to a huge demand. He said a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) team was working on procuring medical supplies from China and other countries.
“We have to protect our doctors at all cost,” Mr Khan told the doctors. He said that like the global trend, Covid-19 cases in Pakistan were likely to go up in the coming days. “Pressure will also mount on you [doctors],” he added.
He said the government’s focus was on protecting the medical community and striking a balance between controlling the spread of Covid-19 and not letting people die of starvation.
Earlier, the prime minister was briefed on the preparedness and steps being taken to control the Covid-19 outbreak.
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Governor Shah Farman and KP Health Minister Taimur Saleem Jhagra were present on the occasion.
According to a statement, KP Chief Secretary Dr Kazim Niaz briefed the prime minister on the steps taken by the provincial government to control the outbreak.
The premier was informed that the spread of Covid-19 in six districts was more than the rest of the province. The provincial government has set up 275 quarantine centers across the province with a capacity of housing 18,000 patients.
PM Khan was informed that currently there were 583 ventilators across the province and the government was working to increase their number. The KP government has hired 689 regular and 1299 contractual doctors to fight the outbreak, while 9,000 retired doctors, nurses and paramedics have volunteered to fight the outbreak. They will be called for duty if need arises.
The prime minister appreciated the provincial government’s efforts to control the spread of the pandemic and said that besides controlling the spread of the virus, federal the government was also focusing on extending aid to the economically vulnerable section of population. He said the Center was helping the provinces control the outbreak.
PM Khan directed the KP chief minister and other relevant officials to visit the affected areas of the province and ensure provision of facilities to the general public.
The prime minister also visited an Ehsaas emergency cash disbursement point and reviewed the process of aid distribution. PM’s special assistant Dr Sania Nishtar briefed the prime minister on the cash distribution mechanism.