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Minister hopes COVID-19 vaccine may reach Pakistan by February

  • Dr. Yasmin said that as many as 18 Bio-Safety Level 2 (BSL-2) laboratories had been set up in the province for testing COVID-19.
Published January 1, 2021

LAHORE: Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid expressed her hope that the coronavirus vaccine may reach Pakistan by February 2021.

She was addressing an oath taking ceremony of the new office-bearers of the Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) organized at the Cosmopolitan Club here on Thursday.

Dr. Yasmin Rashid said the Punjab government had reserved adequate amount for coronavirus vaccine, adding that COVID-19 pandemic was a huge challenge for the province.

"The government has reserved Rs. 14 billion to fight the pandemic," she said.

Dr. Yasmin said that as many as 18 Bio-Safety Level 2 (BSL-2) laboratories had been set up in the province for testing COVID-19.

The minister said the government would start a new 1000-bed hospital at Egerton Road, where 400 beds would be allocated for cardiac patients.

Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin said that a Mother and Child Hospital at Ganga Ram was under construction, adding that after the completion of this hospital, thousands of lives could be saved.

She said that seven Mother and Child Hospitals were being constructed in different districts of Punjab including Attock, Rajanpur, Sialkot and Lahore.

She congratulated the new office-bearers of the PMA and said that the PMA always served the medical community according to their oath.

Dr. Yasmin said that Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar believed in provision of quality healthcare to every citizen.

She said that Universal Health Coverage shall be provided to all 25 million families of the province by December 2021.

"We are trying to provide healthcare to all citizens without putting extra burden on finance," she said.

Dr. Yamin said that the purpose of MTI Act was to improve the quality of services at public sector hospitals.

"So far we have hired 32,000 doctors, nurses and paramedical staff," she added.

She said that the government was implementing 10-year Punjab Health Sector Strategy.

Punjab Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid assured that the reservations of the PMA would be conveyed to the federal government. "Medical is a sacred profession and doctors are saving precious lives," she said.

Earlier, Professor Dr. Ashraf Nizami took oath as PMA President, Professor Dr. Shahid Malik as Secretary General, Dr. Iram Shahzadi as Vice President, Professor Dr. Khalid Masood as Vice President, Dr. Wajid Ali as Finance Secretary, Dr. Bushra Haq, and Dr. Ahmed Nasim Akhtar as Joint Secretary.

PMA President Dr. Ashraf Nizami welcomed Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid while General Secretary Dr Shahid Malik presented a review of the activities of the PMA.

Vice Chancellor King Edward Medical University Professor Khalid Masood Gondal, Vice Chancellor Fatima Jinnah Medical University Professor Dr. Amir Zaman Khan, Dr. Tahir Khalil, Dr. Shahnaz Akhtar, office-bearers of the PMA and a large number of doctors were present in the ceremony.


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