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LAHORE: The Punjab government is all set to impart training to the hospital staff in the public sector amid growing concerns over the spread of monkeypox, although, not a single case has been reported so far in the region including Pakistan.

The training of selected staff including a doctor, a nurse and a paramedic from each hospital, is going to start from Monday (tomorrow).

A committee under the chairmanship of the UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Javed Akram has been constituted to monitor the training process.

Prof Akram disclosed that a company in Denmark has been contacted for procuring one million doses of vaccine (monkeypox) primarily for health personnel for which statutory requirements would be fulfilled.

He called for imparting training to the Civil Aviation staff besides taking special measures at all airports for the screening of suspected patients.

A consultative meeting of health experts was held at the University of Health Sciences (UHS), which was chaired by PML-N MPA Khawaja Salman Rafique. It was informed to the participants that the cases that have been reported worldwide are both due to local transmission and also travel to African countries.

“We are going to follow the advisory of the WHO in this regard as far as allocation of exclusive beds for the patients of the disease is concerned. So far, we have been told to keep a close watch through surveillance”, he said, adding: “One room each had been reserved in Jinnah Hospital and the Children Hospital Lahore”.

Khawaja Salman said the health authorities are taking adequate measures at the appropriate time and there was nothing to concern about the disease. DG Health Office Punjab had already purchased kits for PCR tests of suspected cases.

Prof Javed Akram said: “We need not be worried about monkeypox as it is a self-limiting disease, but what we need to focus is to teach doctors about surveillance of the disease. It has been 50 years ever since smallpox was treated as a disease and now doctors do not have first-hand experience of it. “Monkeypox is similar to smallpox, but it is less contagious because the virus is still trying to adapt to the human body slowly”, he said, adding: “The rising temperature is allowing the virus to adapt to a higher temperature and we may notice such outbreaks in the future which involve humans.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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