As cases of dengue virus continue to surge across Pakistan, provincial authorities divert resources to tackling threat
The Punjab government on Sunday announced it had set up a field hospital at Lahore’s Expo Center to tackle an ongoing surge in dengue virus infections, with Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid saying dedicated doctors, nurses, paramedics, oxygen, and medicine supplies would be deployed to counter the threat.
Addressing media at the inauguration of the new field hospital, Dr. Rashid said that Dr. Asad Aslam Khan had been appointed the focal person of the Expo Field Hospital. She said that doctors from Lahore’s General, Services, Jinnah and Mayo hospitals had been deputed at the field hospital, adding that the duty roster of doctors had already been notified.
Clarifying that there was no shortage of beds for dengue patients in Lahore, she said that the hospital was intended to forestall any potential need for additional beds amidst the surge in dengue infections in the provincial capital. She said the city had 1,209 beds reserved for dengue patients, including those available at the Expo Field Hospital.
The field hospital, she added, would operate 24 hours a day and would provide test results for dengue within 45 seconds. Any patient that tested positive for dengue, she said, would be admitted to hospital, while those who tested negative would be treated as required.
The provincial health minister said that dengue treatment would be free for all, as would its testing. To a question, she said 28 dengue patients in Punjab were currently critically ill.
In the last 24 hours, 177 cases of dengue were reported from Lahore. Dr. Rashid said that Lahore had been the city worst hit by the current wave of dengue, noting that Rawalpindi had been the epicenter in the previous wave. She said provincial authorities had completed surveillance of 55,000 homes, and found dengue mosquito larva at 1,719 homes.