Islamabad: (Parliament Times) Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir, has said that the AJK Government’s early threat perception, timely and effective implementation of an emergency health lockdown and aggressive media campaign has helped successfully contain the transmission of the coronavirus outbreak in the liberated territory.
The President made these remarks during a visit to the National Institute of Health, Islamabad, where he was received by its Executive Director Major General Aamer Ikram. The Executive Director also briefed the President in regards to the coronavirus outbreak and its control.
President AJK praised the role of NIH, which, he said, has become the leading and most reliable coronavirus testing centre in the country. He commended NIH’s leadership and team for their dedication and professionalism. He added that despite the current crisis, NIH had prioritized the provision of test results to AJK.
Chairman NIH said that hopefully in the very near future, professionals from NIH will also visit AJK to train doctors, nurses and paramedical staff, along with that, efforts will be made to enhance the capacity of testing laboratories operational within AJK. He also said that NIH will continue to provide policy framework for federal, provincial and regional stakeholders for building capacity to prevent, detect and respond to any COVID-19 cases.
President Masood Khan informed that AJK had operationalized an elaborate health network to fight the coronavirus pandemic. AJK currently has 60 quarantine centers, 16 isolation facilities in all districts; and testing labs in all three Divisional Headquarters that till now have conducted a total of 625 tests and another 699 tests were conducted by NIH. Additional demand of 25 ventilators will also be met soon.
This effective response on behalf of the AJK Government and its health department has helped contain the total number of cases to 55, of which 25 have recovered. No deaths, he said, have taken place due to the virus. In addition, the coronavirus information technology centre has been established to help trace foreign travellers. Till now, the addresses, travel information and bio-stats of 26,361 persons have been collected.
The President paid rich tribute to the AJK Health Department, doctors, nurses and paramedics who have been on the frontlines to combat this outbreak. He said that similarly, the village coordination committees comprising Imams of Mosques, teachers and volunteers and as well as 240 verification teams comprising lady health workers, personnel of District Administration and the Police have done a commendable job during this crisis.
Later, the President also visited various sections of NIH and was also briefed on the working of the Emergency Operations Centre and Information Technology Hub.