Islamabad: Dengue medicines should be immediately imported from India, Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Pakistan`s Punjab province, has demanded.
Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday ordered immediate import of medicines from India during an emergency meeting, reported The Nation on Monday. He asked the provincial health secretary to promptly get in touch with the Indian High Commissioner to import the WHO-approved medicines from Delhi.
The chief minister told the meeting they decided to import medicines and equipment against dengue on an emergency basis and Indian medicines were in the proximity.
He also directed officials to contact the Sri Lankan high commissioner for staff, equipment, technical assistance and medicines.
Health Secretary Jahanzaib Khan said a total of 2,994 dengue virus cases have been reported in the province.
An editorial in the News International said on Monday: "The annual dengue outbreak has struck with an especially vicious sting this year, creating mass panic - most notably in Punjab..."
"The degree of alarm has led to morning assembly being cancelled in schools. Punjab is not the only affected province; in Sindh, a total of 190 cases of dengue-related hospitalisation have been reported and there have been three deaths in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa," it said.
The editorial said that though dengue has become an annual epidemic, it has struck especially hard this year.
Saying that there is mass public panic over dengue, the editorial stated: "Knowing that dengue is an annual curse, preventive actions should have begun much sooner."
"We must seek ways to treat and curb this illness which has taken a heavy toll on our already strained healthcare system," it added.