The University of Health Sciences (UHS) has established a National Tele-medicine Center for Corona virus (COVID-19) control to help healthcare providers manage and mitigate the spread of deadly virus.

 “It is so important for  sick people to stay at home, and if they’re not that sick they can still use tele-medicine, talk to a doctor, and get some reassurance. And if they don’t have the virus, then it’s really good too — because it keeps them home and away from other sick people,” said Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar after inaugurating the tele-medicine center, here at UHS.

He said that corona virus could be defeated only through precautionary/safety measures for which every single person of the society would have to play his/her role.

Talking to the media here, he called for getting prepared to eliminate corona virus with such determination as being fight with the country’s enemies. Corona virus was jeopardizing economies of even developed countries and had become the biggest challenge for the world, while Europe was locked down completely.

He mentioned that Prime Minister Imran Khan was monitoring all anti-corona measures and also issuing necessary directives and ensuring release of funds to health and other relevant departments on daily basis.

Governor Sarwar said corona virus had not become a danger for the government or an institution only, but for the whole nation, however, there was no need to  panic over it but rather adopt precautionary measures only and there should be no laxity in this regard.

He said the Federal and Punjab governments were taking effective anti-corona steps and Prime Minister Imran Khan is looking after all the matters on daily basis and funds were being released where needed.

Sarwar added that no doubt, precautionary and safety measures were the only easy way to cope with this dreadful virus that was why everyone was being advised to avoid unnecessary visits to markets or any public place, and ensure hands washing frequently and do not embrace people as according to doctors, this pandemic was spreading mainly due to hand shaking and embracing, therefore, any carelessness in safety measures could be fatal.

Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar further said that on his request Young Doctors Association Punjab (YDA-Punjab) called off strike in public sector hospitals.He also congratulated UHS VC Prof Javed Akram for setting up the tele-medicine facility on such a short notice.

UHS VC, Prof Javed Akram said, “Our goal is to keep the most vulnerable patients home and out of crowded environments and, with our model, UHS National Telemedicine Centre is uniquely positioned to help do that. We intend to see anyone and everyone who requests and needs care”.

He added that tele-medicine offered unique capacity for remote screening, triage, and treatment, and it could be a powerful tool for reducing transmission of the disease to and among health care workers and patients who were not infected. He said that so far more than 200 doctors had got themselves registered voluntarily to serve at the centre adding that more doctors were to follow suit.

Prof Javed Akram was of the view that tele-medicine had finally come of age. “But it’s a start, as you can actually get an answer from somebody, without having to wait for an appointment, or worse, visit an office that might be filled with people who are infected, or you will infect.  Can they actually tell if you’re positive? Probably not ,but they can see some of the symptoms, just by staring through the webcam.  And that’s a start”, he opined.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar also announced the establishment of Corona virus Emergency Fund on the occasion. Various non-government organizations, including Islamic Aid, Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine, Sarwar Foundation, Akhuwat Trust and Alkhidmat Foundation announced donations for the fund.

UHS Chairman BoG Justice (R) Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, Dr Rizwan Naseer, Gohar Ejaz, Dr Amjad Saqib and senior faculty members were present on the occasion.

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