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Health emergency imposed in Balochistan amid Congo virus surge

Health emergency imposed in Balochistan amid Congo virus surge

طوبیٰ Tooba 9 months ago 0 4

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Patients suffering from dengue fever being treated at a hospital in Lahore on October 8, 2023. — Online
Patients suffering from dengue fever being treated at a hospital in Lahore on October 8, 2023. — Online
  • 44 cases of the novel virus reported in the province so far.
  • Two-week ban imposed on private slaughterhouses in Quetta.
  • Livestock department to spray disinfectants in cattle markets.

Authorities have imposed a “health emergency” in Balochistan in the wake of a worrisome surge in cases of the novel Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) commonly known as the “Congo virus” in the province.

With 44 Congo virus cases reported in the province so far, caretaker Chief Minister Ali Mardan Domki chaired a meeting in Quetta which decided to declare health emergency in the province to curb further spread of the novel disease.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Congo virus is caused by a tick-borne virus called “Nairovirus” and is transmitted via tick bites or through infected animals’ blood. The disease results in severe viral haemorrhagic fever and has a fatality rate of 10 to 40%.

Meanwhile, divisional commissioners, district house officers (DHOs), and livestock officers have been directed to keep a close eye on the situation.

The huddle also decided to impose a ban on private slaughterhouses in Quetta for two weeks under Section 144, after which animals can only be slaughtered in slaughterhouses located away from the urban population.

CM Domki directed the provincial livestock department to immediately spray disinfectants in cattle markets.

Preliminary evidence, according to the caretaker chief minister, suggested that the virus spread from a patient belonging to Harnai in the Civil Hospital, after which the affected ward was sealed and other departments were disinfected under special measures.

The interim CM added that the two healthcare workers, who were affected by the Congo virus, are being transferred to Karachi via air ambulance today.

The interim set-up in Balochistan has declared the doctor who died of Congo virus a martyr and also announced benefits for his surviving family.

It should be noted that a doctor diagnosed with the deadly Congo virus in Quetta and a suspected patient under treatment at the Fatima Jinnah Hospital died on Sunday.

According to the hospital administration, the patient had been brought to the hospital in critical condition from the rural area of Hazaraganj.

The death of the stricken doctor occurred during his transportation to Karachi for treatment, according to a spokesperson for the young doctors. As per a spokesperson for young doctors, the patient’s life was lost while en route to Karachi for specialized medical treatment.

This year has seen a surge in Congo virus cases with at least 41 patients admitted to the hospital, resulting in 17 fatalities.

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