CM Orders Emergency Plan against Measles

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the loss of precious lives as a result of usage of medicines at Punjab Institute of Cardiology, and the deaths caused by a cough syrup at Lahore and Gujranwala is highly regrettable.

He vowed that Punjab government would take strict action against those responsible for this crime. The Chief Minister directed preparation of an emergency plan, within two days, for prevention of measles, and said that availability of anti-measles vaccine should be ensured at all costs.

The Chief Minister was presiding over a highlevel meeting at Model Town, here Wednesday. Special Assistant on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretaries Health, Law, Prosecution, Home, Acting Inspector General Police, Commissioner Lahore Division, Commissioner Gujranwala Division, District Coordination Officer Lahore, Director General Health Punjab, DG Forensic Science Laboratory Dr. Faisal Masood and other concerned officers were present on the occasion.

The meeting reviewed PIC medicines case, laboratory reports of TYNO syrup, spread of measles in Lahore and other cities as well as preventive measures taken to check this disease.

Addressing the meeting, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that, after the deaths at PIC due to medicines the loss of human lives at Lahore and Gujranwala as a result of taking a cough syrup, is highly regrettable and those elements who are responsible for this criminal negligence should be put behind the bars. He said that all culprits involved in PIC medicine case should be dealt with in accordance with the rule of law. He said that the raw material used in preparation of TYNO syrup has been found to be defective, in the light of a report by a British laboratory, whereas this raw material was imported from India.

The Chief Minister ordered strict action against those importing defective raw material besides taking strict action against those responsible for this tragedy in accordance with the law. Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that he is answerable to Allah Almighty and in the court of the people as protection of lives and property is the responsibility of the government. The Chief Minister directed Health Department authorities to remove flaws in the existing system and implement an effective system of check and balance to curb such tragic incidents in future.

He said that strict action should be taken against those government officials who did not perform their duties in this regard and would be given exemplary punishment. He further directed to evolve a well coordinated plan to put an end to such tragedies in future. The Chief Minister also formulated a committee for this purpose which would submit its report within seven days.

Expressing his concern over recent measles cases, the Chief Minister directed to take all possible steps to control measles virus. He directed Health Department to launch a vigorous awareness campaign about preventive measures against measles, while vaccination of children should be ensured. Secretary Health gave a detailed briefing during the meeting.

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