By Aamir Latif
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – A hospital Turkey gifted to Pakistan is assisting the government in its battle against coronavirus in the remote areas of northeastern Punjab province.
The Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital Trust in Muzaffargarh district, some 380 kilometers (236 miles) from the provincial capital Lahore, has designated its newly-established 250-bed wing for suspected COVID-19 patients.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had inaugurated the facility in February this year.
The hospital is among the three major facilities treating the coronavirus patients in the southern part of the province. It provides free healthcare to all patients irrespective of their background.
Currently, the hospital, which began its operations in 2014, is treating 25 patients tested positive for the virus, according to Dr. Ibn-e-Rasa, an official of Tayyip Erdogan Trust, which runs a chain of hospitals in the province.
Apart from Muzaffargarh, the trust is running five hospitals in Lahore, and one in Multan.
It is also handling the management of two major blood transfusion centers in Multan and Bahawalpur districts under an agreement inked with the provincial government in April 2017.
Pakistan's coronavirus tally rose to 1,252 with nine confirmed deaths on Friday.
To slow the infection spread, the country has enforced a lockdown with all schools and universities, restaurants, malls and markets remaining shut.
After first appearing in Wuhan, China, last December, the virus has infected more than 542,000 people in 176 countries and rerrirotires, according to data compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
Over 24,100 people have so far died after contracting the virus worldwide.