A 12-member team of doctors and experts from Sri Lanka arrived in Lahore, Pakistan Wednesday evening to assist the government in its ongoing fight against the dengue virus.

According to official data released on September 14 by Health Department Punjab, eight people have died because of dengue fever since January 2011, while over 4,700 cases of dengue positive have been reported in Punjab with around 3,765 in Lahore alone. The department says 250 patients are undergoing treatment for dengue at present.

Media reports, however, put the number of dengue patients and casalities higher than the official figures. According to these reports eight Chinese engineers working in Lahore have also been confirmed as dengue positive and are presently admitted in different hospitals of the city.

Dengue fever cases have also been reported in provinces, including Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but Punjab has been hit hardest by the virus with hundreds of cases being reported on daily basis.

The Punjab government on Tuesday announced the closure of all government and private schools in Lahore district till September 24 to allow for fumigation and other preventive measures at educational institutions.

The team of experts from Sri Lanka has arrived on special request of Pakistan’s Punjab province Chief Minster Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif who himself welcomed them at Allama Iqbal International Airport along with officials of the health department.

Talking to media on this occasion the Chief Minister said he was thankful to the President, government and people of Sri Lanka for sending the team of experts to serve the ailing humanity. He also said “Sri Lanka is friendly country of Pakistan and the experts of Sri Lanka have also brought medicines with them manufactured in the light of their experiences and we will fully benefit from their experiences.”