NDMA chief tells parliamentary panel more doctors to be trained to handle vents. PHOTO: FILE

500 more ventilators to arrive from China on April 9

NDMA chief tells parliamentary panel more doctors to be trained to handle vents

​ Our Correspondent April 06, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has told a parliamentary panel that there are just 3,800 ventilators in the country and 2,000 vents are now sought from China in order to meet the possible demand of the medical equipment in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“2,200 of these ventilators are in public sector hospitals while the rest are with the private sector. Around 500 more ventilators will arrive in Pakistan by April 9,” NDMA Chairman Lt Gen Mohammad Afzal told the parliamentary committee on COVID-19 monitoring at its first meeting on Monday.

The bipartisan committee meeting, chaired by National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar, was attended by lawmakers from both the houses of parliament – the National Assembly and the Senate.

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The NDMA chairman said in view of the pandemic, 2,000 additional ventilators would be acquired from China. He said 29,000 medical kits had been provided to the provinces for the medical staff fighting the contagious flu-like disease.

“Doctors from Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi will be trained to handle ventilators,” he said.

A ventilator is a machine that provides mechanical ventilation by moving breathable air into and out of the lungs, to deliver breaths to a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or breathing insufficiently.

Lt Gen Afzal said 22 laboratories across Pakistan conduct coronavirus test and they have so far conducted 35,000 tests. He said 137 hospitals had been allocated for treating the infections and in-charges of these facilities will be provided with the medical kits.

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During the meeting, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Zafar Mirza also gave a detailed briefing about the precautionary measures taken to limit the spread of the deadly pathogen.

Prime Minister’s Adviser on Finance Dr Hafeez Shaikh, Prime Minster Adviser on Commerce Razak Dawood briefed the participants about the economic and business recovery plan devised to deal with the economic fallouts of the contagion and subsequent lockdowns.

The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Federal Minister for Information Technology Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Federal Minister for Housing Tariq Bashir Cheema and Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid among others.


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