'Only 130 ventilators operational in DHQ hospitals'

Provincial govt apprises Supreme Court that 100 more ventilators will be provided to DHQ hospitals soon


​ News Desk April 12, 2020
PHOTO: REUTERS

As Punjab reported 39 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, a fresh report submitted in the Supreme Court stated that only 130 ventilators are in working condition in District Headquarters (DHQ) hospitals across the province.

Punjab, Pakistan's highest populated province, is the most affected region in the country with nearly 2,500 coronavirus cases and more than 20 deaths.

The provincial government has also been under criticism for not taking a proactive approach when the outbreak first emerged in the country back in February.

On Friday, Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Gulzar Ahmed took suo moto notice on the situation arising out of the coronavirus crisis. This was his first suo motu notice since assuming the charge as the country’s top judge.

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The development came after Justice Gulzar had expressed displeasure over the government’s measures to curb the COVID-19 spread.

The report, submitted by the Punjab government during the hearing of the case, stated 100 more ventilators would be provided to the DHQ hospitals soon.

"All the outpatient departments (OPD) were operational whereas 3,100 coronavirus tests could be conducted in seven laboratories of the province, three more were being established in Rawalpindi, Bahawalpur and Wazirabad," the report said, adding that laboratories were also being set up in Faisalabad and Dera Ghazi Khan as well.

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It also read that prisoners were being kept in quarantine for two weeks after being released from jails. "All the deputy commissioners have been directed to find suitable places to be declared as sub-jail."

Isolation wards have also been established in prison hospitals across the province, according to the report.

It further said that the government is helping those who got unemployed due to the current crisis under Ehsas Programme.

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