KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved a proposal to purchase six new rapid testing machines and 300,000 testing kits so that the public sector's capacity to test suspected...
KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has approved a proposal to purchase six new rapid testing machines and 300,000 testing kits so that the public sector's capacity to test suspected COVID-19 patients could be enhanced in the province.
He took this decision on Saturday while presiding over a meeting to review the available stock of the kits to test coronavirus suspects and existing per day testing capacity in this regard.
The meeting was attended by Minister for Health Dr Azra Pechuho, Principal Secretary to CM Sajid Jamal Abro, Secretary Health Dr Zahid Abbasi, Secretary Investment Najam shah, Dr Abdul Bari of Indus Hospital, Dr Saba Jamal, Dr Saeed Khan of Dow Lab and MB Dharejo.
The chief minister was told on the occasion that around 7,500 testing kits were available with the provincial government and the stock was considered to be enough for the next seven days. At this, the chief minister directed the health department to purchase 300,000 more kits so that enough stock could be made available.
The experts pointed out that 200,000 testing kits could be purchased from a UK-based firm. The specifications of these kits have already been approved by the technical committee constituted for the purpose.
The chief minister approved the proposal and directed the Indus Hospital to place the order and try to receive the consignment within the next 15 days.
He was told that the testing capacity in the province had been enhanced from 200 to 2,020 per day.
Shah said that it should be at least 5,000 per day. The experts told him that the capacity could be enhanced when new PCR machines were purchased.
The chief minister on the recommendation of the technical committee approved the purchase of six PCR machines meant for setting up a testing system. He also approved the purchase of a rapid testing machine along with 100,000 testing kits from Canada. The meeting decided to order the purchase of the machine and kits by Saturday evening.
New COVID-19 unit
Chief Minister Shah directed the health department to establish a Coronavirus Patients’ Unit at the Services Hospital, Karachi. He ordered repairs of the wards, purchase of necessary equipment and posting of doctors and paramedical staff for the new unit. He also ordered immediate release of Rs13.4 million for the establishment of the unit.
Secretary Finance Hassan Naqvi on the directive of the chief minister released the funds to the health department.