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Pakistan

Web Desk
March 31, 2020

Punjab health dept told to increase coronavirus testing capacity: CM Buzdar

Pakistan

Web Desk
Tue, Mar 31, 2020
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar addressing a media briefing. — Geo News screengrab/File

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Tuesday said he has directed the health department to increase the testing capacity in the province.

“Our cabinet is meeting daily to discuss the outbreak in the province,” Buzdar said while addressing a briefing.

“We will meet with the delegation of Chinese doctors and listen to what they have to say,” Buzadar said, adding, they will release home quarantine SOPS after meeting with the doctors.

The Punjab chief minister assured the media they had everything under control. “We have a committee at the district level to ensure every hospital had protective gear for their medical staff.”

The chief minister said doctors will get an extra month’s allowance.

Responding to a question about reports of tableeghi jamaat members being mishandled, Buzdar said he had asked the inspector general to ensure nothing of this sort happened and that all the correct SOPs were being followed.

“An SOP has been developed for dealing with members of the tableeghi jamaat. We will not allow anyone to manhandle them,” said Buzdar.

The chief minister said that he met with local experts who were trying to develop a mechanism to manufacture kits locally.

On the subject of the relief package being provided by the government, the chief minister said he would not allow any corruption to take place in the disbursement of funds.

Separately, Provincial Health Minister Yasmin Rashid, who was also present at the briefing, said the government had developed a vaccine for testing.

“Dr Atta-ur-Rahman is doing research on this and will make an announcement regarding this in the evening,” she said.

Speaking of the Punjab government's testing capacity, she said: “We have a capacity to produce 1,000 to 1,200 each day and we can take it to 3,000 per day by end of the week.”

Rashid said that with the addition of the 8 new labs which will soon become function, the capacity will further increase. “By the end of next week we hope to develop a capacity of 5,000 to 7,000 tests."